Thank you, Ambassador Magzhan Ilyassov, both to you and your team for continuing this wonderful tradition.
And allow me to offer my sincere congratulations to the newly elected members. It is an honour to stand here today and welcome you as Council colleagues. We very much look forward to working with you, and I wish you the utmost success during your term.
Certainly, as I stood in your place one year ago, I don’t think any of us would have imagined that for a second year in a row, this ceremony would again need to be conducted in accordance with strict health protocols to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic – which is, yet again, cresting across the world.
The pressure that the virus continues to exert on global health, equality, and socioeconomic development undoubtedly poses a long-term threat to international peace and stability. And certainly underscores the interconnected nature of our globalised world.
Regrettably, the pandemic is not the only challenge facing us; we find ourselves at the beginning of 2022 at a volatile moment of increasing violence and geopolitical tension worldwide. The international community is confronted with numerous conflicts, both new and protracted, which demand a robust Council response – one based on a renewed commitment to multilateralism, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and respect for human rights, as stipulated by the UN Charter.
And, it is an honour to stand here today as this Council’s President, for the first and only time in our Council term. We take up this responsibility with dedication and humility, committed to leading the Council toward action on the many pressing issues facing us.
As members of the Security Council, we deliver frequent statements. It is customary to mark them with the phrase: “check against delivery.” As we enter this New Year it is imperative that we not only check our statements against delivery but also the Council against delivery of its own mandate. We must be measured, not against our words, but our actions.
It is my hope that the Council – with the aid and support of its new members – will act decisively this year to indeed deliver on its mandate to uphold international peace and security.