Category: UN General Assembly (Page 2 of 3)

UNGA 76th session started, President calls on member states to embrace hope.

The United Nations General Assembly on opened its 76th session on Tuesday, with the UNGA president Abdulla Shahid and the UN chief Antionio Guterres imploring member states to embrace hope.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be the most challenging period the world has seen since the Second World War, said the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday, as the 75th session of the General Assembly gave way to the new, deepening inequalities, decimating economies and plunging millions into extreme poverty

Passing on the gavel to the new UN General Assembly president, António Guterres saluted his predecessor: “Throughout this difficult and historic moment, we have all been fortunate to rely on the leadership of His Excellency, President Volkan Bozkir”. 

The UN chief credited the outgoing Turkish diplomat and politician for prioritizing a sustainable recovery, rooted in the 2030 Agenda, and supporting countries and communities as they rebuild systems shattered by the pandemic. 

83 heads of state expected to attend 76th session of UN General Assembly.

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The new President of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid highlights hope.

The incoming President Abdulla Shahid of the UN General Assembly says that hope is desperately needed for those billions around the world struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, devastation, and strife.

The General Assembly is the only body which has the 193 countries represented and this body, when it speaks unanimously, when it decides on a matter, that is the international conscience,” Abulla Shahid said, ahead of the 76th General Assembly session, which starts on 14 September.  

He added that on issues such as climate change and equitable access to vaccines, he would “never give up hope that humanity will rise to the occasion.”  

Mr. Shahid also spoke about the importance of these issues and his overall presidency for his home country of the Maldives, which he serves as foreign minister, an island nation with a population of around 530,000 people

He will now represent a United Nations body that speaks on behalf of nearly 7.9 billion people

In an interview to UN News he quoted: “Investing in multilateralism is what we should do now. 

COVID-19 has once again shown us now that multilateralism is the only way forward.

The best investment in multilateralism is investing in young people“.

The World Government Movement wishes  Abdulla Shahid the best with his duty as 76th President of the UN General Assembly.

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UN chief: $1 billion pledge a ‘quantum leap’ in commitment to Afghanistan.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday hailed significant international financial support pledged to the people of Afghanistan following a meeting in Geneva, which nearly doubled the initial $606 million flash appeal for the country.

“Today, we have already heard clearly more than $1 billion in pledges, it represents a quantum leap in relation to the financial commitment of the international community towards the Afghan people,” said Mr. Guterres.

UN relief chief Martin Griffiths confirmed in his closing remarks to the meeting that more than $1.2 billion in humanitarian and development aid in total had been promised, incorporating both Monday’s appeal, and the regional response.

A ‘lifeline’ for Afghans

The funding will throw a lifeline to Afghans who lack those services; to the small children that Henrietta Fore of UNICEF spoke of, who face the risk of acute malnutrition.

And to the many women and girls who could lose their access to reproductive health services, and much more,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN humanitarian affairs office.

In an encounter with journalists on the sidelines of the high-level ministerial meeting, the UN Secretary-General noted that the fact that nearly 100 Member States had taken part in helping Afghanistan,

This in addition to more than 30 regional and international organisations, underscored that the crisis in Afghanistan remained a crucial issue for the global community, according UN News.

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Pope Francis to G20: “peace is a universal right”.

Pope Francis sends a message to participants in the G20 Interfaith Forum, and urges religious leaders to pursue peace for all peoples and to serve truth.

The G20 Interfaith Forum runs from 12-14 September in the Italian city of Bologna, and is meant to promote healing from the Covid-19 pandemic and the many conflicts lacerating the world.

Religious leaders taking part in the annual event seek to engage with the agenda of the G20, a forum for international economic cooperation amongst the world’s 20 largest economies.

Pope Francis sent his greetings to participants in the Interfaith Forum on Saturday evening.

Pope Francis praised the forum’s goal of sharing ideas and hopes through interfaith dialogue and the promotion of religious freedom.

He said the role of religions is essential in overcoming war and hatred, since “true religion consists in adoring God and loving our neighbor.”

“More than putting something on display, we are called to show the fatherly presence of the Heavenly God through our harmony on earth,” he said, according Vatican News.

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UN chief Antonio Guterres urges: “time to think big about future international cooperation”.

Celebrating the United Nations 75th anniversary last year, prompted major internal discussion about its future, and a new direction away from the post-World War Two consensus of its early days.

These reflections have resulted in Our Common Agenda, a landmark new report released on Friday by the UN Secretary-General, setting out his vision for the future of global cooperation.

Antonio Guterres launched the report at a meeting of the UN General Assembly on Friday, prefacing his remarks with a scathing overview of the parlous state of a world he described as being under enormous stress, and warning that the world risks a future of “serious instability and climate chaos”.

From the climate crisis to our suicidal war on nature and the collapse of biodiversity, our global response is too little, too late”, declared the UN Secretary-General.

Unchecked inequality is undermining social cohesion, creating fragilities that affect us all.

Technology is moving ahead without guard rails to protect us from its unforeseen consequences.”

The UN chief went on to describe the extensive consultations that fed into its development, a listening exercise that led the UN to the conclusion that enhanced multilateralism is seen as the way to deal with the world’s crises.

This approach would herald a new era for multilateralism, in which countries work together to solve global problems; the international system works fast to protect everyone in emergencies; and the UN is universally recognized as a trusted platform for collaboration, according UN News.

