UN serves as forum for multilateral approaches to global ills, Fréchette says
Given all the current problems facing the world today, the logic of the United Nations system is to serve as a forum through which multilateral approaches can be initiated, developed and brought to fruition, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said in a message delivered at McGill University in Montreal.
“In the last ten years or so, the world has been learning how to better address the challenges we face,” Ms. Fréchette said in a keynote address Thursday evening to the Model United Nations Assembly.
“Nations working together can make a difference,” she added. “Nations upholding the rule of law can advance the cause of a fairer world. Nations that solve one problem together develop trust – in each other, and in multilateral institutions and frameworks – that can, in turn, solve others.”
The Deputy Secretary-General encouraged the participants to not let their interest in important issues fade once the Assembly concludes. “All too often, we have seen world conferences end with great fanfare around agreement on a plan of action, only to find, months later, little actual follow-up taking place,” she said. “Nowhere has this tendency been felt more painfully than in Africa. Short attention spans are the enemy of everything the United Nations is trying to do.”
Ms. Fréchette also stressed the need for sacrifice, or acceptance of certain constraints, on personal actions in the battle to defeat such worldwide problems as global warming and poverty. “Your generation can and must improve on what mine has done,” she said. “Let that work start today.”