The 78th United Nations General Assembly takes place September 19-23 and September 26 in New York. This year’s meeting will be marked by debates on the climate crisis and the sustainable development goals set by the organization. Another central topic will be the war in Ukraine, in addition to the different crises in Africa and the security situation in Haiti.
It is an important moment in international politics. Like every year, the member countries of the United Nations meet in New York within the framework of the 78th General Assembly to address the big issues that concern the world.
This year, about 150 leaders of the organization’s 193 members are expected to attend the General Assembly. It is an important moment because it is responsible for addressing international peace and security issues that are not addressed by the United Nations Security Council, in addition to approving the organization’s annual budget. France 24 explains the big topics that will animate the debates.
The climate crisis and the relaunch of the sustainable development goals
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wants give new impetus to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals adopted by world leaders in 2015 in Paris. They were created in the so-called “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and form a plan with objectives on the horizon of the year 2030. The objectives address a wide range of social, environmental and economic dimensionssuch as, for example, guaranteeing quality education, encouraging sustainable agriculture that helps fight hunger, guaranteeing access to drinking water or measures to mitigate climate change.
During the General Assembly, a summit on “climate ambition” will be held on Wednesday at the initiative of Antonio Guterres. The secretary general already said last weekend that the 17 goals “have to do with people’s hopes, dreams, rights and expectations, and with the health of our natural environment.” He added:
“It is about redressing historical injustices, healing global divisions and putting our world on the path to lasting peace”
According to the draft declaration that should be adopted during the General Assembly, member countries will commit to “act urgently” to make this “plan of action for people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership” a reality. , without leaving anyone behind.”
The war in Ukraine and Volod’s speechImir Zelensky
However, another central issue could overshadow the climate issue: the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Speaking to the press in late August, US envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she hopes lMost Western countries exert “intense pressure” on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
Above all, and for the first time since the start of the war in February 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the debates in person and will speak on Monday. Last year, his speech was recorded before being broadcast in New York. The Ukrainian president will also speak before the UN Security Council on Wednesday, on which Russia has a permanent seat.
Our warriors, our heroes. The front line.
I am proud of each and every one of them.
And I am grateful to each brigade for its strength! pic.twitter.com/FQMIWqyMum
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 18, 2023
These debates will take place while, in Ukraine, military operations continue to be intense. On Sunday, September 17, the Ukrainian army announced the liberation of the village of Klishchiyevka, near the city of Backmut, in the east of the country, as part of its counteroffensive launched a few months ago. The extent of territories gained is minimal, but was celebrated by Volodymyr Zelensky, on platform X, exTwitter:
“Our warriors, our heroes on the front lines. I am proud of each one of them. And I am grateful to each brigade for their strength!”
The different crises in Africa
The difficult situations in which several African countries find themselves will also be the subject of important discussions at the General Assembly.
The member countries addressed the crisis in Sudan while the country’s leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who seized power in a coup in 2021, should attend the General Assembly. Since April 15, fighting has pitted the regular army of General al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), paramilitaries commanded by Burhan’s former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. In five months, almost 7,500 people died, according to an estimate by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, cited by the Reuters agency.
In Ethiopia, war crimes have continued unabated almost a year after a ceasefire was agreed between the country’s Government & forces from the northern Tigray region, @A Human Rights Council-appointed independent experts said.#HRC54 @UN_News_Centre story https://t.co/MC53hmeAEw
—United Nations Human Rights Council | 📍 #HRC54 (@UN_HRC) September 18, 2023
The critical situation in Ethiopia will also be discussed. The debates will occur as UN experts declared Monday that “atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity continue to be committed in the country.” The peace agreement signed a year ago “has not resolved the conflict in the north of the country,” added Mohamed Chande Othman, president of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia. The African country has been entangled in a civil war between the central government and separatist forces in the Tigray region since late 2020.
The Niger issuewhose elected president Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by a coup d’etat by the military on July 26, 2023, will also be addressed. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had already called for “the immediate and unconditional release” of President Bazoum, as had several countries such as France.
The security situation in Haiti
The last important issue that should occupy the General Assembly is that of the security situation in Haiti. Above all, it is expected that it will be discussed sending a multinational force to combat growing gang violence, which control up to 80% of the capital Port-au-Prince. The force would be led by Kenya and the United States, who support the initiative.
Clashes between the gangs have triggered a devastating humanitarian crisis, leaving almost 200,000 displaced people throughout the country, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). To these people are added the tens of thousands of people displaced by natural disasters. Almost half of the Haitian population, around 5.2 million people, need humanitarian assistance.
It should also be noted that this new General Assembly has some important absences. The French, English, Russian, Chinese, Mexican and Indian heads of state will not participate in person.
With AFP, EFE and local media
Source: France 24