13 August 2020
Plans Take Shape for UNGA’s High-level Week
Photo Caption: UN Photo/Sophia Paris
story highlights

The theme for the 75th general debate will be 'The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action'.

The UNGA's high-level meeting to commemorate UN’s 75th anniversary will adopt a declaration finalized on 7 July.

The UNGA is encouraging side events to be held on virtual platforms to limit the number of people in the UN building.

The president-elect of the 75th UN General Assembly has announced the theme for the general debate, which will open on 22 September 2020. The theme encompasses both the UN’s milestone year and the global crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN Member States agreed in June 2019 that the UN’s 75th anniversary will be commemorated under the theme, ‘The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism.’ In a letter of 8 August 2020, Volkan Bozkir said that given the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting global crisis, he suggests a more specific theme for the General Debate, as follows: ‘The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.’

Bozkir adds that the debate should focus in particular on the most vulnerable, as well as on ensuring efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda “adapt to the crisis,” noting the outset of the Decade of Action for the SDGs.

The Assembly previously reached agreement on other details of the high-level week, in a decision adopted via silence procedure on 22 July 2020 (decision 74/562). By this text, the UNGA’s high-level meeting to commemorate UN’s 75th anniversary will convene on 21 September. It will formally adopt a declaration that has been negotiated by Member States in advance. Following negotiations, a silence procedure concluded without objection on 7 July, and UNGA President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande informed Member States that “consensus has been achieved and the text has been finalized.” 

The decision indicates that the Summit on Biodiversity will take place on 30 September, the high-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25) on 1 October, and the high-level meeting on the total elimination of nuclear weapons on 2 October. For all of these meetings, the decision authorizes pre-recorded video statements. The video statements “shall have an equal status as any statement made by any other representative who is physically present in the Assembly Hall” and shall be included in the verbatim records of the Debate or meeting. 

The decision also encourages Member States to hold all side events on virtual platforms to limit the number of people in the UN building.

Immediately prior to the high-level week, the UN will hold the first annual ‘SDG Moment’ on Friday, 18 September. Details are under discussion


related events


related posts