71st session of UN General Assembly starts in New York

71st session of UN General Assembly starts in New York

The 71st session of the UN General Assembly - the chief deliberative body of the world organization, which annually brings together the leaders of all the 193 countries - will be opened today at 15:00 local time.

The UN General Assembly elected the permanent representative of Fiji, Peter Thomson, as the president of its 71st session.

The tentative agenda for the new session consists of 170 items focused on international peace and security, economic growth and sustainable development, disarmament, drug control, coordination of humanitarian assistance and other topics. The agenda also included issues of maintaining international peace and security in relation to the situation in the Middle East, the Palestinian issue, the situation in Afghanistan, the Cyprus issue and a number of others.

 Traditionally, it will address issues of human rights, elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Alongside the General Assembly, the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants will take place on September 19. Participants of this high-level meeting will addresses issues tied to the mass movement of people affected by wars and humanitarian crises, with the aim of encouraging countries to develop a more coordinated approach to the problem.

According to the UN, the world counts over 40 million internally displaced people and about 25 million refugees.

The general debate, which is traditionally attended by the heads of states, governments and foreign ministries this year will be held from September 20 to 26.

According to the preliminary list circulated by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), about a hundred countries will be represented at the highest level: the US, France, Poland, Egypt, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, Great Britain, China, Turkey, Yemen, Afghanistan. Russia will be represented at the ministerial level - the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will address on September 23, RIA Novosti reports.

Within the framework of the 70th session the General Assembly has launched a campaign for the election of UN Secretary General. There were four rounds of voting: the Antonio Guterres is the front runner to be the next United Nations secretary-general, followed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák and the former Serbian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vuk Jeremic.

The current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon  will step down from his post on December 31.

The Security Council will recommend a candidate for the post of Secretary General. The Security Council is expected to decide on a single candidate by October, but there are no fixed terms.

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