Despite Profound Global Challenges, Now Is Not Time for Pessimism, It ‘Is a Moment for Action’, Says Deputy-Secretary as New General Assembly Session Opens

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General, at the opening of the seventy-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York today:

Mr. President of the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly, Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago — congratulations.

We face a world of deep challenge and division that is testing the United Nations.  Mr. President, the skills, experience, knowledge and wisdom you bring will be essential as we continue seeking avenues for multilateral cooperation.

We look forward to working with you to carry forward the theme of your presidency — peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability — in the year ahead.  And once again I would like to thank the outgoing President — Csaba Kőrösi — for his sterling leadership of the Assembly over the last year.

Despite profound global challenges, this is not a moment for pessimism.

This is a moment for action.

Action for peace and for human rights.

Action to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals and tackle the existential threat of climate change.

Action to create productive jobs and expand economic opportunity, especially for women and young people.

Action to ensure that rapid evolutions in technology like artificial intelligence are a help, and not a harm, to humanity.

Action to build a world of hope and a promise for all that leaves no one behind.

As we begin this seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly, let us draw strength from the mission and the values of the Charter of the United Nations.

More than any room on Earth, the General Assembly represents our common humanity and our shared commitment for peace, sustainable development and human rights.

Let’s forge the solutions that all people expect and make progress towards a better and a more peaceful and prosperous future, and a healthier planet.

Mr. President, you can count on our full support as you carry out this important work in the coming year.

For information media. Not an official record.