General Debate provides useful measure of issues at the forefront of our lives: PGAListen /
The General Debate provides a useful measure of stock taking on the issues at the forefront of our lives within the mandate of the United Nations, and it is the only mechanism by which the 193 members can make their voices heard. That assessment comes from the president of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly Dr. John Ashe as he wrapped up the general debate during which member States expressed their views on today's world.
Ambassador Ashe said key issues raised by leaders in the General Debate are those that affect our countries and our people, and those that require concerted effort from the entire international community.
“The need for disarmament was emphasized, with concerns about the use of weapons of mass destruction and risks of proliferation; calls were made for the creation of nuclear weapons free zones. Similarly, the use of small arms was reviled for their negative impact on peace and security. Delegations welcomed the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty and called for its prompt entry into force.”
General Assembly President John Ashe noted that throughout the week, a number of items were mentioned that countries wished to see in the Post-2015 Agenda including: culture, education, climate change, job creation, sustainable energy, social inclusion, equality for all, access to water, sustainable agriculture and use of ocean resources, food security, health care including maternal care, non-communicable diseases, and the fight against HIV-AIDS, among others.
He said with the guidance received this past week, it is now up to all Member States to find the common ground among their priorities, as the basis for moving forward with decisive action.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.