President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are concerned that the weakening of International collaboration will leave the world exposed to pressures that will endanger its stability.
While making a case for stronger global solidarity, the two heads of state sustained calls for more openness and inclusion as a means to overcoming challenges currently facing humanity such as terrorism, pandemics, and climate change.
They said this is especially the case given that countries are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent, and their futures closely intertwined.
They separately conveyed this massage early in the week in recorded video statements during the virtual General Debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
President Kenyatta said the world can overcome complex challenges presently confronting it such as the Covid-19 health crisis and climate change through mutual international effort.
“If we remain anchored in multilateralism and with a unity of purpose…if we remain rooted in a rule-based international system and act innovatively and selflessly, we can transcend our challenges and secure lasting peace and prosperity for all,” he said.
According to President Kenyatta, effective multilateral action within a rule-based international system is key to overcoming global challenges including securing lasting peace and prosperity.
These sentiments resonated well with those of President Xi who urged nations to uphold multilateralism, stressing the need for the world to acknowledge and practice a global governance concept based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits.
“The fate of the world should be in the hands of all; international rulebook written by all; global affairs negotiated by all; and dividends of development shared by all, instead of allowing individual countries to reign supreme.” The Chinese leader said
The two leaders cited the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a model for multilateral action that captures the global aspirations of ending poverty and ensuring prosperity for all.
Drawing attention to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they also called for the strengthening of global readiness to deal with increasing health crises, noting that the pandemic should give fresh impetus to collective efforts to boost international cooperation.
“Infections keep mounting and deaths continue to spike. The once-in-a-century global public health crisis has once again highlighted the fact that the human race belongs to a community with a shared future, and only by joining hands can all countries steer themselves out of the plight.” The Chinese President remarked
Kenyatta supports this view. In his message, the Kenyan president argued that “the Covid-19 pandemic and other contemporary challenges including climate and biodiversity crisis, social as well as economic inequalities, the crisis of legitimacy and governance as well as the vulnerabilities of our digital world have redefined the imperative for multilateral action.”
But even after addressing the acute phase of Covid-19, they said the world must remain collectively committed to global recovery.
At the same time, Xi and Kenyatta underscored the need for nations to reaffirm commitment to the United Nations saying it is the most universal, representative, and authoritative international organization.
President Xi particularly noted that the UN is the most important multilateral arena to promote peace and address regional and global issues.
“To uphold multilateralism, the world should safeguard the authority of the United Nations. Over the past 75 years, the positive role of the UN has been too obvious to deny, leaving profound inspirations as well as valuable legacies to human society.” He said
Through the intergovernmental organization, Xi pointed out that countries all over the world have fostered closer ties and deeper cooperation and the global economic and social development has made a giant leap forward.
“Fixing global problems require global solutions. And there is no better venue than the United Nations for the international community to search for those solutions.” The Chinese leader said
He said UN specialized agencies such as the World Health Organization play an irreplaceable role and as such the world should guard against and reject any unilateral move that could weaken them.