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Opening of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

17 September 2013|News

(17 September 2013). The United Nations General Assembly officially opened its 68th session on Tuesday 17 September 2013, at its New York Headquarters, in a ceremony attended by at least 130 Heads of State and Government. 

Over the next few days, world leaders will discuss an agenda including topics such as sustainable development, health, climate change and the fight against hunger, as well as assessing fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals.

At the press conference, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stated that Syria is the main challenge for peace and security: "Let us be clear: the use of chemical weapons in Syria is only the tip of the iceberg. The suffering in Syria must end. Next week, as world leaders gather here, I will make a strong appeal to Member States for action now".

The Secretary-General also referred to the high-level session on disabilities and development being held next week, while recalling that 15% of the world population have some kind of disability.

He also emphasized that the Middle East diplomatic Quartet will meet for the first time in more than a year to support the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. 

The President of the session will be the diplomat from Antigua and Barbuda, John William Ashe, who will be replacing former Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Vuk Jeremic, to preside over the plenary session attended by 193 States.

See the live broadcast.

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