UN General Assembly Starts With Jampacked Program
The 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly officially opened on Tuesday September 18, 2012 with the outgoing President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser handing over the reigns to his successor, H.E. Vuk Jeremić, in a crowded program at the UN General Assembly, attended by Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and ambassadors and diplomats representing the countries of the UN. (Photo: Outgoing President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser (second right) hands over the gavel to his successor Vuk Jeremić while Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on . UN PHOTO)
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon , while thanking Mr. Al-Nasser for his outstanding work and leadership , said that “The sixty-sixth session leaves a legacy of achievement, showing again the invaluable role and voice of the General Assembly as the Organization’s leading deliberative body”. Conceding that much work however needs to be done, the Secretary General committed the UN to the accomplishment of the following : “Pressing ahead to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the agreed deadline of 2015; articulating a bold and inspirational post-2015 development agenda; sharpening the full range of our tools for peace and human rights; and strengthening this Organization – its effectiveness, its representativeness – to cope with an era of budgetary constraint and high expectations from the people of the world”.
During his handing-over statement, the outgoing President highlighted four key areas of achievement of his tenure : the peaceful settlement of disputes; UN reform and revitalization; improving disaster prevention and response; and sustainable development and prosperity. He noted however that violent upheavals in some parts of the Middle East and other areas of the world served as a stark reminder of the urgent need for member states of the UN to cultivate and promote tolerance, mutual respect and dialogue among civilizations. He called on ”citizens of the world to open their hearts and their minds, to celebrate the common values that bind us all in this one human family.”
He said that there was a growing need for greater disaster prevention and response. He emphasized the the humanitarian crisis in the the Horn of Africa and stressed that the international community needs to be better equipped to respond to disasters, both natural and man-made .
The incoming President of the General Assembly pledged to serve the UN in accordance with the principles of the organization and expressed deep appreciation for his predecessor in moving the General Assembly Agenda forward. According to him , though the UN is not in a position to solve all the problems of the world outright, he strongly believed that the UN remained the most credible organization to address the needs of humankind. He stressed that peace and stability were prerequisites for global economic growth and sustainable developments.
TODAY, the UN is conducting a high-level meeting on the Rule of Law and the general debate begins tomorrow.
Sierra Leone was represented at the opening program by the Permanent Representative , His Excellency Ambassador Shekou Touray , the Minister Plenipotentiary Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, and Counselors Victoria Sulimani and Saidu Nallo.
By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, USA
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