UN General Assembly opens 72nd session with focus on building for peace

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 13 (APP): The United Nations General Assembly
has opened its 72nd session, with an emphasis on striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.
“The UN was created for people,” Miroslav Lajcak said in his first
address as President of the General Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.
“The people who need the UN the most are not sitting in this hall
today. They are not involved in the negotiation of resolutions. They do not take the floor at high-level events. It is one of the tasks of the General Assembly to make sure that their voices can still be heard.”
Ahead of Tuesday’s opening, the career diplomat from Slovakia spoke
about his hopes for his one-year tenure, and said that conflict prevention and migration would top his agenda.
In his address to the 193-member assembly, he noted that while it was
“impossible” to select one priority for the UN to focus on this year, his aim will be to strive for balance, so that all points of view are represented.
He also stressed quality and transparency in his future work.
Lajcak takes the reins one week before the start of the high-level
General Assembly debate, and said he hoped member states participating would treat each other with diplomacy and mutual respect.
A large number of leaders from around the world, including Prime
Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, would take part in the debate beginning
Sept 19. He is set to address the General Assembly on Sept 21, in which he will spell out Pakistan’s position on key issues of war and peace that are on the Assembly’s agenda.
Speaking to reporters later in the day, Lajcak reiterated the importance
of using the world body to assist people around the world.
Addressing the opening of the General Assembly, Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres also emphasized the importance of focusing on people in the UN’s work and underscored his proposed reforms to streamline the Organization.
“People around the world are rightly demanding change and looking for
governments and institutions to deliver,” he said. “We all agree that the United Nations must do even more to adapt and deliver. That is the aim of the reform proposals that this Assembly will consider.”
He added that one key change within and beyond the UN must be the
empowerment of women and girls around the world, and highlighted his own roadmap for achieving gender parity.