The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) serves as the primary decision-making body within the United Nations and offers a platform for addressing urgent global issues. During the 78th session of the UNGA, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to multilateral cooperation by actively participating in various UNGA activities.
The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly 18 to 26, 2023, at a time of unprecedented challenges to global progress.
During UNGA 78, world keyword including young voices, will engage in discussions and debates on how to address these multifaceted global challenges and formulate strategies to expedite action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda.
The SDG Summit will play a vital role as a central event during UNGA 78. It will serve as a platform for leaders and communities to come together and reaffirm their dedication to the Sustainable Development Goals, marking the halfway point towards achieving these goals by 2030.
The 78th session of the UNGA commenced on September 5, 2023, with the High-Level Week occurring from September 18 to 22 in New York. The United States firmly believes that the United Nations plays a crucial role in addressing the most significant challenges that affect us all. They remain dedicated to collaborating within the UN framework to find solutions to these challenges.
In this context, the United States focused its efforts on three key areas during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly:
Partnerships: Recognizing that addressing global challenges requires cooperation with a diverse range of countries, even those with whom there may be disagreements. Such collaboration is essential in addressing issues of significance to the United States, developing nations, and the world at large.
Principles: The United States emphasizes the importance of upholding the principles outlined in the UN Charter, including respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of every member state.
Joseph R. Biden President of the United States of America addresses the general debate of the 78th Session of the General Assembly in New York.
Joseph R. Biden President of the United States of America addresses the general debate of the 78th Session of the General Assembly in New York. Once again, the annual debate at the UN General Assembly is marred by the grim specter of war, specifically the unlawful invasion instigated by Russia against Ukraine, for the second consecutive year. Strong solidarity and support for Kyiv were expressed during these discussions.
The responsibility for this conflict lies solely with Russia, which initiated this war without any valid reason. The urgent question arises: can any nation’s independence be secure if we allow Ukraine to be divided and dismantled?
Addressing this issue directly, it is imperative that we confront this aggression today to prevent potential aggressors in the future. The United States, in collaboration with its global allies and partners, remains steadfast in standing by Ukraine as it courageously defends its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the freedom of its people.
This support is not just an investment in Ukraine’s future; it is an investment in the future of every nation, emphasizing the shared commitment to peace, security, and the protection of national boundaries.
Bending arc of history
He began by reflecting on his recent visit to Vietnam, highlighting how it would have been unimaginable in the past for a U.S. President to stand in Hanoi and announce a mutual commitment, especially considering the painful history of war between the two nations.
However, he emphasized that our past should not limit our potential for the future. With determined and cooperative leadership, adversaries can transform into partners, daunting challenges can find resolutions, and even the most profound wounds can eventually heal. When we unite and work together, we possess the ability to shape the course of history in a positive direction.
‘Our future is bound to yours’
The United States is committed to building a future that is secure, prosperous, and fair for everyone because they recognize the interconnectedness of their future with the rest of the world. The President stressed that no single nation could tackle the current global challenges alone.
To address these challenges effectively, it’s crucial to revamp outdated institutions. This includes incorporating diverse leadership from regions that have historically been underrepresented. Issues like Security Council reform and investing in developing nations demand urgent attention.
The President emphasized the necessity of 21st-century solutions to propel us forward, starting right within the walls of the United Nations. He highlighted the UN’s pivotal role in maintaining peace, preventing conflicts, and managing the opportunities and dilemmas posed by emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI).
He emphasized the progress happening globally, particularly efforts focused on establishing a fair and enduring peace, including the pursuit of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. Regarding the relationship between the US and China, he stressed the US’s intention to handle bilateral competition responsibly, ensuring it doesn’t escalate into conflict. He emphasized the approach of minimizing risks rather than completely disengaging from Beijing, emphasizing a strategy of de-risking rather than decoupling.
To advance the global efforts toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he emphasized the collective responsibility of all nations to intensify their actions. The United States pledged its unwavering commitment to this cause.
Addressing security concerns, he proudly announced that the US completed the disposal of its remaining chemical weapon stockpile in 2023. In contrast, he expressed deep concern about Russia’s continuous disregard for crucial arms control agreements, undermining international security.
