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UN General Assembly: Who will attend, and what is the agenda? | United Nations News

World leaders will gather this week in New York to tackle the problem Session 77 of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The war in UkraineClimate change and nuclear disarmament are likely to dominate speeches and discussions during the annual meeting that begins Tuesday at United Nations headquarters.

The theme of this year’s UNGA is “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to intertwined challenges”.

According to the United Nations, this is “rooted in the recognition that the world is at a critical juncture… driven by complex and interconnected crises.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the meeting was taking place “at a time of great danger”, with the world “ravaged by war, ravaged by climate chaos, threatened by hatred”. hatred and shame by poverty and inequality”.

Speakers on Tuesday will include Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro, US President Joe Biden and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar.

Here’s all you need to know:

Who will attend?

Every UN member is invited to send a delegation to UNGA – the most representative body of the UN system. Each member state is entitled to an equal vote when deciding on resolutions.

This year’s session will take place in person for the first time since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020. For the past two years, heads of state have been allowed to submit video statements due to restrictions. about the pandemic.

The list of speakers includes some notable absentees, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping among those who will send their foreign ministers to UNGA.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun delivers a pre-recorded speech at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, on Friday, September 24, 2021.
Pre-recorded speech by Lebanese President Michel Aoun at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York, 24 September 2021 [John Angelillo /Pool Photo via AP Photo]

Where is it taken place?

The first six sessions of UNGA were held in different cities, starting with London, New York and then Paris.

Since 1952, nearly all sessions have taken place at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA.

How do topics appear on the agenda?

Each UNGA session has an agenda of topics to be discussed, voted on or referred to to different subcommittees.

Topics include matters proposed by Member States or other United Nations agencies, matters raised by the secretary-general, and procedural issues relevant to the operation of the council.

The UNGA Joint Committee sets the agenda and ultimately the congress decides how to address each item on the agenda.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the UNGA Sideline Education Transformation Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 19, 2022 [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

What will UNGA focus on this year?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to be a major focus at the annual meeting, including a global food crisis that has been exacerbated in the aftermath.

Like in previous years, climate change will also be a major topic of discussion – especially recent floods in pakistandevastated the country and affected more than 30 million people.

While member states have lifted most or all of their national coronavirus restrictions in an attempt to return to pre-pandemic status, issues such as access to vaccines, restoring financial Key and other related concerns will be an important talking point.

What is UNGA resolution?

Resolutions are adopted at all UN councils, such as the Human Rights Council, Economic and Social Council and the Security Council, throughout the year. Membership of individual councils changes cyclically.

UNGA resolutions are considered to be the expression of the will of the international community on a given topic, although they are non-binding, meaning that they have no legal power but are of symbolic importance. in world affairs.

In contrast, resolutions adopted by the 15-member United Nations Security Council are generally considered binding under international law and member states are obligated to act on those resolutions.

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