UN General Assembly to address global concerns through "concerted action"

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President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft (centre), is flanked by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and Tegegnework Gettu, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, at the start of the 70th session of the Assembly. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Concerted action to create a sustainable future for all people and the planet has been called for by the new president of the UN General Assembly.

Mogens Lykketoft , a former Danish Foreign Minister, will serve at the helm of the 70th session of the Assembly, which began on Tuesday.

Opening the session, he called on the 193 Member States that make up the UN to swiftly tackle pressing global concerns such as extreme poverty, climate change and violent extremism.

Maria Carlino reports.

The newly appointed president called on the UN General Assembly to make "ground-breaking" decisions during its 70th session to tackle pressing global concerns.

Mogens Lykketoft said the new sustainable development agenda world leaders are expected to adopt at the UN next week is a "welcome gift" to a world beset by crisis, inequality, climate change and violent extremism.

"It raises high hopes of the United Nations being fit for purpose and committed to action.  The challenge now, and a major priority for my Presidency, is to ensure that all actors move swiftly to deliver on the promises being made. The Summit, of course, marks only the beginning. There is an urgent need for action right across the three pillars of the UN and ample opportunities to do so during this session."

Mr Lykketoft said nations must also work together to end the war in Syria, address the escalating refugee crisis and protect the human rights of all people fleeing war.

The new president also stressed the importance of adopting a strong global climate agreement, and of strengthening the UN's role and performance in peace and security.

Maria Carlino, United Nations.

Duration: 1’18″

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