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UN 72nd General Assembly’s Session

UN 72nd General Assembly session
UN 72nd General Assembly session in UNGA

UN 72nd General Assembly’s Session ‘Focused on People’-For Peace Attainment Globally. Global Leaders from 193 member states gathered at UN Headquarters, New York, for diplomatic round of talks called as ‘General Debate’ at UN 72nd General Assembly’s Session to highlight the pressing needs of people at global level. The discussion will pour limelight on important issues of sustainable development of people in a peaceful world and to cope with climatic changes occurring around the world. Moreover, the stage was set for UN General Assembly’s President who called it as a ‘year of first’, where negotiations and talks will be held on migration and elimination of nuclear weapons via a mutual agreement.

The theme of UN General Assembly is ‘Focusing on People – Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’ where discussions will be held by the presidents, monarchs and prime ministers to define response to global challenges at present, which include abject poverty, extended conflicts, refugee crisis and migration.

The UN General Secretary, Antonio Gueterres presented an annual Report of the works of UN Organization. The 2017 president of Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak of Slovakia, delivered keynote of the assembly in his opening speech. He was followed by speech of Brazilian President Michel Temer and US President Donald Trump-as leader of all the host Nations.

On 18 th September, 2017, Mr. Guterres initiated talks on UN reforms, financing of the 2030 Agneda for Sustainable Development, and implementation of preventive measures on sexual exploitation and abuse.

In 19 th September speeches, women empowerment economically, nuclear war being ensued by North Korea and Iran, climatic changes and child labor were some of the top-level debates. On 20 th September, Security Council’s debate will be held on UN reforms in its peacekeeping operations. Afterwards, a meeting will be arranged to commemorate the International Day for ‘Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’. From 27-28 th September, 2017, top-level meetings will be held for devising a UN Global Plan of Action to Halt human trafficking.

UN debate on Climate Change:

On 19 th September, 2017, Mr Guterres urged the importance of taking damage mitigation measures and boosting resilience while recalling the devastations caused by Hurricane Irma during past month,“[This year’s hurricane season] fits a pattern: changes to our climate are making extreme weather events more severe and frequent, pushing communities into a vicious cycle of shock and recovery.” He further covered the global weather conditions and hazards being caused by climatic changes and rise in oceanic surface temperature, “Extreme weather linked to climate change has an impact all over the world, including floods in southern Asia and landslides and droughts in Africa.”

Mr. Lajcak also highlighted the growing danger of climatic change due to growing fashion of greenhouse gas emissions, “The impact of Irma, Maria and other recent systems reminds us of the importance of adaptation and resilience to climate change and further strengthening mitigation efforts, through the implementation of the Paris Agreement [on Climate Change], which is a milestone for collective engagements towards the planet’s ustainability.”

He further added, “Let us not let the lives lost be in vain. Rather, let us be inspired to take personal and collective action to support the victims and survivors rebuild their communities, homes and lives, stronger than even before.”

Women Economic Empowerment:

UN has formulated Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) to work on equality of payment for women globally. EPIC includes UN International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Women, and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Director-General of ILO, Guy Ryder, notified that equal payment for equal amount of work was added in ILO Constitution of 1919. Mr. Ryder commented on lack of an action plan and implementation of Constitution that, “One hundred years is too long to wait, and we must all work together to make equal pay for work of equal value a reality.”

The Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said, “There is no justification for unequal pay for a woman when her job is of equal value to a man’s. This injustice has been unseen for too long, and together we are changing that.”

UN Debate on Modern Slavery

A recent UN study uncovered shocking facts on modern slavery, which includes forced labour practices and forced marriages, victimizing over 40 million people globally and affecting a large population of women and young girls.

Modern Slavery
An estimated 25 million were victims of forced labor

An estimated 25 million were victims of forced labour and 15 million were victims of forced marriages. Surprisingly, around 29 millions of the total i.e. 71% was women and girls.

The UN study was jointly prepared by UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation, with the partnership of UN International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Reflecting on child labour, Child labour has remained concentrated strongly in agriculture section at about 70.9 %. Almost 1 out of 5 child labourers were working in services-sector. However, only 11.9 % of the child labourers were working in industry.

“The world won’t be in a position to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless we dramatically increase our efforts to fight these scourges,” said Mr. Ryder.

Mr. Ryder further added, “These new global estimates can help shape and develop interventions to prevent both forced labour and child labour.”

Trump’s Debate on Nuclear Weapon War

Mr. Andrej, the president of Slovakia, raised the issues of famine and prolonged conflicts and emphasized the significance of Nations to work collaboratively to overcome world problems, “North Korea openly threatens our world with nuclear weapons.” He added, “Such disrespect to human life cannot be tolerated”.

Trump’s threatening comment, however, scared the leaders of the world where few minutes before Mr. Guterres emphasized the importance of statesmanship, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Moreover, Mr. Trump defined Kim in aggressive words as an ‘acid tone’, declaring, “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”

The aggressive Trump speech took 41 minutes, during which he targeted Iran’s nuclear aspirations and its regional influence, threatening Islamist extremists and collapsing democracy in Venezuela. He did not left Cuban government out of his targets of criticism.

About the author

Samina Fazal

She is an expressionist by nature and radical thinker by thought. she has worked as an Assistant editor at Youth Times and as writer at Self projections. She is an M-Phil in English Literature and a great researcher. She has an eagle eye on the current affairs of the world and now she is part of Expert Legal Review as International Assistant Editor.