Addressing the General Assembly for the final time before leaving office, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday relayed some hard truths about what he saw as shortcomings leading to the “gradual loss of credibility of the United Nations” and called for Member States to generate the political will to reform and modernize the Organization.
“How is it then that we come back again and again, year after year, as a kind of ritual, to attest to the dismal lack of effectiveness for some and the embellishment attempt for others, for what is in fact our inability to fulfil the aims of the UN Charter?” he said, recalling he had posed a similar question some years ago.
“Why do the decisions of the Security Council remain in their overwhelming majority sheer certificates attesting violations? Why are international law and international agreements not implemented? Why do strategies and programmes, aiming at creating better conditions for people that are suffering, remain wishful thinking?” he added.
‘Bold steps’ towards modernization
While acknowledging that the UN was established at the end of the Second World War, President Anastasiades said that its lack of effectiveness and inflexibility stemmed from more than its age, and was due, to, among others, “the hegemonic tendencies by some states with the aim of creating new empires, at the expense of smaller States; the financial interests of some Member States; and “alliances based on common interests lead to tolerance towards states which violate international law, if the offender is under their sphere of influence.”
With all this in mind, and “in light of…the imminent danger after 77 years of a new World War, following the illegal invasion of Russia to Ukraine” he said “there is no choice but to take bold but necessary decisions to reform and modernize the Organization.
Such steps included, among others, identification of the causes that lead to unnecessary rivalries and conflicts and renewal of our commitment to a global order based on international law; and the political will and determination to proceed with the reform and modernization of the UN to a just, effective and efficient multilateral governance system.
A look back
“During my ten-year tenure I might not have been able to enjoy what the vast majority would have also wished: The necessary reforms of the international Organization, the resolution of international conflicts and tackling challenges that affect hundreds of millions of people, such as hunger, poverty and climate change,” the President said.
Further, he lamented: “I might have not been able to see my homeland reunited, with my Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot compatriots living in conditions of peace, prosperity and stability. However, I earnestly hope that during my lifetime, I will be able to witness a better and more stable future for humanity,” he concluded.