As the United Nations Foundation Board of Directors meets in New York, it released the statement below to reaffirm the importance of multilateralism and the UN Foundation’s commitment to defend and support it. Today marks the first-ever International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, and the need for collective action to address pressing global issues has been a common thread throughout the Board’s discussions.
“Collective challenges must be met with collective action. In an interconnected world – where problems such as terrorism, pandemics, human trafficking, and climate change don’t stop at borders – international cooperation is a necessity. Because it works.
“Nearly 75 years ago, out of the ashes of World War II, countries came together to create the United Nations to mobilize multilateral action for peace and progress. In the ensuing decades, global action has wiped out smallpox, healed the hole in the ozone layer, protected millions of children from preventable diseases, and averted nuclear war. It has enshrined human rights into law, secured vital freedoms for women, created standards for everything from air travel to international mail, and launched global plans to end extreme poverty, expand opportunity, and fight climate change, known as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. In short: Multilateral action has advanced peace and improved billions of lives.
“This progress needs protection. Forces including conflict and fragility, the growing dangers from climate change, deep division and inequality in the world, and eroding trust in institutions threaten to undo the gains we’ve made and stand in the way of further progress. As the recent resurgence of measles has shown, we can’t stand still in our shared efforts to solve problems. Now is not the time to step back from collective action; it is the time to redouble our efforts to work together for peace and progress.
“As leaders from across sectors and across the world, we raise our voices in support of international engagement and cooperation. We commend the many leaders who continue to speak out for multilateralism, including the UN Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly. As it has since its creation, the UN Foundation will continue to support the UN, defend international cooperation, and engage new partners in shared efforts to address the urgent issues of the 21st century.
“The world faces heroic challenges. We can meet them if we work together.”
Members of the UN Foundation Board include: Founder and Chairman Ted Turner (United States); Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah (Jordan); Valerie Amos (United Kingdom); Fábio Barbosa (Brazil); Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway); Kathy Calvin (United States); Julio Frenk (Mexico); Mark Malloch-Brown (United Kingdom); N.R. Narayana Murthy (India); Hans Vestberg (Sweden); Timothy E. Wirth (United States); Yuan Ming (China); and Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh).
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation acts as a strategic partner to help the United Nations mobilize the ideas, people, and resources it needs to drive global progress and tackle urgent challenges. We focus on issues at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and engage citizens who seek action. Founded in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner, the UN Foundation works with philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual partners. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.