UNITED NATIONS, July 21 (Xinhua) -- UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir on Wednesday called for efforts to strive for justice and equality.
He made the appeal at a General Assembly meeting to observe Nelson Mandela International Day, which falls on July 18.
"Nelson Mandela's name is synonymous with the fight for justice and equality ... He had the vision to imagine a better world for all," said Bozkir.
This past year has been extraordinarily difficult as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken lives, put health systems under immense strain and created a socio-economic crisis like no other, he said.
"This crisis has hijacked our development trajectory, hitting the most vulnerable countries the hardest. Now, as we seek to recover, I hope that we will continue to stand together, as nations united. For no country can emerge from this pandemic unscathed," he said.
"We have pledged to leave no one behind, and we cannot renege upon that promise at this time of crisis. The most vulnerable must be placed at the fore of all our efforts. We must galvanize multilateral efforts to achieve fair and equitable access to vaccines for all. We must uphold the human rights of everyone, everywhere."
"We must uphold Mandela's legacy of racial reconciliation, especially as intolerance and racial discrimination are threatening to erode the progress which he himself fought so hard to advance. As an international community, we must take collective action. For we will not achieve the targets of the 2030 Agenda whilst racism and discrimination persist," he added.