At the outset, I would like to reiterate our appreciation to UN-Women for the efforts throughout these challenging times. UN-Women has been a strong voice for addressing the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19 on the life of women and girls around the world, and the integration of a gender perspective in the response to and recovery from the pandemic.
The year that is ending has been marked by the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which adds new challenges and complicates others that already existed for the international community.
Most eloquently, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the unjust nature of the international order in which we live, which multiplies the privileges of rich countries and perpetuates the shortcomings of the poor.
As long as selectivity, punitive practices, double standards and political manipulation continue, particularly against countries of the South, the international community will not be able to make real progress regarding the promotion and protection of all human rights for all persons.