“Assembly of hope and resolutions”
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations (UN). Each 193 member state has equal power to vote, providing a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the International issue by comprising all the member states.
Each year in September the Assembly meets for regular sessions; thereafter as required. Through the dedicated agenda items or sub-items discussion of certain issues is done which leads to the adoption of resolutions. Amid covid-19 when all in-person meeting was not possible UNGA included virtual platforms to conduct meetings and other novel means to guarantee business continuity.
Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives opened the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 14 September 2021 as he was sworn in as General Assembly President. Over 100 heads of state and government are expected to attend in person. The size of delegations allowed into the General Assembly Hall has been limited. Due to the global pandemic, UN Member States were encouraged to provide pre-recorded statements instead of travelling to UN Headquarters.
Pandemic is not the only problem the world is facing right now. The world has been facing the challenges such as Racism, intolerance, inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflict, climate change and other ills for decades. General Assembly is an important opportunity for all to come together and work for the future that is different from today.
The theme for the 76th session 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 revitalise the United Nations.”
• SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG)
Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries- poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. It is also an outline for fighting poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, confronting the climate crisis and much more, within the next ten years.
In unpredictable times, the SDGs show the way to advance towards a strong recovery from COVID-19 and a better future for all on a safe and healthy planet. Sustainable Development Goals are a global pact to create a future where nobody is left behind. These 17 goals were adopted by all countries at the United Nations in September 2015.
DECADE OF ACTION
In the aspect of human and planetary well being ‘Decade of action’ is a universal call to action to end poverty, to protect Earth and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
In September 2019, the secretary-general called on all sectors of society to mobilize for a decade of action on three levels:
Global action to secure greater leadership, more resources and smarter solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals;
local action implanting the needed transitions in the policies, budgets, institutions and regulatory frameworks of governments, cities and local authorities; and
people action, including by youth, civil society, the media, the private sector, unions, academia and other stakeholders, to generate an unstoppable movement pushing for the required transformations.
Progress is being made in several places but action to meet the Goals is not yet developing at speed that is required to meet the achievements. The Decade of Action calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to all the world’s biggest challenges — ranging from poverty and gender to climate change, inequality and closing the finance gap.
The pandemic became the unprecedented wake-up call that demanded urgency in actions and ambition. The progress that was planned and had been achieved for the decade of action got shaken in the very first five months of the pandemic, spreading the vary that then SGD moment is going off track.
Covid-19 began as a health crisis and quickly become a human and socio-economic crisis. It also urged everyone to see the importance of the preservation of the achieved progress.
“We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future.”
– UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Some of the event highlights
• On 20 September the second SDG moment took place with leaders from over 30 countries addressing the theme ‘Plans, pathways and partners for Recovery and beyond.’ In inclusion of four focal topics Gender equality; Connectivity; Youth in Action; and Localising the SDGs.
• On 23 September, the first-ever food summit will take place completely virtually to mobilise the actionable commitments to transform food systems.
• On 24 September, the first global gathering on energy under UNGA auspices since the UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy in 1981, ‘High-level Dialogue on Energy’ will be commenced.
• On 28 September, the High-Level Event on Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Elimination event will be conveyed virtually.
2021 remains a crucial year to bring back the balance with nature, take measures about the climate emergency, and get ahead of the pollution crisis while making sure that no one is left behind. The topics that have been discussed and are to be discussed in the 76th United Nations general assembly are a reminder of what must be done for the future so our dreams won’t be lost forever.
Only by being together, we can tackle the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that many of us are currently feeling. As long as we are united we can make a difference for the sake of our planet and each other.
‘One person can hope for change and two can make it come true with the support of each other.’