UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 69), Sam Kutesa of Uganda, offered reflections on the session during its last plenary meeting.
Kutesa and Ban highlighted the Assembly's agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), reform of the UN Security Council, and changes to the selection process for the next UN Secretary-General.
14 September 2015: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 69), Sam Kutesa of Uganda, offered reflections on the session during the last plenary meeting of UNGA 69. Kutesa and Ban highlighted the Assembly’s agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), reform of the UN Security Council, and changes to the selection process for the next UN Secretary-General.
The 105th plenary meeting of UNGA 69 took place in New York, US, on 14 September 2015.
Kutesa referred to the “landmark agreement” on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the outcome document of the upcoming UN summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda – as “without question, one of the major highlights” of the session. He said it had been an “unprecedented collective undertaking” that yielded a “universal, inclusive and transformative future development framework.” Kutesa said the AAAA is the cornerstone of the global partnership for development. He also stressed the need for achieving a “bold and ambitious” agreement at the Paris Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 21) in December 2015.
On institutional matters, Kutesa recalled that, ten years ago, leaders had expressed support for an early reform of the UN Security Council. He said, “together we should muster the resolve to reform the Council it in a way that reflects the geo-political realities of our current world,” and urged Member States to build on the work done during UNGA 69. Kutesa also noted the UNGA agreement, reached on 11 September 2015, to give a greater role to the Assembly in the upcoming election of the next UN Secretary-General. Kutesa said this shift will be “an important step toward openness and transparency in the selection process.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted Kutesa’s leadership in guiding Member States “through many complex processes, resulting in a number of major advances.” Ban said the “crowning accomplishment” of UNGA 69 is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He called the agreement the “product of an inspiring sense of solidarity,” and noted the several rounds of intensive consultations to close gaps and reach common ground to agree on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. Ban added that the post-2015 negotiation process saw the Assembly “open the policy-making process in unprecedented ways to an unprecedented range of voices” which had established a new benchmark for global dialogue and inclusiveness. Ban called this a legacy from which “there can be no going back.” Ban invited Member States to show the same vision, flexibility and solidarity in reaching a climate change agreement in Paris, and in bringing the SDGs to life in the years ahead.
Finally, Ban noted other key UNGA decisions throughout the year, including on financing for development (FfD), combatting Ebola, and a new framework of procedural steps to guide the selection and appointment of the next UN Secretary-General. On the latter, he commended the efforts to reach a consensual outcome on a more transparent and participatory process.
UNGA 69 held 105 plenary meetings and adopted 327 resolutions, Kutesa noted in his closing remarks.
The UNGA’s 70th session opens on 15 September 2015, with the 70th General Debate taking place on 28 September-6 October. [UN Press Release] [IISD RS Sources] [UNGA President’s Statement] [Webcast of Plenary Meeting] [UN Summary of Decision on UNGA Revitalization] [UNGA President Statement on Revitalization] [UN Summary of Decision on Security Council Reform]