UN General Assembly president calls for action as debate wraps up

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UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák at the closing of the general debate. UN Photo/Cia Pak

With debate now over in the UN General Assembly, heads of state and government are being urged to "get to work" in the service of the world's people.

UN General Assembly president Miroslav Lajčák made the appeal in his closing speech delivered on Monday.

Dianne Penn reports.

For the first time in more than a decade, the General Assembly saw the participation of all UN Member States, according to Mr Lajčák.

World leaders spoke about the challenges their countries are facing.

Most of all, he said they talked about how their citizens are faring, such as people fleeing bombs and gunfire, or who are barely able to make a living, to those whose rights are being violated.

Mr Lajčák thanked speakers for putting people at the centre of the 2017 General Debate.

"I'm sure many of the delegations here today are breathing a sigh of relief. High-level representatives have returned to capitals. Schedules no longer contain back-to-back meetings and events. Most of you probably deserve a break. But the people we all represent –the people I've talked about today – need us to do the opposite. They need us to focus on action –now more than ever. So, let's get to work."

The UN General Assembly president also looked ahead to upcoming "milestone" events such as an April meeting on sustaining peace and another on the adoption of global frameworks for refugees and migrants.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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