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Secretary-General: uphold UN Charter in a world of turmoil

UN Secretary-General addresses the Security Council on UN charter
UN Secretary-General addresses the Security Council on UN charter Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Amid an era of rising geopolitical tensions and declining trust between nations, the United Nations Secretary-General has encouraged countries to “come home” to a defining document of the international community: the UN Charter. 

António Guterres was addressing the Security Council which on Thursday held a debate on upholding the founding treaty of the UN, nearly 75 years since its adoption. 

“At this time when global fault-lines risk exploding, we must return to fundamental principles; we must return to the framework that has kept us together; we must come home to the UN Charter”, he said. 

Foundation of international relations 

Signed in June 1945, the UN Charter promised to save future generations from the devastation of war. 

António Guterres was addressing the Security Council which on Thursday held a debate on upholding the founding treaty of the UN, nearly 75 years since its adoption. 

“At this time when global fault-lines risk exploding, we must return to fundamental principles; we must return to the framework that has kept us together; we must come home to the UN Charter”, he said. 

It reaffirmed the equal rights of all people, respect for national self-determination, the need for peaceful settlement of disputes, and contained clear rules governing the use of force.   

These values and objectives endure today, the Secretary-General observed. 

“These principles are not favours or concessions. They are the foundation of international relations.  They are core to peace and international law. They have saved lives, advanced economic and social progress and, crucially, avoided a descent into another world war,” he said. 

“But when these principles have been flouted, put aside or applied selectively, the result has been catastrophic: conflict, chaos, death, disillusion and mistrust.  Our shared challenge is to do far better in upholding the Charter’s values and fulfilling its promise to succeeding generations.” 

 Never take peace for granted

The Secretary-General issued a special message to the 15 ambassadors in the Security Council.

As members of the chamber, they have a vital responsibility for upholding the UN Charter, particulalry in preventing and addressing conflict.

Present and past disagreements must not be an obstacle to action to address current threats, he stated.

"War is never inevitable; it is a matter of choice - and often it is the product of easy miscalculations," he stated. " And peace, too, is never inevitable; it is the product of hard work and we must never take it for granted."

 

 

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