Opening of the UN General Assembly

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Since 1987, the General Assembly has opened with a Prayer Service offered by the Holy See at the Church of the Holy Family, sometimes referred to as the UN Church.  This year is no exception. Click here to listen to a recording of the Secretary Antonio Gutteres at the prayer service.

Last week in preparation for the upcoming General Assembly, Antonio Gutteres presented his Vision of a Common Agenda.

The Secretary General warns that we are at an inflection point in history. Our world needs more and better multilateralism. He warns business as usual may lead to a breakdown of the global order. Instead, he suggests that we take a step towards breakthrough.

He suggested four broad headings: strengthening global governance, focusing on the future; renewing the social contract; and ensuring a United Nations fit for a new era.

The lack of a global response for a vaccination program to end the COVID 19 pandemic is an example of a failed multilateralism.

He recalled that the IMF stated that investing $50 billion in vaccinations could add an estimated $9 trillion to the global economy in the next four years. A global vaccination plan is needed now to ensure that vaccines reach 70% of the world’s population in the first half of 2022.

A quantum leap to strengthen multilateralism that fits all is in fact a deep need currently.

Gutteres wants to create a high-level Futures Summit that will address the following components:

  • A New Agenda for Peace
  • Climate action beyond 2030 
  • A Digital Compact 
  • A Peaceful sustainable use of outer space
  • Management of future shocks and crises

A second element of Antonio’s report is a new focus. He will appoint a Special Envoy for the Future Generations. He will create the new United National Youth Office which will bring about more engagement with young people across all our work.

He wants the Assembly to consider a Declaration on “future Generations to support this vision.” He also wants to create a Futures Lab that will collect and analyze data regarding megatrends and catastrophic risks.

The theme of the 76th General Assembly is: “Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations.”

United Nations General Assembly: What is it and why is it relevant for COP26? | Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit

Gutteres has set out an ambitious agenda for this coming year. Let’s support his efforts as he begins a second term as the Secretary General of the United Nations.

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The 76th Assembly welcomes a new President for 2021-2022. Abdulla Shahid, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, was elected to serve as President of the 76th session of the General Assembly. The election took place at United Nations Headquarters, in New York on 7 June 2021.

In accordance with the established regional rotation, the President of the 76th session was elected from the Group of Asia-Pacific States.

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Abdullah Shahid, of the Maldives is the newly elected President of the 76th session. The General Assembly is off to a new kick start with over 83 Member State Heads present at the upcoming Assembly. The World is counting on these Member States for action.

Let us pray for their success and accomplishments for the good of Planet Earth, Our Common Home and hope for the Secretary General’s fruition of his Common Agenda .