Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
Acting Deputy Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
January 22, 2020
Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this important briefing today.
Mr. Secretary-General, thank you for clearly outlining your top priorities and challenges we face for 2020, and for your leadership and drive to ensure the United Nations not only remains relevant, but also adds value and offers solutions to these challenges.
We commend you for ushering the Organization into its second year of reform implementation. We expect to be able to assess the tangible and measurable results of the reforms, especially as they mature in their redefined roles and embrace new ways of working.
We recognize a change in culture is a difficult undertaking, yet it is necessary for the reform is to achieve its goals. We also appreciate your dedication to gender parity and in particular at senior levels.
Mr. Secretary General, we reflect upon the state of the world today, and thank you for your comments and your commitment to strengthen human rights which are under attack around the world and disappointingly, even within the UN system. Over time, some have sought to roll back the UN’s mandates and core work to uphold international human rights norms and standards, and to reduce the access of civil society to the UN. The role of the United Nations, as you well know, is to bring people together in an effort to work towards the common good, not to shut them out or stifle the voices of those who play such an important role in promoting and defending the ideals upon which the UN was created.
And in this, the 75th year of the UN, we call upon you and your team to continue to lead the way in strengthening the human rights focus of the UN, both in public messaging and in your oversight of the system’s efforts in this regard. Rule of law and the promotion and protection of human rights are fundamental to the achievement of the SDGs and our efforts to leave no one behind. So in this regard, Mr. Secretary General, could you please share some of your human rights priorities for the coming year with respect to fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? And additionally, on the humanitarian front, humanitarian aid workers continue to come under attack across the world. We would like to know, how can the UN lead efforts to protect frontline aid workers and ensure respect for humanitarian principles?
In closing, Mr. Secretary General, I would like to close by highlighting that we are also very conscious of the UN’s funding situation and will continue to work closely with you and your team given the disparities in our fiscal years and other requirements. Thank you and we will continue to hold the UN accountable for results, including the broader reform efforts.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General.