PM Modi Expected To Address 76th UNGA Session; All You Need To Know

PM Modi (File Image)

The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)has officially opened with the General Debate. This is an opportunity for representatives from all 193 member states to address the chamber beginning the following week.

Incoming UNGA President Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives has been formally elected by the body, replacing outgoing President Volkan Bozkir of Turkey.

This year’s theme is : Building resilience through hope. The goals are to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainability, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations.

The Assembly will also appoint officers to the Credentials Committee, a body that determines who the UN recognises as the legitimate representative of a member state, and to the six Main Committees: Disarmament and International Security; Economic & Financial; Social, Humanitarian & Cultural; Special Political & Decolonization; Administrative & Budgetary; and Legal.

Finally, the Assembly will adopt the initial agenda for the year, which includes planned meetings, future approval of UNSC members, members of the Human Rights Council, and budget approval.

A provisional list of speakers provided by U.N. officials, who said it could change up the last minute, indicated that President Biden would attend, for what would be his first address as president to the 193-member world body.

Biden, in contrast to the isolationist views of his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, is a United Nations enthusiast, and diplomats say a personal appearance would reinforce his “America is back” pledge.

The White House has not yet specified Biden’s plans.

According to the provisional list, top leaders from Brazil, Britain, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Venezuela also plan to personally deliver their speeches, which are all scheduled for the second week.
China’s speech will be delivered by its deputy prime minister, the list indicated, and Russia’s by its foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.
Iran’s new president has opted to send a prerecorded video, but diplomats said the country’s new foreign minister is expected to attend.

Each delegation in the General Assembly hall will be permitted up to five members, compared with two in 2020, when the speeches of all member-state leaders were delivered via prerecorded video on a large screen to largely empty seats.

What Is The UNGA?

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main policy-making organ of the Organization. Comprising all Member States, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote.

The UNGA also makes key decisions for the UN, including:

appointing the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council
electing the non-permanent members of the Security Council
approving the UN budget
The Assembly meets in regular sessions from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. It discusses specific issues through dedicated agenda items or sub-items, which lead to the adoption of resolutions.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN General Assembly has been carrying out its work since 2020 via novel means to guarantee business continuity and mitigate the spread of the disease.

Specific examples include the use of virtual platforms to conduct meetings and the adoption of e-voting through the procedure for decision-making when an in-person meeting is not possible.

The pandemic is not the only issue the world faces. Racism, intolerance, inequality, climate change, poverty, hunger, armed conflict, and other ills remain global challenges. These challenges call for global action, and the General Assembly is a critical opportunity for all to come together and chart a course for the future.

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