The United Nations General Assembly today opened its 71st session, with an emphasis on ensuring that implementation of the new global development goals, adopted by its 193 Member States last year, is well underway, according to the United Nations press center.
”The 70th Session launched the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], and for integrity`s sake the 71st must be the year we witness the wheels turning on the implementation of all 17 SDGs,” the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, said as he opened the new session and took an oath of office.
In the area of peace and security, the Assembly President said the 71st session must build on the review of the Global Counter-Terrorism strategy, including the Secretary-General`s Plan of Action on Violent Extremism, and act on improving the UN architecture to face these threats.
The session must also look to take forward implementation of the ambitious `sustaining peace` agenda, agreed by the General Assembly and Security Council earlier this year, he added, noting that this is an opportunity to bring new coherence and coordination to the UN`s work across peace and security, development, and human rights.
In his remarks, the new General Assembly president also highlighted the issue of UN Security Council reform. ”The membership is unanimous in agreeing that reform is necessary to align the Security Council with the realities of the 21st Century,” he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his address noted that on 1 January 2017, the 71st session of the Assembly will welcome his successor, the ninth UN Secretary-General.
On September 20, the general debate will begin. By tradition, the first to address the General Assembly will be the leaders of Brazil and the United States. Before the start of the general debate, the UN Secretary-General will submit his annual report on the Organization`s work.
According to the preliminary list of speakers, in the first half of the first day of the general debate, after U.S. President Barack Obama, the presidents of Chad and France will be speaking, as well as heads of Guyana, Qatar, Argentina, Slovakia, Malawi, Jordan, Switzerland, and Peru. On the same day, the address of the British prime minister is scheduled as well.
The first one to speak in the afternoon on September 20 will be the president of Tajikistan. Speech by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is scheduled for the first half of the day on September 21.