21 September 2022
Solidarity, Sustainability, Science to Drive Transformation During UNGA77
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The UN General Assembly closed its 76th session (2022-2022) on 12 September and opened the 77th (2022-2023) on 13 September 2022.

The outgoing UNGA President urged Member States to “not lose hope and give into cynicism”.

Incoming President Csaba Kőrösi said he will push for solutions through solidarity, sustainability, and science to achieve a sustainability transformation.

As the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened, the incoming President Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary urged Member States to forge solutions through solidarity, sustainability, and science to achieve the transformation necessary for better outcomes.

The UNGA opened its 77th session (2022-2023) on 13 September 2022 under the theme, ‘A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges.’

In remarks to the first meeting of UNGA 77, Kőrösi reiterated that in a “world of widening geopolitical divides and protracted uncertainty,” his Presidency will work to uphold the principles of the UN Charter by supporting a preventative approach to conflict and crisis. Warning that conflicts will increase as the planet warms and natural resources become scarce, he said a sustainability transformation is required, guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Paris Agreement on climate change, and Our Common Agenda. To that end, Kőrösi will push for “Solutions through Solidarity, Sustainability, and Science” – the motto of his Presidency. In an interview to UN News, he also indicated he will work to restore trust among nations, including by holding “fireside chats” among UN diplomats to facilitate “very open, and very informal consultations on very difficult issues.”

We need to have more science by our side if we want to realize the Goals by 2030.

— UNGA 77 President Csaba Kőrösi 

Emphasizing that “Governments do not have a monopoly on good ideas,” the UNGA 77 President underlined the importance of meaningful engagement with civil society, academia, and the private sector. Kőrösi also supported youth engagement, including through a UN Youth Office the UNGA recently decided to establish.

Prior to the opening of the 77th session, on 12 September, the UNGA held a meeting to close its 76th session (2021-2022). In his final speech as UNGA President, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives urged Member States to “not lose hope and give into cynicism.” “Let us use the instruments at our disposal to secure global peace and justice” and “tell the next generation that their aspirations, their futures, their planet, are worth fighting for,” he said.

Let us not turn our backs on those who look to us at the United Nations for solutions.

— UNGA 76 President Abdulla Shahid

Addressing the last meeting of UNGA 76, UN Secretary-General António Guterres thanked Shahid for his “Presidency of Hope,” which brought “fresh vision to issues like gender equality, climate action and the unique perspective of small island States.”

Welcoming the UNGA 77 incoming President, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for “continued solidarity” in addressing global challenges, including conflicts, climate change, poverty, inequality, hunger, and a broken global financial system, through debate, deliberation, and diplomacy.

The 77th general debate began on 20 September 2022. [UN News Story on UNGA 76 Conclusion] [UN News Story on UNGA 77 Opening] [Handover Report from UNGA 76 President to UNGA 77 President] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story about Opening of UNGA 76]

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