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Thursday, September 20, 2012

“Rise to the moment” ─ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon challenges UNGA

Non-violent, Political solutions in Middle East and beyond
Editing, by Carolyn Bennett

We are living through a period of unease. We are also seeing incidents of intolerance and hatred exploited by others. Voices of moderation and calm must make themselves heard.

All of us need to speak up in favor of mutual respect and understanding of the values and beliefs of others. ─ UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“At a time of rising inequality and unemployment, a time of rising temperatures and intolerance, the United Nations must rise to the moment,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon leading into the September 25 sixth-seventh session of this great body.

UN Secretary-General Ban KI-moon
To the world, he said, “It is time for calm, restraint and responsible political and community leadership.”

The Secretary-General pointed to the ongoing crisis in Syria. More than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the start of the uprising in March 2011. He promised that this situation “will be high” on the General Assembly meeting agenda. “The deteriorating situation in Syria will be foremost in our minds,” he said.

The sixty-seventh UN session opens as violence and intolerance rise in countries of the Middle Eastern region and elsewhere.

UN Secretary-General Ban KI-moon
UNGA President  Vuk Jeremic
The President of the 193-member UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, said, “Close to 800 years after the Magna Carta was promulgated ─

[m]any people around the world still do not enjoy the fundamental rights enshrined in that seminal document – rights that protect individuals, while enabling countries to develop in peace and security ─ as sovereign equals.

Leading into the meetings, the General Assembly president urged Member States “to agree on a consensus document … on the Rule of Law.”

Jeremic stressed peace and security as “prerequisite for the stability needed for global economic growth, sustainable development and social progress.”

“We can do better, the Secretary-General said, 

“The United Nations must rise to the moment.” 

Sources and notes

The United Nations sixty-seventh session begins September 25 and ends October 1. More than 120 world leaders are expected to participate in this year’s general debate. The Ban Ki-moon will host a number of meetings on the margins of the debate, including on the rule of law, polio eradication, disarmament, sustainable energy and nutrition. He will also launch a new initiative, “Education First.”

Along with full gatherings of the assembly, there will be a series of mini-summits and special meetings focusing on the emergency in Africa’s Sahel region, progress in Somalia, conditions in Myanmar and Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan/South Sudan relations.

UN News Centre, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42934&Cr=general+assembly&Cr1=


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