The U.N. General Assembly Opens in New York


The 72nd United Nations General Assembly,UNGA has opened in New York, United States, but the general debate will commence on the 19th of this month, with focus on the Theme, ‘Focussing on People: Striving for Peace and a decent Life for All on a sustainable Planet’.

The President of the 72nd session of the UNGA, Slovakian Foreign Minister, Miroslav Lajcak, had prior to the meeting of the assembly released documents relating to its agenda items on Education, Environmental Conventions, and Social Development.

Other areas are trade, gender and human development, globalization and the 2030 agenda, technology and innovation as well as water and sanitation.

Mr. Lajcak identified the following six overarching priorities for his tenure following his election in March, 2017: making a difference in the lives of the ordinary people; prevention and mediation for sustaining peace; migration; political momentum for the Sustainable Development Goals,SDGs and climate; human rights and equality, including equal opportunities for genders; and quality of events organized by the presidency.

Speaking ahead of the meeting of the World leaders, the UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, {Prime Minister of Portugal 1995-2002} said the UN must be an instrument for a surge in diplomacy for peace. The UN scribe who was the former High Commissioner For Refugees, added that he was working with the international community to make parties to conflict see see that “nobody is winning in today’s devastating wars”.

The leaders of the member countries and some other internationally recognized bodies and organizations will use the occasion of the UNGA to canvass for issues that are of utmost importance to their nations and/or institutions.

President Muhammadu Buhari who is leading a powerful Nigeria delegation to the assembly will use the opportunity of the 72nd session to build new relationships and solicit support for the country on the war on terror among other vexing issues.

Briefing newsmen earlier in the week, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the fight against terrorism, human rights protection, and repatriation of illicit financial assets to countries of origin, among other global issues, would top Nigeria’s agenda at the UN.

 He pointed out that the Federal Government was facing challenges of repatriating stolen funds stashed in foreign countries.

“The country would push to actualize the UN resolution on ‘Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows,’ so that all the countries of the world would be fully engaged in repatriating stolen funds to countries of origin.

“For Nigeria, it is a developmental issue — it impacts directly on the developmental trajectory of Nigeria and other developing countries that resources that we need to promote development in the country are being siphoned out of the system and this has negative impact on the developmental challenges that we face.”

He added that Nigeria would renew calls for international support for the release of the remaining Chibok girls.

The United States of America on its own will be making a case for serious sanctions against North Korea whose missile tests in recent times have put the world in serious fear about the probable emergence of another world war.

Issues of terrorism, the prolonged civil war in Syria, global warming, migration, hunger and poverty especially in third world countries, etc will take center stage at the annual conference. There will also be bilateral and multi lateral meetings among the participating heads of state and governments on the sideline of the UN General Assembly.

The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, the only one in which all member states have equal representation, one nation, one vote.

All 193 member states are represented in this unique forum to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the UN charter, such as development, peace, and security, international law, etc.

Source: Ani


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