At the 76th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), in New York, the head of state argued that "the pandemic, the economic and social crisis emerging from it, the recent developments in Afghanistan " demonstrate that "the governance of a multipolar world requires commitment and concertation among nations."
"Whenever we hesitate about multilateralism, whenever we question international law and international organizations, we fail. We have seen it in the response to the pandemic, in the reaction to emerging crises, in the promotion of peace and security", reinforced Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa , considering that this is evidence.
With regard to Portuguese positions, the President of the Republic stated that "Portugal has always been, will always be on the side of consensuses that resolve crises", committed to "guaranteeing vaccines as a global public good", committed to "relieving the external debt of the most vulnerable countries" and with "the recognition of the right to a healthy environment".
According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, it is necessary to build "an effective multilateralism" against "isolationism, protectionism, unilateralism, intolerance, populism and xenophobia", which "inevitably lead to dead ends".
"Twenty years after 9/11, six years after the Paris Agreement, a year and a half after the start of the pandemic, we need more than ever effective multilateralism. Not in speeches, in actions, there is no longer any time for lose," he appealed.
As he had anticipated his arrival in the United States of America, on Saturday, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also declared Portugal's support for the reform of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international treaty on pandemics, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Global Compact on Migration.
The head of state stressed that "Portugal is, like the European Union, on the side of multilateralism, of the United Nations, of the international order based on rules, of human rights" and "does not change its course".
The head of state insisted on the message, which he has reiterated over the past few days, that "no power, however powerful, is able to face alone or with some partners only climate change, pandemics, economic and social crises, terrorism , disinformation, and even promote orderly and safe population movements, protection of the most vulnerable and human rights" in this "multipolar world".
"It's not just in the climate that there is no planet B, it's in everything. Either all of us around the world are aware of this, or rulers will be tempted to make speeches, on the one hand, to promise multilateralism and forget about it , putting it off, wasting time," he said.
However, he added that "multilateralism, in the face of challenges that transcend borders and require joint responses, must be based on international law, on the values of the [United Nations] Charter and on the strengthening of international organizations, starting with the United Nations and its agencies specialized".
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was the seventh head of state to speak today at the opening of the annual general debate between heads of state and government of the 193 member states of the United Nations (UN) and made a ten-minute speech, in Portuguese.
Soon after, he spoke to journalists about his speech, which he described as "short, incisive, with direct sentences, so that countries all over the world would notice, of all cultures" and declared: "Come from there whoever you want to resolve the world's problems. Those who don't want to, don't complain after the world's problems get worse."
Asked about the intervention that the US President made at the United Nations, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa considered that Joe Biden opted for the "classic speech" that many heads of state usually make, with "a very exhaustive list" of themes, which later "they require a very developed work of analysis".
In his view, Biden sought to "make a balance" between "the role they should play in the world and, at the same time, the reaction they have from public opinion."