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Dennis Francis (General Assembly President) at…

Dennis Francis (General Assembly President) at the 2024 Commemorative Event on the Occasion of the World Day of Social Justice

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Remarks by Dennis Francis, President of the 78th session of the General Assembly, at the 2024 Commemorative Event on the Occasion of the World Day of Social Justice "Global Coalition for Social Justice: Bridging Gaps, Building Alliances".
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"Your Excellency, Paula Narvaez, President of the Economic and Social Council,

Director General of the International Labour Organization, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo,

Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations,

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I join you this afternoon in commemorating the World Day of Social Justice.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic and the International Labour Organization (ILO) for organizing this event.

I also commend the Permanent Missions of Belgium and Morocco for their tireless efforts, as Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends for Decent Work.

Our global landscape is fraught with crises – from geopolitical turmoil to economic unpredictability – all of which exacerbate structural inequalities and threaten millions of people with poverty, insecurity, and the absence of social support.

According to the ILO, as of 2023, 214 million workers live in extreme poverty, while alongside, almost double that number live in poverty.

We must take bold, purposeful steps to redress this unpalatable situation.

We must strengthen domestic economies by implementing initiatives aimed at boosting productivity increases and elevating living standards.

And we must leverage international cooperation to foster regional productivity and harness the power of multilateral development funds.

It is also absolutely imperative that we expedite support to the most vulnerable economies, ensuring that no country is left behind.


As part of my effort as President to fervently promote greater social justice, I will organize the first-ever General Assembly Sustainability Week this coming April.

I look forward to Member States engagement – at the highest possible level of representation – together with all relevant stakeholders, in key discussions on sustainability in the infrastructure connectivity, energy, transport, and tourism sectors.

That same week, I will also convene a signature event on debt sustainability – a critical conversation, essential to driving progress towards the achievement of the SDGs, particularly for developing countries.

As Member States negotiate key outcomes for the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States, the Third United Nations Conference on the Landlocked Developing Countries, and the Summit of the Future, as well as prepare for the 2025 World Social Summit, it is vital that we live up to the pledge of the Copenhagen Declaration.

We must assign the highest order of priority to the eradication of poverty, the attainment of decent work and full employment, and the pursuit of social justice as paramount objectives of sustainable development.

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

In our quest to achieve global social justice, it is essential that we take account of the existing fault lines, bridge divides and forge strategic alliances.

Rallying behind the Global Coalition for Social Justice, we can fulfil the promise of empowering our societies and economies to function more cohesively and effectively.

Such concerted effort will unlock the inherent potential of our nations and peoples – paving the way for sustained progress in reducing poverty and closing the inequality gap.

Furthermore, it will positively contribute to the achievement of peace, progress, prosperity, and sustainability for all.

Together, let us strive for a more equitable, more just world – where every individual has an equal opportunity, not only to thrive but to contribute to the collective well-being of humanity.

I thank you".

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