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President of the UN General Assembly: “world remains far behind solving biggest global challenges”.

The President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, told reporters on Thursday, that the world is “far behind in being able to solve the greatest global challenges and achieve the SDGs.” 

Volkan Bozkir was speaking in New York at his final press conference in the top job, steering the agenda of the world body amidst an extraordinary year, dominated by COVID-19

Abdulla Shahid, from the Maldives, is taking over the role for the 76th session at the end of the month. 

The last year, said Mr. Bozkir, “only highlighted that the preventive tools and mechanisms available with the UN are in desperate need for review.” 

The United Nations cannot be a follower of crisis.

It must be a preventive body, it must deliver earlier action to prevent, or prepare for, crises in the first place,” he added.  

Lastly, he left some recommendations to his colleagues and his successor.  

He believes there’s a need to streamline and deepen the work of the UN General Assembly

For him, “success is not measured by the number of meetings we have, but by their quality, their format, their impact”, according UN News.

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United Nations marks first International Day for People of African Descent.

The United Nations on Tuesday celebrated the enormous contributions the African diaspora has made in every field of human endeavour, marking the first-ever International Day for People of African Descent.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a greater commitment to advance the promise of equality, justice and dignity for all, in his inaugural message.    

“It is a long overdue recognition of the profound injustices and systemic discrimination that people of African descent have endured for centuries, and continue to confront today,” the UN Secretary-General said. 

“And it is an urgent call to action for everyone, everywhere, to commit to rooting out the evil of racism.” 

More than 200 million people in the Americas alone identify as being of African descent. 

Millions more are located worldwide outside the African continent. 

Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, or as more recent migrants, they are among some of the poorest and most marginalized groups, the UN said. 

Last December, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing the International Day

The objective was “to promote greater recognition and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies, and to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of people of African descent”. 

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UN chief calls for action to end enforced disappearances on International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged countries to fulfill their obligations to prevent and prosecute cases of enforced disappearance on International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

The UN chief made the appeal in his message to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, honouring victims of this serious human rights violation, observed on Monday.

Together, we can and we must end all enforced disappearances,” he said. 

A global problem

Enforced disappearance refers to the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by agents of the state, or those acting with state authorization or support, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Once largely the product of military dictatorships, it has become a global problem, according to the United Nations, with hundreds of thousands of people “disappeared” in more than 80 countries.

Impunity remains widespread.

While strictly prohibited under international human rights law, Mr. Guterres said enforced disappearance continues to be used across the world as a method of repression, terror, and stifling dissent.

“Paradoxically, it is sometimes used under the pretext of countering crime or terrorism.

Lawyers, witnesses, political opposition, and human rights defenders are particularly at risk,” he added, accoring UN News.

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WHO chief: ‘coming months critical for future pandemic preparedness’.

The next three months will be a critical period for stepping up global collective action against future pandemics, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, pointing to three major meetings on the international agenda

Although the COVID-19 caseload stabilized last week, after nearly two months of increases, the level remains high, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, speaking during his regular press briefing from Geneva. 

Cases have surpassed 4.5 million globally, with 68,000 deaths

“Some regions and countries continue to see steep increases in cases and deaths, while others are declining,” he reported.

As long as this virus is circulating anywhere, it’s a threat everywhere”. 

Preparing for future pandemics 

WHO is progressing on plans to strengthen global defense against future epidemics and pandemics, Tedros said. 

He pointed out that with the UN General Assembly in September, followed by the G20 Summit in October, and a special session of WHO’s governing body set for November, the next three months represent “a critical period for shaping the future of pandemic preparedness and response”, according UN News.

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UN chief warns: IPCC report; ‘Code red’ for human driven global heating.

Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying, and some trends are now irreversible, at least during the present time frame, according to the latest much-anticipated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on Monday.

Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. 

Scientists are also observing changes across the whole of Earth’s climate system; in the atmosphere, in the oceans, ice floes, and on land.

Many of these changes are unprecedented, and some of the shifts are in motion now, while some – such as continued sea level rise – are already ‘irreversible’ for centuries to millenniaahead, the report warns.

But there is still time to limit climate change, IPCC experts say.

Strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, could quickly make air quality better, and in 20 to 30 years global temperatures could stabilize.

‘Code red for humanity’

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the Working Group’s report was nothing less than “a code red for humanity.

The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable”.

He noted that the internationally-agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels of global heating was “perilously close.

We are at imminent risk of hitting 1.5 degrees in the near term.

The only way to prevent exceeding this threshold, is by urgently stepping up our efforts, and persuing the most ambitious path.

We must act decisively now, to keep 1.5 alive.”

The UN chief in a detailed reaction to the report, said that solutions were clear.

“Inclusive and green economies, prosperity, cleaner air and better health are possible for all, if we respond to this crisis with solidarity and courage”, he said.

He added that ahead of the crucial COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November, all nations – especiall the advanced G20 economies – needed to join the net zero emissions coaltion, and reinforce their promises on slowing down and reversing global heating, “with credible, concrete, and enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions ” that lay out detailed steps.

Time is running out

The IPCC scientists warn global warming of 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century.

Unless rapid and deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades, achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement “will be beyond reach”.

The assessment is based on improved data on historical warming, as well as progress in scientific understanding of the response of the climate system to human-caused emissions, according UN News.

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