1st Plenary Meeting - General Assembly 75th Session

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15-Sep-2020 00:12:14
New president echoes call by predecessor for progressive, multilateral action to defeat COVID-19.

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Incoming President Volkan Bozkır took the oath of office. Delegates also observed a minute of silent prayer or meditation, including in tribute to the memory of Javier Perez de Cuellar, fifth Secretary-General of the United Nations, who passed away on 4 March 2020, and Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi, who passed away on 9 June 2020.

Mr. Bozkır then formally opened the seventy-fifth session, pledging to do his utmost in presiding over the Assembly’s high-level week meetings to commemorate: the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, as well as to host the Biodiversity Summit.

In addition, the Assembly will hold two special sessions: one on COVID-19, and the other on combating corruption. More broadly, he pledged to steer the review of the global counter-terrorism strategy, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development, and preparations for the fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries. He also would do his utmost to support the High-Level Meeting on the Water-related Sustainable Development Goals, the Ocean Conference, the revitalization of the General Assembly and reform of the Security Council. “Let’s go to work,” he exclaimed.

The President then took note of the Secretary-General’s 14 September letter (document A/75/344) informing the Assembly that Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia and Venezuela are behind in paying their financial contributions to the United Nations within the terms of Article 19 of the Organization’s Charter.

[Under Article 19, a United Nations member in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The Assembly may, nevertheless, permit such a Member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member.]

In its final order of business, the Assembly then appointed Cameroon, China, Iceland, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Trinidad and Tobago, United Republic of Tanzania, United States and Uruguay to its Credentials Committee.

The General Assembly’s seventy-fifth session will reconvene for its second plenary meeting at 11 a.m. on Friday, 18 September, to consider the reports of its General Committee and its organization of work.

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