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UN General Assembly to discuss sustainable development, global solidarity

World leaders, including Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, head to New York to urge collective commitment and explore solutions on the most pressing international issues.

By Edoardo Giribaldi

More than 140 heads of state and government are scheduled to attend the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the organization’s headquarters in New York.

The gathering is presented by the UN as “a crucial milestone in the journey toward achieving the 2030 Agenda and the urgent need to put the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) back on track.”

Trust and global solidarity

The main focus will regard the high-level General Debate starting from Tuesday, September 19, until September 26.

World leaders will have the opportunity to asses their priorities for the upcoming year and explore solutions under the theme: “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.”

United States President Joe Biden will be the only leader of the permanent five members of the UN Security Council to be present in New York. In fact, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have decided not to attend the General Assembly.

Peace and security in Ukraine

After participating remotely last year, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will be present at the UN headquarters where, on Wednesday, he will participate in a special Ukraine debate held by the Security Council.

The event might represent the opportunity for Zelensky and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to be in the same room discussing the theme: “Upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter through effective multilateralism: maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian President is also scheduled to speak with US President Joe Biden at the White House, following the meeting in New York.

“An opportunity for smaller countries”

Speaking with reporters last week, UN Secretary General António Guterres highlighted how “it is extremely important to fight those that are abusing their authority to limit democracy,” while the United States ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield emphasized how the General Assembly represents “an opportunity for smaller countries for the world to lay out their priorities in front of us.”

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18 September 2023, 16:22