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UN must act to prevent crises before they occur: Former General Assembly head

The UN must engage in preventive diplomacy to stop a crisis before it occurs, the organization’s 75th General Assembly president said on Monday.

“We must give more political ability to the UN. The balance between the UN General Assembly and the Security Council must be established in a proper way,” said Volkan Bozkir at the 12th Bosphorus Summit in Istanbul.

The UN must act before a problem occurs, he said, adding that Afghanistan was the most recent example of such a problem that required prior action, as “we knew the problem was coming.”

Military measures would not meet the international body’s needs alone, rather it must have a mechanism to stop a crisis before it occurs, he said.

World facing several challenges

According to Bozkir, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many issues across the world, besides the many economic and health-related difficulties it created.

“I think it was an alarm for us. We were not prepared for these kinds of scenarios. We were very successful in reaching the vaccine, but the distribution of the vaccine is a catastrophe,” he said.

He also stressed that the problem of hunger must be dealt with more urgently.

“Hunger is going to be with us in the coming months, if not years. If we look at Afghanistan and Yemen, if we look at Africa, I think we must urgently take steps to at least find a way to help these people who do not have their own way of handling this crisis.”

He also touched upon the importance of digital connectivity.

“We can’t talk about education if we don’t have digital connectivity. In the US alone, over 40 million people do not have a connection to Wi-Fi,” he said.

“What to talk about digital connectivity in the African countries, where 800 million people do not have access to electricity,” added the former General Assembly head.

The 12th Bosphorus Summit, an annual international economic event, kicked off in Turkey’s commercial hub Istanbul on Monday.

The two-day event, organized by the International Cooperation Platform (ICP), is being held under the theme, Challenges for a Better World, with top officials, experts, and academics expected to attend.

The summit will address various topics including foreign economic relations, Islamic finance, innovation, and sustainability in aviation.

Cyber security, agriculture, green energy, climate change, and displaced people will also be discussed.

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