UNGA 69 Opening Highlights Climate Summit, Responsibility for Post-2015 Agenda
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The UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened its 69th Session, which will convene under the theme, ‘Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda,' on 16 September 2014, in New York, US.

kutesa16 September 2014: On 16 September 2014, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened its 69th Session, which will convene under the theme ‘Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda.’

UNGA President Sam Kutesa, Uganda, said UNGA 69 has an “historic opportunity” to formulate a transformative post-2015 development agenda. He told delegates it is “our responsibility to ensure that adequate means for implementing the agenda, in terms of finances, technology development and transfer and capacity building are mobilized.” He announced his intention to convene three high-level thematic debates on the post-2015 agenda, to address: means of implementation (MOI); gender equality and the empowerment of women; and strengthened cooperation between the UN and regional organizations and the peaceful settlement of disputes and strengthening.

He will also convene a high-level event on combating climate change to add momentum to efforts to reach a global agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015.

“To say we are living in tumultuous times would seem an understatement,” Kutesa said, noting challenges such as poverty and hunger, climate change and rising sea levels, persistent unemployment, armed conflicts and Ebola. He called for tacking such challenges “with dedication, single-mindedness of purpose and compromise,” and “a sense of resolve and resilience.” Kutesa also said his presidency will work to revitalize the UNGA and reform the UN Security Council.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, stressing that the 69th session could be the “most consequential” in and for a generation, said “the coming year must be a time for action. A time for results.” He urged delegates to: accelerate progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and an agenda to eradicate extreme poverty; commit to tackling climate change and leave a greener, cleaner planet; prioritize human rights; and promote peace and security for all. Ban called on the UNGA to open its eyes to the rising tide of intolerance and work together towards “principled and effective action.”

At a press conference before the opening of UNGA 69, Ban outlined his goals for the UN Climate Summit: “to mobilize political will for a universal and meaningful agreement next year in Paris and…to generate ambitious steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and strengthen resilience.” Ban said he anticipates “firm commitment that we should reduce GHG emissions so that we will be able to contain the global temperature rise within two degrees centigrade” and mobilization of support for the capitalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). [UNGA 69 President’s Website] [UN Meeting Summary] [UNGA President Remarks] [UN Secretary-General Remarks] [UNGA President Biography] [UN Secretary-General Press Conference] [UN Press Release on Press Conference]

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