He strongly condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) persistent violations of Security Council resolutions and urged for diplomatic resolutions to address these ongoing issues. Regarding Tehran’s actions that pose threats to regional and global security, he affirmed that Iran must never be allowed to possess nuclear weapons.
Power is ‘in our hands’
Even though the Universal Declaration for Human Rights was adopted 75 years ago, the fight against discrimination is far from over. Yet, the President emphasized that the power to create a safer and more sustainable world lies within our hands, achievable through partnerships and shared optimism.
He underscored the critical juncture in history, where our actions will be judged based on our commitment to the promises made to ourselves and one another. The President posed a vital question: Do we have the courage to uphold the principles of the UN? His resounding answer was clear: we must, and we will. He called for collective action, urging everyone to collaborate in shaping a positive trajectory for the world. He emphasized that it is within our capabilities to make this transformative change happen.
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Oliver Dowden’s speech to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Deputy Prime Minister of United Kingdom Oliver Dowden’s speech to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
As we meet here this evening millions of people in Morocco and Libya continue to struggle aftermath of a devastating earthquake and flood. Let me extend the sympathy of the British people to those who have lost their dear ones.
I want to express the agreement of the British people by notify you that our search and rescue teams are on the ground in Morocco, and we have boost up our unselfish aid for Libya. Our support will undergo, standing behind numerous other nations present here, in the coming weeks and months.
This week, nations have assembled to resume our commitment to get to grip with the most significant challenges of our time.
Climate change, highlighted by frightening weather events, demands immediate action. The importance to act cannot be overplayed.
We are also focusing on reinvigorating the Sustainable Development Goals after the disruptions caused by Covid-19. Realigning our efforts to ensure progress in vital areas like healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation is our shared responsibility.
Additionally, the issue of migration looms large, with millions undertaking perilous journeys across borders and seas, often falling prey to human traffickers. It is imperative that we address this humanitarian crisis with compassion and find comprehensive solutions to safeguard the lives of those affected.
In essence, our gathering underscores the necessity for international collaboration and emphasizes our joint resolve to create a safer, more sustainable world for all.
Czech Republic’s President Petr Pavel addresses the 78th Session of the UNGA
In his address to the General Assembly, President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, underscored the immense responsibility carried by the international community in shaping humanity’s future. He emphasized that no single nation could confront the current global challenges in isolation, pointing out the grave threat posed by Russia to the broader world amidst its ongoing aggression in Ukraine.
President Pavel emphasized that our world has become more perilous due to the actions of Russia and a handful of other nations. He highlighted Russia’s blatant violation of the UN charter and international law through its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an act that the entire international community subscribes to condemning.
Drawing from his country’s own history of wars and interventions, including a lengthy military occupation imposed by Moscow, President Pavel shared his personal experience from visiting Ukraine. He recounted witnessing the horrifying war crime scenes in places like Bucha and Borodyanka and being in close proximity to the front lines in areas deeply affected by conflict.
President Pavel condemned Russia’s atrocities, human rights violations, and brutal attacks on innocent civilians. He particularly highlighted the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia for so-called “re-education,” a sinister attempt to erase their culture and identity.
In summary, President Pavel’s speech called for global unity in the face of these challenges, emphasizing the need for international cooperation to ensure a safer and more just future for all.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune speech at the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City
During his address at the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune extended an invitation for the UN to hold a special session to conduct a vote on granting full state membership to Palestine. He emphasized Algeria’s support for the Arab Peace Initiative, advocating for an independent Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, and condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories as a significant factor contributing to regional instability.
President Tebboune urged the UN Security Council to pass a resolution endorsing a two-state solution and calling for an end to the Israeli occupation. He reiterated Algeria’s call for a new world order based on equality and emphasized the need for reforms within the UN Security Council, which he criticized for its perceived weakness in maintaining international peace and security and preventing the use of force.
Additionally, President Tebboune highlighted the historical injustice done to Africa and called for rectifying it by granting the continent proper representation in the UN Security Council. He also expressed Algeria’s stance on the crisis in neighboring Niger, supporting the restoration of constitutional order, advocating for a peaceful political resolution, and rejecting foreign military intervention.
