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Fréchette highlights importance of collective response to global challenges

Fréchette highlights importance of collective response to global challenges

With most of the challenges faced by the world related in one way or another to globalization, the international community faces the fundamental choice of collective or individual action in how it deals with those issues, the Deputy United Nations Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, said today in Poland, where she is kicking off a weeklong visit to Europe.

In an address to the Diplomatic Academy in Warsaw, the Deputy Secretary-General highlighted some of the challenges faced by the international community, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, the crimes of genocide and other violations of human rights, migration and poverty.

"On balance, I still believe that globalization offers more opportunities than dangers. But what is clear is that it presents us with a massive agenda of challenges, and that our response to most of them has so far fallen well short of what is needed," she said.

"The fundamental choice that faces us, is whether we address these challenges together, as a world community, taking collective decisions in common institutions, or whether countries attempt to tackle them each in its own way, as separate nation states - or in some cases as regional groups, like the European Union."

In making the case for multilateralism, Ms. Fréchette stressed the need to ensure that it actually delivers. "We must recognize that, if some States do seem impatient with it today or inclined to go their own way, that is because too often it is not responding adequately to the challenges," she said.

The Deputy Secretary-General also underscored the importance of recognizing - and speaking about - the many ways in which multilateralism has made the world a safer and better place for states and peoples alike. "We need to advance the understanding of the many instances today in which the global interest is the national interest; how the individual interests of states are often more effectively pursued in concert with others; and how a rule-based international order will provide each member with greater security and greater prosperity," she said.