UNGA opens General Debate session

UNITED NATIONS: The General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Tuesday with the theme of “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion.”
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, presided over the opening of the debate. He called for cooperation to tackle the many challenges facing the world, with the priority being placed on the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said the promotion of international peace and security is at the heart of UN work, asking world leaders to prioritize prevention and commit to poverty eradication, climate action, quality education and inclusion.
“We have remained for too long at the crossroads of human development. And if we would propel humanity to attain its utmost capacity, then we need to join efforts in finding solutions to the untold hardships of violent conflicts, terrorism, natural disasters, drugs and sex trafficking, illiteracy and so on, which millions of people around the world suffer from,” he said.
In his speech, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked world leaders to put people first. “The first words of the (UN) Charter — we the peoples — are a summons to place people at the center of our work. Every day. Everywhere.”
“We are living in a world of disquiet,” he said. “A great many people fear getting trampled, thwarted, and left behind. Machines take their jobs. Traffickers take their dignity. Demagogues take their rights. Warlords take their lives. Fossil fuels take their future,” he warned.
“We the leaders must deliver for ‘we the peoples,’” said Guterres.
He asked for efforts to promote peace through prevention, mediation, diplomacy and disarmament, and to uphold human rights and freedoms and to fight inequality.
Guterres stressed the need to fight climate change. “The climate emergency is a race we are losing — but it is a race we can win if we change our ways now. Even our language has to adapt: what once was called ‘climate change’ is now truly a ‘climate crisis,’ and what was once called ‘global warming’ has more accurately become ‘global heating,’” the UN chief said.
As by convention, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro became the first speaker at the General Debate, followed by U.S. President Donald Trump — as the representative of the host country. – Agencies