DENNIS FRANCIS (Trinidad and Tobago), President of the General Assembly, noting progress made by Member States in pursuing his call “to act together, in solidarity”, praised a record number of Heads of State and Government, ministers and civil society voices speaking at the United Nations. Referencing organization of the Platform of Women Leaders, he went on to highlight the importance of women’s voices and rights, emphasizing the need for investment in education, particularly for girls, to ensure inclusivity and to leave no one behind. Commending the delivery of several major political declarations, he pointed out as “a remarkable win” the steps made to scale up sustainable development progress. “This speaks to the continued relevance of the General Assembly and the commitment by the United Nations to deliver peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability to the peoples of our world,” he added, stressing the importance of translating declarations into tangible actions, particularly in the context of financing for development and reforming the international financial architecture.
The Ukraine war was a frequent topic during the general debate, he said, noting that “the international community is clear that political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected and violence must end.” He also emphasized the urgency of addressing nuclear proliferation and promoting denuclearization. Voicing concern about other conflicts in various regions, from Africa to the Middle East and the deteriorating situation in Haiti, he pledged to facilitate peace and friendship dialogues between nations or groups in conflict. On climate change, he urged Member States to approach the twenty-eighth UN Climate Change Conference with unity and solidarity and welcomed the recent summit of Pacific island leaders and United States President Joseph Biden, as well as other events on climate mobility and sea-level rise. In conclusion, he emphasized that global challenges require a collective response and a focus on creating a sustainable world, urging Member States to prepare for the Summit of the Future and define international cooperation amid multidimensional risks. “We have it within us today to heal our divisions, find integrated solutions that reflect our universal values and commitments, and usher in a brighter tomorrow,” he said, expressing confidence in the ability of Member States to address these challenges together, “as one United Nations”.
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