On the 24th of October, the United Nations celebrates the United Nations Day every year. The UN Day marks in 2020 its 75th anniversary.
On the occasion of this UN 75th anniversary, we should bear in mind both the achievements and shortcomings of the world organization, based on the provisions of its Charter. Today, as an Egyptian and Chair of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), I feel honored to recall the Egyptian contributions to the United Nation. Abdel-Hamid Badawy represented Egypt in the San Francisco Conference in 1945 and participated in the drafting of the UN Charter; Ambassador Mahmoud Azmy participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948; and Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the UN Secretary-General of the world organization from 1992 to 1996 and the author of the “Agenda for Peace” that was requested by the Security Council Summit in January and issued in June 1992.
Boutros-Ghali was also behind the organization of several world conferences, namely; the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, the Universal Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, the Cairo Conference on Population and Development in 1994, the Social Summit in Copenhagen in 1995 and the Beijing Summit on Women and Development in 1996. The outcomes of these world conferences contributed to the adoption by the General Assembly in the year 2000 of the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
I shall take this opportunity to highlight the discrepancy between the principles highlighted in Article 2 of the Charter and the practice in as far as the political and security matters including in particular the provisions of chapter V of the Charter, as far as the composition and voting rights of the permanent members of the Security Council; a subject matter which should be revisited and amended. I have to recall that the Charter has been amended in accordance with Article 108 in relation to Articles 23, 27, 61 and 109 of the UN Charter and adding Arabic to the languages of the organization.
Among the shortcomings of the multilateral system is the delay to agree on binding definitions of the terms “aggression” and “terrorism” which are among the sufferings and instability of mankind and obstacles to the maintenance of peace and security.
The organization of the UN 75th webinars should also address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the future of multilateralism, including the accessibility to basic health services and medicine.
Among the main shortcomings of multilateralism is the observance by member-States of the provisions of Article 17 para. 3 of the Charter. Such provisions should be strictly observed by the United Nations, specialized agencies, funds and programmes to ensure greater coordination among the UN system organizations in the implementation of the SDGs. Needless to state that the consequences of the Covid-19 reduced the opportunity of achieving the objective of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development since a greater coordination should take place among the UN system organizations to ensure its implementation.