President Andrzej Duda appealed to the leaders in the general debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly to co-create “global solidarity”. He also encouraged people to stand up for human rights in Belarus and “everywhere in the world”.
This year’s 75th Session of the UN General Assembly is unique because, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is largely remote in nature. Debate participants could record their speeches. They were played in the meeting room. Andrzej Duda started his speech by referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, which – as he noted – not only changed the course of the annual debate, but also forced its participants to “reflect completely new and seek solutions to problems that the world has not struggled with for years scale “.
The president emphasized that Poland, after the two-year mandate in the Security Council ended last year, continued its involvement in priority areas, also as part of the three-year term of office in the Human Rights Council that began in January this year. As he emphasized, “compliance with international law, multilateral cooperation of states, international humanitarian law, protection of human rights and care for the natural environment are among the key issues for Poland.”
– I would like the adopted anniversary declaration commemorating the 75 years of the UN’s existence not only to confirm the commitments made by its founders. I would like this declaration to be an expression of the vitality of the ideas underlying our cooperation and a testimony of the political will to implement them. I would like it to be a declaration of “global solidarity” said the Polish president.
“I am appealing to co-create the idea of ’global solidarity'”
He stressed that Poland has intensified its presence in the United Nations system in the last five years. He indicated that our country held a two-year mandate in the Security Council, hosted the 2018 COP24 climate conference, and Polish soldiers returned to the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL mission.
Duda emphasized that the United Nations has a huge track record in ensuring peace, reducing conflicts and stabilizing the situation in many regions of the world. – We must not miss it. Striving to improve efficiency, reform structures and use experience, including the correction of unsuccessful solutions, cannot be the basis for undermining the values of the entire organization. The approach to its individual agendas also requires prudence and deep reflection, stressed the president.
He declared that Poland was ready for constructive discussion and active involvement, and at the same time defends the achievements of the United Nations, which are “undeniable and constitute the common political heritage of humanity”. – Building by destroying what already exists is not only costly but also very risky. It threatens to undermine hard-won principles and values, and to oust traditions and historical experiences – said Duda.
The President recalled that in August this year in Poland we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the creation of “Solidarity” – “a great social movement that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain, bringing freedom, sovereignty and independence to Poland, Poles and other Central and Eastern European States and Nations, and, in effect, to the collapse of the “evil empire” – that is, the Soviet Union.
– Thus, the period of the Cold War is over. Without a shadow of a doubt, the world would look completely different today if it were not for “Solidarity” – stated Duda. – That is why today, 40 years after the creation of Solidarity in Poland and on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, I want to appeal to all heads of state, heads of government and distinguished delegates to co-create the idea of ”global solidarity” – said the president.
“Fighting the pandemic requires cooperation and solidarity”
According to the president, three of these crises are particularly tangible and painful. The first, said Duda, is the socio-health crisis resulting from the pandemic. – The development of events over the last six months has surprised us all. Each country had to face completely new challenges. They have not only health effects, but also wider social and economic effects. Fighting the pandemic requires intensified cooperation and solidarity, he emphasized.
The second crisis, said the president, is “a crisis in the quality of relations between states.” – Unfortunately, they more and more often take the form of confrontation, rivalry and even imperial domination – he said. According to Duda, “the fact that we have managed to avoid another global armed conflict over the past 75 years should certainly be counted among the successes of the international community”
– It is very important that the fight, inter alia, with the effects of the pandemic, does not lead to the deepening of economic divisions of states and societies. Let it not take the form of ruthless economic competition and lead to enrichment of the richer at the expense of the poorer. This fight cannot reduce the level of our freedom, and the availability of medical solutions cannot depend on the size of the wallet, said Andrzej Duda.
– At the same time, it is difficult to say that these were the years of global security and global peace. The world has been shaken and still shaken by various types of aggression: from terrorist acts to numerous regional conflicts, many of which have turned into so-called frozen conflicts, extremely difficult to solve – said Duda. He stressed that “the policy of force and aggression takes place not only in peripheral areas.” It is also applied in the region of the world in which my country is located, Poland, in our immediate vicinity, “said Duda.
