24 October 2018, GENEVA - In commemoration of the 2018 United Nations Day, observed annually on 24 October, the Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue HE Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim said that the United Nations Day is an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of this unique organization that has gone beyond maintaining world peace, promoting human rights and social progress.
"As we commemorate today the 73rd anniversary of the ratification and adoption of the Charter of the UN, we reflect on the progress world society has made in realizing the vision of the founders of the UN to promote international peace and prosperity, strengthen international cooperation and develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and sovereign equality," underlined Dr. Al Qassim.
The UN is the only global institution that brings together all countries of the world. It has become a forum where political leaders and national governments meet to discuss matters related to international peace and security and to foster cooperation in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian issues of shared relevance to all countries.
In this context, the Geneva Centre’s Chairman added that “the strenuous efforts of the UN to mediate in protracted conflict, promote and advance human rights, respond to impunity and redress gross human rights violations, promote a sustainable future - as witnessed with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – have contributed to promote peace and enhance justice in every corner of the world,” underlined Dr. Al Qassim.
Although the Geneva Centre’s Chairman praised the efforts of the UN in bringing numerous issues of relevance to social and human development at the forefront of international decision-making, he appealed to decision-makers to avoid impeding the UN from fulfilling its obligations.
In this context, Dr. Al Qassim underlined that member States must “pursue policies which enable values to take precedence over politics in human rights discourse. Politicization of human rights and the selective application of relevant international law norms give rise to distrust and antagonism.
“The credibility of the UN must not be endangered. Decision-makers must commit themselves to enable the UN to become a vector for peace and sustainable development with the aim of uniting the endeavors of its member States to attain common goals and objectives as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” stated Dr. Al Qassim.
In conclusion, the Geneva Centre’s Chairman warned that the threats of extremism and the rise of political populism could replace multilateralism and consensus-building by unilateralism and protectionism that would undermine the long-term efficiency of the UN. In this connection, he appealed to “States and international decision-makers to resort to dialogue and alliance-building so as to identify a path that preserves the irreplaceable bounty of the planet which is in jeopardy. This calls for resolute decision-making by the UN.”