“No period in modern history has been more peaceful or prosperous than the one since the United Nations was created. We avoided armed conflict between nuclear powers. We helped millions of people emerge from poverty. We advanced human rights as never before,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a high-level UN Security Council meeting on May 7.
That’s because after the Second World War, the community of nations turned away from old ideas predicated on the belief that competition led to collision, that the rise of a nation necessitated the fall of others, and that ‘might made right.’
And in the aftermath of the cataclysm of the war, and under the auspices of the newly-formed UN, “nations united in choosing a different path,” said Secretary of State Blinken.
“We adopted a set of principles to prevent conflict and alleviate human suffering; to recognize and defend human rights; to foster an ongoing dialogue to uphold and improve a system aimed at benefiting all people.”
But despite the unprecedented achievements of this bold endeavor, it’s in serious jeopardy from rising nationalism, repression, rivalries among countries and intensifying attacks against the rules-based order.
Nonetheless, if we want to resolve the great global challenges that lie ahead, multilateral cooperation is not only possible, it is imperative, said Secretary of State Blinken. “Multilateralism is still our best tool for tackling big global challenges.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it across the planet, with millions of deaths and devastating impacts on economies, health, education, social progress.
The climate crisis is another massive threat. If we don’t move swiftly to cut emissions, the results will be catastrophic.”
“We built the multilateral system in part to solve big, complex problems like these, where the fates of people around the world are tied together and where no single country – no matter how powerful – can address the challenges alone.”
“That’s why the United States will work through multilateral institutions to stop COVID-19 and tackle the climate crisis, and we will abide by the core principles of the international order as we do.”
“The stakes are too high,” said Secretary Blinken,
“to let differences stand in the way of our cooperation.”