As a background, it’s important to note that currently, Palestine holds the status of a “non-member observer state” within the UN. To attain full UN membership, Palestine needs approval from the UN Security Council followed by a vote in the UN General Assembly. Palestine previously applied for full UN membership in 2011 but did not receive enough support in the UN Security Council.
Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov at the General Debate of 78th Session of the UN General Assembly
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Many preceding speakers have highlighted the irreversible changes our shared planet is undergoing. We witness the formation of a new world order, shaped by a struggle between the Global Majority, advocating for fairer global resource distribution and cultural diversity, and a minority resorting to neocolonial tactics to maintain their diminishing power.
The West, particularly Americans and Europeans, have a history of making promises and commitments, including legally binding ones, only to fail in fulfilling them. Russia, among other countries, has experienced this firsthand. Despite collaborative efforts during World War II, plans like ‘UNTHINKABLE’ against the USSR were being made. The promise of not expanding NATO eastward was given, yet it proved to be false, leading to a breach of trust.
Recent joint exercises by the US and European NATO allies, including scenarios involving nuclear weapons in Russia, are deeply concerning. NATO’s expansionism has extended into space and cyberspace, further escalating tensions. The attempts to expand NATO’s influence to the Eastern Hemisphere under the guise of “indivisibility of Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific region’s security” are alarming. This expansionist agenda, particularly against Russia and China, risks creating new geopolitical tensions, adding to the already volatile situations in Europe and Asia. It seems that the US and the collective West are attempting to impose a global “Monroe Doctrine.” These illusory and extremely dangerous ideas must be recognized as such. The pursuit of genuine global stability requires cooperation, dialogue, and respect for the sovereignty of all nations.
Statement by the Prime Minister of Pakistan General debate of the 78th Session of UN General Assembly.
Speaking on behalf of Pakistan’s Government and its people, I want to extend our heartfelt congratulations to you, Mr. President, for your election to lead the proceedings of this significant session of the UN General Assembly. We are confident that your extensive diplomatic expertise and the positive spirit of your picturesque Island nation will play a crucial role in guiding this Assembly to a highly successful outcome.
We find ourselves in a critical and tense moment in modern history. Conflict is ongoing in Ukraine and numerous other regions worldwide. Tensions among major global powers continue to rise, leading to the emergence of both new and longstanding military and political alliances. This resurgence of geopolitics is taking precedence over geo-economics when it should be the other way around. The world simply cannot afford a second Cold War. We face more significant challenges that require global cooperation and united action.
The global economic outlook also appears rather bleak. Economic growth is sluggish, and there’s a risk of recession due to high interest rates. A series of external shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, and the impacts of climate change, have wreaked havoc on the economies of many developing nations. Several countries in the global South have barely managed to avoid defaulting on their debts. Poverty and hunger are on the rise, undoing the progress made in development over the past three decades.
During the recent Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, substantial commitments were made to put the SDGs into action. We must ensure the implementation of the “SDG Stimulus,” which involves redirecting unused Special Drawing Rights for development purposes. This also includes expanding concessional lending through Multilateral Development Banks and addressing the debt challenges faced by 59 countries in distress.
Statement by the Abdullah bin Zayed to lead UAE delegation to 78th UN General Assembly (22 September 2023)
Under the guidance of Sheikh Abdullah, the UAE delegation will actively interact with Member States, UN representatives, and various interested parties to tackle pressing global issues. These include addressing climate change, preventing extremism, countering the threats posed by terrorist organizations, and promoting the empowerment of women and girls.
Throughout UNGA78, the UAE delegation will take part in numerous important gatherings focused on enhancing climate goals, supporting development financing, preventing, and preparing for pandemics, ensuring universal healthcare access, combating tuberculosis, and advancing discussions on the treaty for banning nuclear weapons.
The upcoming UN General Assembly session is occurring at a crucial juncture for the global community. Its theme, “rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity,” underscores the immediate necessity of enhancing the multilateral system’s capacity to address the world’s most pressing challenges,” stated Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
She further emphasized that the UAE has a well-established history of fostering cooperation and bridging divides. During its tenure on the UN Security Council, the UAE leveraged this experience to facilitate common ground and promote collaboration. Looking ahead, the UAE aims to continue building on this track record by engaging with the international community to reinforce solidarity, foster consensus, and contribute to the maintenance of global peace and security.