NEW YORK, 20th September, 2022 (WAM) — At what he called “the most consequential moment of the last four decades,” General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi banged the ceremonial gavel to open the UN General Debate, calling for “solutions through solidarity, sustainability and science” – his motto for the Assembly’s 77th session.
“Solutions, because we have drafted many treaties, set excellent goals, yet have taken too little action,” he explained.
“We need solidarity because inequalities have reached record height sustainability because we owe it to our children to leave behind a liveable world…[and] science because it offers us neutral evidence for our actions.”
Mr. Kőrösi stated that climate change has triggered heatwaves, floods, and droughts while unsustainable consumption and production have left scars across our environment.
“We live, it seems, in a permanent state of humanitarian emergency,” he said, pointing out that over 300 million people are in urgent need of aid and protection – a 10 per cent rise since January – and that climate change, COVID-19 and conflict have pushed global hunger to “alarming levels.”
Meanwhile, inflation is at 40-year highs as violence has left one-quarter of humanity caught in instability.
The Assembly President said that the 77th session would be “key” in preparing the SDG Summit in 2023, and the Summit of the Future in 2024.
“Next year, we will assess SDG 6 at the UN Water Conference – the first since 1977,” he informed the world leaders, flagging that “this call could not be more urgent.”
As water is set to be the next major global driver of conflict, he outlined a threefold problem of “too much, not enough, [and] not safe.”
The session will also assess the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, he continued, maintaining that along with the 2030 Development Agenda, Paris Agreement, Addis Ababa Action Agenda on development financing and Our Common Agenda, it describes the world we want and offers avenues to get there.
“The challenges are great. And they are interconnected. But they are not insurmountable,” Mr. Kőrösi upheld.
The Assembly President offered his support to Member States and underscored the importance of “bringing our efforts out of this Hall and into our communities”.
To revitalize the Organization’s relevance in the eyes of the world, he announced his intention to advance negotiations for reforming the UN Security Council to more equitably represent 21st century realities.
“This is a matter of credibility for our entire Organization and our multilateral order,” he asserted.
“Our opportunity is here and now. Let us act.”