12 September 2017: The President of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Miroslav Lajčák, outlined the priorities of his mandate during the opening of UNGA 72. The UNGA President said his tenure will focus on conflict prevention, peace, migration and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.
In his acceptance speech, Lajčák identified six priorities for his mandate: people; peace and prevention; migration; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action; human rights; and quality. UNGA 72 will address the theme, ‘Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.’
Delivering his first address to the Assembly in his capacity as President, the UNGA President reminded delegates that the 72nd session would see the negotiation of the first intergovernmental compact on migration and the signing of the first agreement on the elimination of nuclear weapons. Lajčák promised follow-up efforts for maintaining the momentum in implementing and financing the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The UNGA President also identified as important: contributing “a fresh outlook” to the ongoing UN reform; streamlining UNGA’s agenda to make it manageable for all Member States, including the delegations that have small representations; and communicating with youth, media, civil society and the private sector.
At the same event, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the UN reform proposals, which the Assembly will consider, will help the UN to adapt and deliver and stressed one key change “must be to empower the world’s women and girls.” Within this context, the Secretary-General said he had launched a roadmap for achieving gender parity throughout all levels of the UN.
UNGA 72’s opening session took place on 12 September 2017 in New York, US. Lajčák is a career diplomat from Slovakia. [UN Press Release] [UN Meetings Coverage] [Interview with UNGA President] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNGA 71 Closing]