General Debate of UN General Assembly opens
The General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Tuesday with the theme of "Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion."
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 74th General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. [Photo: IC]
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, presided over the opening of the debate. He called for cooperation to tackle the many challenges facing the world, with the priority being the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said the promotion of peace and security is at the heart of UN work, asking world leaders to prioritize prevention and commit to poverty eradication, climate action, quality education and inclusion.
In his speech, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked world leaders to put people first. "The first words of the (UN) Charter -- we the peoples -- are a summons to place people at the center of our work. Every day. Everywhere."
"We are living in a world of disquiet," he said. "A great many people fear getting trampled, thwarted, and left behind. Machines take their jobs. Traffickers take their dignity. Demagogues take their rights. Warlords take their lives. Fossil fuels take their future," he warned.
"We the leaders must deliver for 'we the peoples'," said Guterres.