First Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 71st Session

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13-Sep-2016 00:08:56
The Secretary-General highlights the need to work proactively towards improving the human condition at 1st meeting of the 71st session.

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The seventy-first session of the General Assembly opened today, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressing that over the next 12 months, Member States would be called on to address many threats and show solidarity with people facing injustice around the world.

Speaking in the opening plenary for the new Assembly session, Mr. Ban emphasized that people looked to the world body not simply to react to problems, but to work proactively and preventively to better the human condition.

The Assembly faced a busy year ahead and would begin its work in earnest next week, he said, with a summit on the plight of refugees and migrants and a high-level event aimed at bringing the Paris Agreement on climate change into force. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development would also preoccupy the membership in the coming year, with States being urged to align policies, programmes and spending behind the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

He went on to note that on 1 January 2017, the seventy-first session would welcome the ninth Secretary-General, with Assembly President Peter Thomson (Fiji) serving as a bridge between his administration and the next. “You will have my full support,” he said, and that of his team in ensuring a seamless transition.

n other business today, the Assembly took note of a letter from the Secretary-General (document A/71/381) informing the Assembly President that four Member States were in arrears in respect of their financial contributions to the Organization under Article 19 of the Charter. Article 19 states that a Member State in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions will have no vote in the Assembly if the amount of those arrears exceeds the amount of the contributions due from the preceding two years.

The Assembly also decided that its Credentials Committee would comprise Cameroon, China, Malawi, Netherlands, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia and the United States.

Assembly members then authorized the following subsidiary organs of the General Assembly to meet at United Nations Headquarters during the session: the United Nations Appeals Tribunal, the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, the Board of Auditors, the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations, the Specialized Agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Independent Audit Advisory Committee and the Committee on Conferences (document A/71/382).
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