NEW YORK, Tuesday, 16 September, 2014 – The 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly opened Tuesday with the international community’s clarion commitment to peace, poverty reduction, sustainable development, women empower and fight against terrorism.
World leaders will convene at UN Headquarters in New York next week for the once-a-year General Debate, which will be preceded by three high-level meetings – the Climate Summit, International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.
According to the provisional list of speakers, about 140 plus heads of state and government are expected to deliver their statements during the week-long General Debate.
Taking up the 12-month rotational presidency of the General Assembly on Tuesday, Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa said his reign will focus on the delivery and implementation of a transformative post-2015 Development Agenda, which serves as the theme for the 69th Session of the General Assembly.
“We will have a historic opportunity to formulate a post-2015 development agenda that is transformative, brings tangible benefits, leads to improved livelihoods for all, and contributes to achieving sustainable development in its social, economic and environmental dimensions,” Mr Kutesa told representatives of 193 Member States.
The Post-2015 Development Agenda is a UN Member States-led process to formulate a global development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight development targets, which cease next year.
Mr Kutesa said he intends to convene three High-Level Thematic debates centering on the post-2015 Development Agenda, advancement of gender equality and women empowerment as well as peaceful settlement of disputes and strengthening cooperation between the UN and regional organisations.
“I intend to convene in June 2015 a High-Level event on combating climate change, which is one of the defining global challenges of our time,” said the Ugandan diplomat, in the newly renovated iconic General Assembly Hall. “The need to reform the Security Council is urgent.”
Mr Kutesa bemoaned the “alarming frequency” of extremism and terrorism, and called for international unity to address the “weighty challenges”.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon reaffirmed his commitment to international peace and security, poverty reduction and efforts to reverse the adverse effects of climate change.
“The coming year must be a time for action, a time for results,” said Mr Ban.
Among the issues to be discussed, and for which leaders will seek solutions, are global insecurity mainly from terrorism, extremism, violent armed conflicts, unemployment, challenges in education and health service delivery, disease outbreaks like Ebola, human rights violation, press freedom violation and attacks on journalists, hunger and poverty, women and girls abuses, social and economic challenges.
The Zambian delegation will be in New York to participate in the discussions and negotiations.
Zambia – a member of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region – will participate in a meeting aimed at bringing peace to the region, especially in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Zambia will chair a ministerial meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and participate in the ministerial deliberations of the Group of 77 plus China.
CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA (Mr.)
First Secretary for Press and Public Relations
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations