A multilateral approach to global problems, implementation of refugee and migrant agreements, gender equality, decent working conditions, environmental protection, the rights of persons with disabilities, and peace and security issues. The President of the General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, told the representatives of the UN member States about her priorities in this post.
The President of the General Assembly is elected for one year. Espinosa began her keynote speech with the achievements of the first four months of her work – she took the office in September 2018. During the main part of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, she said, that 281 resolutions and 63 decisions were adopted. She recalled the historic meeting in Marrakech, the participants of which came to an agreement on a Global compact for migration, and the conference in Katowice, where the fate of the Paris climate agreement was decided.
The coming months also promise to be eventful. In the context of her first priority – strengthening the multilateral approach to solving global problems – Maria Espinosa intends to gather the former presidents of the General Assembly at the UN, to hold a meeting with the mayors of the cities of the world, as well as to take part in the meeting of the Interparliamentary Union, devoted to international cooperation.
As to the second point - the implementation of agreements on refugees and migrants, the President of the General Assembly plans to convene a high-level meeting on international migration in February.
In the context of gender equality, Maria Espinosa told about her plans to hold an event on women in power. She also paid attention to the issue of decent working conditions. This topic will be discussed by the participants of the event, which will be held at the UN headquarters in April. "The UN should play a key role in the implementation of the sustainable development goals, including goal number eight, related to ensuring decent working conditions and social equality," - stressed the President of the General Assembly.
Speaking of the fifth priority-environmental protection, she called for an end to plastic waste pollutiion of the world's oceans. Espinosa reported that a festival on this topic will be held in April. It will also be co-organized by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Norway.
In addition, she said, a high-level meeting dedicated to the struggle against climate change will be held at the UN in March.
With regard to the sixth priority related to the rights of persons with disabilities, Maria Espinosa announced the creation of a Committee that will study how to make the UN facilities more suitable for people with disabilities. "I also intend to launch a campaign for the universal ratification of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities," she added. She called on UN-member states to support this initiative.
Issues of peace and security are also among the priorities of the President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly. According to her, a meeting on the culture of peace will be held in the UN next September. Moreover, in cooperation with the UN Office on drugs and crime, the General Assembly will hold an event to discuss the role of regional organizations in the implementation of crime prevention initiatives.