Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, and President-elect of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, outlined his vision and his priorities for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly while delivering the 38th Sapru House Lecture at the Indian Council of World Affairs, on the topic “Presidency of Hope: 76th UNGA - COVID pandemic and need for reformed multilateralism”, today.

Minister Shahid spoke in detail about his five “rays of hope”: Recovering from COVID19, Rebuilding Sustainably, Responding to the Needs of the Planet, Respecting the Rights of All, and Reforming the United Nations. These areas, he noted, spoke to the most pressing challenges of the time.

He also spoke on the need for a forward-looking agenda – a “Presidency of Hope”. He noted that this was a world in despair, suffering from devastation, with the COVID19 pandemic still raging on. He also noted that against this bleakness, it is hoped that will drive people forward, and what will make people stand up and get moving again.

Minister Shahid also highlighted the importance of multilateralism in general, and the United Nations in particular, in building a more resilient, stronger world. He noted that the United Nations’ strength lies in its ability to shape norms, change discourse, and forge consensus. He also highlighted the convening power of the United Nations. In this, Minister Shahid noted, lies the opportunity for the United Nations to increase its effectiveness and efficiency, in delivering for people, for the planet, and for prosperity.

The 38th Sapru House Lecture was moderated by Former Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Ambassador Manjeev Puri. Minister Shahid was introduced by the Director-General of the Indian Council for World Affairs Dr. T C A Raghavan.