Joint Nordic Statement: Informal meeting of the plenary
SG’s Recommendations to Advance the Common Agenda and to Respond to Current and Future Challenges
delivered by Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Representative of Finland.
New York, 10 September 2021.
Mr. President, Secretary-General,
I would like to thank the Secretary-General on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland – for the briefing and report on his recommendations to advance our common agenda, as requested by the General Assembly in the seventy-fifth anniversary declaration of the UN. Thank you for your engagement with Member States and other stakeholders on the 12 themes of the declaration. We need to respond to current and future challenges. We welcome the report.
The Nordic countries are steadfast supporters of a strong and inclusive multilateral system, which is anchored within the United Nations. Recognizing and addressing the most pressing global challenges is at the core of the institution, and the report recalls those in clearest possible terms. These issues merit deep and serious reflection among member states. Business as usual is not an option. We are committed to discuss and work seriously with the report’s analysis and recommendations – and to work closely with the Secretary-General in ensuring necessary follow-up.
Last year our leaders emphasized the gravity of the situation and asked the Secretary-General to provide recommendations. The General Assembly will need to return to the report more formally in the 76th session, benefiting from the reflections of the general debate during the High-Level Week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing crises and conflicts. Global solidarity, inclusivity, renewal of the social contract, and actions to save our planet are key to addressing many of the root causes of these conflicts.
The promotion of human rights and addressing societal and global structural inequality are cornerstones in renewing the social. Without the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in all decision-making processes and at all levels, no meaningful social contract is possible.
The Nordic countries support the idea of improving global Digital Cooperation to ensure that the potential of digitalization is used to the fullest. Bridging the digital divides, including the gender divide, should continue to be our common priority.
We also strongly agree that the future needs to be more firmly factored into our collective decision-making. Forecasting megatrends is important. Aligning decisions with future needs is essential.
As for the multilateral system, even the UN itself is being challenged from multiple fronts. It is therefore valuable that the report addresses some of the institutional challenges the UN is facing. There remains a need to shape a more inclusive and networked multilateralism where all actors have a seat at the table.
In parallel, we remain deeply committed to the principles of accountability, transparency and efficiency. These qualities build trust in the institution, which, in turn, will allow us to achieve our common goals. The efforts to reform the United Nations under the Secretary-General’s term done so far deserve merit and have our full support going forward.
Global problems require global solutions, and the Secretary-General’s report reminds us that much has already been agreed upon by the global community. We will be a strong force in turning the Secretary-General’s recommendations into further action, and in accelerating the implementation of existing agreements, including the Sustainable Development Goals.