Peace and a decent life for all people on a sustainable planet.
MY UPCOMING PRESIDENCY OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
On 31 May 2017, I was elected by the UN General Assembly to serve as its President for the seventy-second GA session. This will be my second time serving with the United Nations. From 1999 to 2001, I was Executive Assistant to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Balkans, Eduard Kukan. Prior to that, I was a career diplomat.
My priorities for the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly are highlighted below. But I would like to note here one of my most important priorities: to bring the Organization closer to the people of the world. My overall theme for the 72nd session is “Focusing on people — to strive for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”.
My full bio
My acceptance speech
UNGA 72 calendar
1: SUSTAINING PEACE
The United Nations cannot limit itself to simply addressing the immediate needs of the world’s conflict-stricken countries. It needs a long-term strategy that uses prevention, mediation and preventive diplomacy, alongside peacekeeping and peace-building. This will enable the United Nations to fulfil the promise of its founding Charter and build a sustainable peace.
One of the key tasks of the forthcoming UN General Assembly will be to prepare two global compacts, one for migration and one for refugees. We cannot do this without mutual collaboration. Migration is not a short-term seasonal and regional problem. It is a very complex global and generational issue that needs worldwide attention.
3: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
ENGAGE BUSINESS SECTOR
We need to keep political momentum with the Sustainable Development Goals and with climate. More should be done to address inequalities and explore ways to help Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. We must create opportunities for and more intensive engagement of the private sector in UN development activities. I will be actively seeking more opportunities for engagement of the business sector in the agenda of our world organization, especially in the development area.
4: HUMAN RIGHTS
We will have to jointly think about how to find better and more effective solutions, not just in New York but also in Geneva, where one of the tasks will be the necessary depoliticising and streamlining of the operations of several bodies, including the Human Rights Council. There is no peace and development without respect for dignity and fundamental rights. Continued support for equality, including equal opportunities for genders, will remain high in my priorities.
5: UN PROCESSES
GENERAL ASSEMBLY REVITALIZATION
A SECURITY COUNCIL FOR THE 21st CENTURY
Many Member States feel we need tangible progress on the UN reform agenda and revitalization of the work of the General Assembly. We need to seek and find overlapping principles between various agendas to allow the General Assembly to work effectively, and assure that the UN is perceived as a functioning organization that makes sense to people. There is a high degree of accord that it is time to transform the Security Council into a body with composition better representing the 21st century reality.
MY ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
I pledge to represent each country as an honest broker in a fair and open manner. I want all Member States to have a sense of belonging and equal relevance.
PREPARING FOR THE PRESIDENCY
Before assuming the Presidency of the UN General Assembly, I consulted broadly with Member States and other stakeholders. Here is a brief summary of some of these meetings:
NEW YORK, 1 JUNE 2017
I met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Our talks focused on developments in the Middle East, and in Syria and Iraq, with the focus on the role of the United Nations.
NEW YORK, 1 JUNE 2017
I met with the Foreign Affairs Minister of Romania, Teodor Melescanu, who expressed the full support for initiatives providing peace in the world with the focus on the prevention of radicalization leading to extremism.
TOKYO, 4 JULY 2017
In my talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, I noted Japan´s engagement in peacekeeping and talked with him about the threat to peace posed by the nuclear and ballistic program of North Korea.
BEIJING, 14 JULY 2017
In my talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi, I noted China’s role in UN peacekeeping operations (it is the second biggest donor). We agreed on the need to pay greater attention to preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention.
NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST 2017
During my meeting with Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, we discussed the fight against terrorism, poverty and youth radicalization, as well as the role of regional organizations in the international system.
We must bring the UN closer to people.
12 September 2017
Opening of the 72nd session of the General Assembly at 3 p.m., at UN Headquarters in New York.
19-25 September 2017
The General Assembly’s annual general debate, when Heads of State and Government and other senior national representatives gather to present their views about pressing world issues.
27-28 September 2017
Following the general debate Member States hold a High-Level plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.