Press Release

International Conference on Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The World is One Family)

25 October 2023

Remarks by Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th session of the UNGA

I would like to thank the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, and in particular Her Excellency Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, my dear friend, for inviting me to today’s event.

And let me commend your choice of the theme as well– which is about the concept of one world, one family – as it aligns well with the principles of solidarity and unity which were also the highlight in my remarks to world leaders during the High-Level Week.

Little did I know, just weeks ago, that the challenges we face would become even more striking in the weeks to follow.

I have spoken clearly in condemning the escalation of violence in the Middle East, and the associated alarming deaths of innocent civilians on both sides.

Clearly, the deteriorating security situation runs contrary – in any shape and form – to the concept of one world, one family; and indeed, to the cherished principles of unity and solidarity.

Where we need more peace, we are getting less.

And around the world, people are suffering and increasingly weary of conflict, strife, and vulnerability.

From the impact of conflicts to the climate emergency; from pandemics to supply chain disruptions, our era is becoming more volatile by the hour.

And, as always, it is the weak and the vulnerable who are most impacted.

It is in times like these – of great alarm and distress – that we often find it within ourselves to come together, whether out of the need for solidarity or for solace, or both.

It is entirely human to seek out community for support. I therefore deeply appreciate the leadership of India in reminding us of this important truth.

India’s recent G20 Presidency, centred around the theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, marked a historic milestone and echoed the message of One Earth, One Family, One Future.

It was under this theme that India has reminded us of the one, very singular, world that we call home – and of our responsibility – nay, of the necessity – to protect it.

As a citizen of a Small Island Developing State myself, I can speak at length about the existential threat posed by climate change. But it is not simply my challenge alone nor my solo threat – it a common challenge to all of humanity.

This is the message that India is sending us today. Big or small, Indian or Pacific, North or South, we are all facing the reality of multiple existential threats together – and only together will we persevere. And maybe preserve.

Before I close, allow me to reiterate that, just like every family has its own support system, we need to build a global support system, together.

As One Family, we must work on empowering each other – whether through women-led development, through adopting technology to bridge the digital divide, or through holistic healthcare systems.

We must share our experiences, our technologies, our capacities and resources.

We must act as one family, working together for the sake of all.

Thank you very much.


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