UN unparalleled in ability to solve major global problems, Russian leader says

23 September 2009

The current global challenges – ranging from conflicts to climate change – have demonstrated the need for collective international action, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the General Assembly today, stressing that there is no alternative to the United Nations in bringing together the interests of the world’s countries.

“The creation of the UN has become one of the main achievements of the world community in the 20th century,” Mr. Medvedev said at the annual high-level debate.

Characterizing the financial turmoil as the “first wide-scale crisis of the globalization era,” he said that reforming the current system of global economic governance was one of many problems that cannot be solved without the UN, “a time-tested mechanism of harmonization of interests of different countries.”

That crisis has dealt a blow to efforts to alleviate poverty, with all countries having experienced a drop in output, the President noted. “A real threat of disruption of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] has manifested itself,” he said, referring to the eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

Multilateral disarmament must also move forward under the auspices of the UN, he said, in light of recent positive developments on that front, including the recent agreement between Russia and the United States to cut their arsenals.

To reach a common understanding on issues such as nuclear weapons proliferation, “we must engage all nations and influential international organizations” into negotiation processes,” according to Mr. Medvedev.

In his address to dozens of heads of State and government, the Russian leader said the use of force can only exacerbate regional conflicts.

“This was demonstrated by a reckless attempt of the Georgian authorities to resolve the problems in their relations with South Ossetia by military means” last August, he said, with the situation almost mushrooming into a full-scale war.

“I am certain that this is understood by everyone and in order to avoid repetition of such developments we need to have clear and effective mechanisms to implement the principle of indivisibility of security,” Mr. Medvedev said, stressing that ensuring global security is one of the most pressing topics faced by the world today.

“We have no right to forget that the UN possesses a unique international legitimacy,” he stated. “And we must preserve and strengthen this shared wealth of the peoples of the world.”

 

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