President calls for “fair and effective distribution of funds”
The third crisis, according to the president, results from the lack of adequate instruments for the efficient transformation of economies so that they maintain a constant and stable level of economic growth while taking care of the quality of the natural environment. – Undoubtedly, this is one of the most important challenges facing humanity today and in the near future – assessed the president.
He expressed his belief that these crises would remain unresolved if there was no solidarity. He recalled that Poland, in the name of solidarity, sent a number of military medical missions in the most difficult moments of the epidemic, including to Italy and the United States.
He recalled that counteracting the economic dimension of the epidemic was one of the topics of a letter he wrote to European leaders at the end of April, requesting, inter alia, that when implementing economic rescue measures, governments should “take care not only of high GDP growth, but also of sustainable development. countries in other dimensions, including in terms of fair and effective distribution of funds among those in need. “
As he added, he also appealed to European leaders to jointly provide a new impulse to stimulate production in Europe. – If we want to be a big, innovative “production workshop” again, we have to work together – he said. He added that from the point of view of our economic subjectivity, it is of strategic importance.
“Poland does not accept the fact that chemical weapons are still in use”
The president stated that one of Poland’s priorities was the respect of international law. – Consequently, in our activities at the UN forum, we emphasize the fundamental role of international law in maintaining the global security architecture. Cooperation of states in the event of violation of fundamental norms of international law, for example in the case of the Russian Federation aggression against Georgia or Ukraine, remains indispensable, said Duda.
As he said, “another disturbing phenomenon is the violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Research, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, which has occurred several times in recent years”. He stressed that “Poland did not accept and does not accept the fact that chemical weapons are still in use”.
– Only by enforcing the basic principles and norms of international law, included, inter alia, in the Declaration of Principles of International Law, adopted by the General Assembly half a century ago, will we be able to build a lasting peace and a safe world of equal states and free nations without zones of influence, said the President. – The violation of the convention in 2018 coincided with a violation of the fundamental principle of international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity – he added.
As he emphasized, “leaving the cases of violations of international law, including interference with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, without a response from the international community will be a factor mobilizing each time to repeat such negative behavior”. “Violating the norms of international law must have consequences, and the individuals responsible must be held accountable,” said Duda.
“Belarusians have the right to sovereignly shape their political future”
As he said, Poland also consistently emphasizes the importance of human rights and international humanitarian law. – Disseminating the role of international humanitarian law remains one of the priorities of Polish foreign policy in recent years. Therefore, through the UN Human Rights Council, in which Poland currently holds a three-year mandate, I appealed to the international community to pay attention to human rights abuses in Belarus. I am glad that the Council has held a meeting on this matter – said Duda.
– In the name of solidarity, we should all speak with one voice and demand respect for fundamental human rights, both in Belarus and other places in the world. There can be no consent to the repression of political opponents, mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators, and the use of violence or torture against them in any country, said the Polish president.
He stressed that “Belarusians, like every free nation, have the right to sovereignly shape their political future, without external interference, without domination of other capitals, with the right to freely participate in international cooperation in accordance with their national interest.”
“We need a climate-friendly transformation”
According to the Polish leader, the fourth of the contemporary crises “is an insufficient balance of environmental changes while maintaining the path of economic development.” – We strongly believe in the need to create a more resilient, inclusive and environmentally friendly economy – assured Duda.
He emphasized that Poland, as a three-time host of UN climate conferences: COP14 in Poznań in 2008, COP19 in Warsaw in 2013 and COP24 in Katowice in 2018, committed itself to fighting environmental changes.
– At the same time, we are of the opinion that our actions must be safe for citizens, economies and countries on the way to achieving the assumed goals. We need a climate-friendly transformation that will take place in a fair and balanced manner, bearing in mind national conditions, said the president.
Main photo source: Rick Bajornas / PAP / EPA