During the High-Level meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered a video message to the assembly as the meeting was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Tokaev noted that the 75th anniversary of the UN is taking place in both dramatic and critical time. According to the President, the greatest challenge remains the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing deep suffering among the people around the world and has seriously affected the global economy.
“In the wake of this unprecedented human tragedy, on behalf of my country-fellows I extend the profound gratitude to all medical professionals and frontline staff-members who work very hard to protect us,” he said.
Tokayev expressed concern over the existing global challenges. In particular, he drew attention to the risks for the principles of multilateralism, difficulties in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic, the threat of looming second arms race, and setbacks in achieving strategic development goals.
Tokayev said he believes that the growth of trade protectionism and political nationalism has caused critical collapse of global cooperation and led to “global dysfunction”, which in turn undermine the prospects and hopes for a better world.
The President called for reflection on the fulfillment of the common moral obligation associated with building the paradigm of building a “New World”, and expressed the opinion that now humanity has reached a make-or-break moment for the humankind.
“As President of my country and former senior manager of the UN, I strongly disagree. More than ever, we must give rein to the horse of our hopes, not pull back out of fear. We must galvanize efforts in pursuit of those shared ideals, not abandon them. We must continue to build a rules-based community, not return to lawlessness,” he said.
A symbolic moment in the President’s speech was quoting in the Kazakh language the famous statement of the great Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Qunanbaiuly, who proposed his own formula on global interaction.
“Адамзатқа не керек: сүймек, сезбек, кейімек, қарекет қылмақ, жүгірмек, ақылмен ойлап сөйлемек”. Which means: all that the humanity needs – love, compassion, bold actions, deeds and thoughtfulness,” President Tokayev said.
According to the President, the international community obviously needs to do more to combat the pandemic.
First of all, as he said, to build a strong global health system priority must be given to upgrading national health institutions through timely and coordinated support from developed countries and UN agencies.
Tokayev added that he believes that it may be necessary to revise the International Health Regulations to increase the World Health Organization’s capacity, and to develop national capabilities in preventing and responding to diseases.
President Tokayev stated that it is important to take the politics out of the vaccine, noting the need for a comprehensive international agreement on trade and investment that would protect global production of COVID-19 vaccine and supply chains.
The Kazakh President noted the crucial importance of the next decade in the context of triving to implement the 2030 Agenda. In his opinion, this formidable goal demands a common endeavor and responsibility.
He also commended the strong leadership of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and supported his ongoing work to boost effectiveness, transparency and accountability of the UN.
“Kazakhstan adds its voice in a clear statement of commitment to the UN mission and Charter, and to the shared aspiration of building a more peaceful, just and prosperous world,” he said.
Tokayev expressed his convection that the United Nations as a single universal and the most representative international organization is indeed indispensable.