At UN General Assembly Session, Global South Leaders Call For Urgent Reforms in Multilateral Institutions

Orinoco Tribune, September 21, 2023 —

Reforms in multilateral institutions, both political and financial, must reflect the need of the changing world which is multipolar and against hegemonic practices, leaders from the Global South said at the UN General Assembly said.

On the first day of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, September 19, countries from the Global South raised the demand for urgent reforms in multilateral institutions, both political and economic, for a just and democratic world order.

The session was addressed by UN General Assembly chair Dennis Francis, UN Secretary General António Guterres, and leaders of various countries including Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, among others.

Each of these leaders highlighted the growing geopolitical tensions in the world and the failure of multilateral institutions to resolve them. They also questioned the role of multilateral forums in helping the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and finding solutions to climate change issues and demanded immediate reforms.

The theme of the current session is “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.”

Dennis Francis, presiding over the day’s proceedings, asked for a common approach to fight war, climate change, debt, the energy and food crisis, poverty and famine.

UN Secretary General António Guterres called for the modernization of the multilateral system, noting that “it is high time to renew multilateral institutions based on 21st century economic and political realities, rooted in inequality solidarity and universality and anchored in the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.”

Multilateralism a positive development
Guterres also noted that the present multilateral systems, including the financial institutions, have failed to keep pace with the changing world order. He said that the world is moving towards multilateralism, which is a positive development and will bring new opportunities for justice and balance in international relations. He emphasized that strong and effective multilateral institutions will be necessary in a multipolar world to achieve peace.

Ebrahim Raisi also supported Guterres’ statements and asserted that “the global landscape is undergoing a paradigm shift towards an emerging international order, a trajectory that is not reversible.” He emphasized the need for regional peace and the end of all kinds of external meddling in regional affairs.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa underlined how the recently held BRICS summit in Johannesburg had “affirmed the voice that the UN Security Council should be reformed and ensure that those nations that are not represented must be represented.”

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who is also the chair of the G77+China bloc, presented the views of the grouping, saying that “the G77 calls for rights and will continue to demand a profound transformation of the current international financial architecture because it is deeply unjust, anachronistic and dysfunctional.” He reasoned that this dysfunctionality is “because it was designed to profit with the reserves of the south to perpetuate a system of domination that increases underdevelopment and replicates a pattern of modern colonialism.”

Díaz-Canel also criticized the use of unilateral and unjustified economic blockades by countries such as the US against countries including Cuba and others in the Global South. He noted how this harms global development and peace and demanded the end of such practices.

Lula Da Silva said that the failure of the UNSC to effectively intervene to resolve conflicts “is the specific result of actions from its permanent members who wage unauthorized wars or regime change.” He added that the UNSC’s “paralysis is the most eloquent proof of the urgent need to reform it, which will bring it greater representation and efficacy.”

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