The Principles outlined in the United Nations Charter remain the foundations of international relations and global harmony at a time when conflicts have come more complex, new threats and challenges have emerged and impacts of instability are felt far beyond their source, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday.
“So, while the Charter’s Principles are as relevant as ever, we must continue to update its tools, we must use those tools with greater determination, and we must go back to the Charter’s roots for inspiration as we strive to deliver for ‘we the peoples’,” Mr. Guterres told a ministerial-level briefing of the Security Council on the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
Calling for rebalancing the approach to international peace and security, the UN chief underscored the need to help countries avert the outbreak of crises – both natural and man-made – as well as the importance of full commitment to all human rights and inclusion of women in peace efforts.
“Preventing crises is primarily the responsibility of Member States. Chapter VI of the Charter [on Pacific Settlement of Disputes] describes the tools that are available to them for that purpose – negotiation; enquiry; mediation; conciliation; arbitration; judicial settlement; and other peaceful measures and means,” stressed the Secretary-General, adding that the UN, including his own good offices, stand ready to help prevent, manage or resolve conflicts.
Mr. Guterres also highlighted the role of Chapters VII and VIII on action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression; and regional arrangements, respectively, and said that regional perspectives are critical in understanding challenges and regional ownership essential for sustainable solutions.
In that context, the UN chief noted the partnership between the Organization and the African Union on peace and security, and the alignment of the 2030 Agenda with Africa’s Agenda 2063.
“The Purposes and Principles of the Charter speak to today’s challenges as firmly as they spoke to people who had just lived through the most horrible war the world has ever seen,” said Mr. Guterres.