United Nations General Assembly

The 72nd session of the Assembly opens today under the theme: “Focusing on people – Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”

View of the United Nations General Assembly

View of the United Nations General Assembly (2012) – Photo: Spiff – licence: Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Today the United Nations member states convene at Headquarters in New York to open the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72). Every year the General Assembly opens a new calendar year on the third Tuesday of September. The general debate of the 72nd session, which is an opportunity for heads of delegations to present to the Assembly their Governments’ views and comments on issues of global concerns, will take place from Tuesday, September 19, through Monday, 25. The UNGA72 general debate is putting the spotlight on the theme “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”.

With a commitment to prioritize human rights and equality, the elected President for UNGA 72, Miroslav Lajčák, Slovakia’s Foreign Minister, will lead the forum in the course of one year. Other priorities for his term will include the prevention of conflicts, migration and the SDGs. The new president has also stated his intention to ensure geographical balance and gender equality in the composition of his team.

During the UNGA72 weeks in September, member states, international organizations, NGOs, the private sector and other stakeholders also take the opportunity to carry on with thematic events in the margins of the official meetings. While most of the official meetings have extremely restricted rules for access, the side events are often open to the general public. To mention a few sources, you can find a compilation of side events focusing on education here and on the private sector & sustainable development here. The detailed list of events to take place around the 72nd session of the UNGA can be found here.