Opening annual UN debate, General Assembly President urges focus on action

GA President Sheikha Haya

19 September 2006 – As national leaders from across the world gathered at the United Nations for its annual general debate, the President of the General Assembly urged them to focus on translating commitments into action that will make a tangible difference in the lives of the world’s people.

Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain opened the annual session by calling attention to prevailing problems.

“We live in a world afflicted by violent armed conflicts, hunger and disease; a world threatened by international terrorism, organized crime and the proliferation of all types of weapons; a world brought closer together by the forces of globalization, yet divided by ethnic strife, and a growing technological gap; a world where the enjoyment of human rights is still an unrealized dream for millions of people,” she said.

The international community, she stressed, has a “moral duty to reach collective solutions to resolve these mutual concerns.”

She recalled that one year ago, at the 2005 World Summit, leaders reached consensus on a far-reaching measures to respond to prevailing problems.

“Now the challenge before us is to ensure that our decisions make a more lasting difference to the lives of millions of people around the world.”

Sheikha Haya hailed the recent adoption of the UN Comprehensive Global Counter-terrorism Strategy, while stressing the need to “work towards its effective implementation.” She also urged consensus on the “most needed and long-overdue Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.”

Noting that the theme of this year’s debate is “Implementing a Global Partnership for Development,” she called for attention to “practical measures and strategies which can enable us to make consistent progress, and build on previous international and national efforts.”

She also called for greater UN involvement in tackling security problems, calling for it to “take a more proactive role when addressing the many armed conflicts within and amongst States.”

The general debate, which has attracted the participation of dozens of heads of State and government and numerous other high-level officials, runs through 27 September.

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