United Nations, Sep 17: The UN General Assembly concluded its 67th session Monday with progress being made on a number of international hotspots and development-related issues.
“During this session, member states adopted close to 90 written and oral decisions, and around 300 resolutions,” said Vuk Jeremic, president of the General Assembly’s 67th session, in his closing remarks to the 193-member body as he outlined some of the highlights of the past year, Xinhua reported.
The session kicked off last September aiming at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year of 2015 — the eight ambitious targets set to slash hunger and poverty, maternal and infant mortality, a host of diseases and lack of access to education and health care.
The session also focused on peaceful resolutions of international conflicts, the situation in Syria, Middle East peace and other issues.
The 68th session of the General Assembly opens Tuesday and will be presided over by John William Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda.
Jeremic pointed out achievements of this assembly in such fields as the adoption of the first-ever arms trade treaty and the overwhelming vote of the member states to grant Palestine non-member observer state status to the UN.
Jeremic also noted “the most glaring failure” of the international family during the 67th session has been the ongoing tragedy of Syria.
“To end the fratricide, we’ve got to have high-level political dialogue. We need to bring the parties together, and make them talk to each other face to face,” he said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked Jeremic for “the great dynamism” he brought to the job leading the General Assembly to deal with the challenges in the past eventful year.
“Over the past year, the General Assembly has realised a number of significant achievements across the range of issues that are on the General Assembly’s agenda,” Ban said during his remarks at the closing session.
“The 67th session coincided with a challenging period for the international community,” said Ban. “The assembly stepped in when the Security Council was divided on Syria.”
The UN chief also noted that member states had begun the hugely important discussions on the post-2015 development agenda and a new set of goals for sustainable development.
“I look forward to the capable stewardship of Ambassador John Ashe during the 68th session of the General Assembly to take this vital work forward, for the benefit of the people we are here to serve,” he added.