Assembly President proposes development debate to ‘translate commitment into action’

General Assembly President Sheika Haya

6 October 2006 – The President of the United Nations General Assembly announced today she has proposed an informal meeting –– involving the UN, donors, recipient countries and others –– focusing on global development, saying she had been encouraged by world leaders’ commitment during last month’s general debate in New York.

Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain said she had sent a letter to all 192 Member States yesterday outlining the work programme for the Assembly’s 61st session, seeking to capture the vision of world leaders to make substantive progress towards implementing the various internationally agreed development goals.

“I was encouraged by the renewed commitment of world leaders to multilateralism as the most appropriate way to address the many global challenges of our time… To help translate this commitment into concrete action, I have proposed to Member States holding an informal thematic debate during the main part of the 61st session.”

“The purpose of this meeting will be to review practical measures and strategies which could advance efforts to eradicate extreme poverty... [It] will bring together interested donor and recipient countries along with all other stakeholders of the UN system, as well as civil society, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector,” she told reporters in New York. The debate is expected to be held by the end of December.

Sheikha Haya said she also intended to hold two other “multi-stakeholder” informal debates on gender and dialogue among civilizations, and had also emphasized to Member States the importance of all aspects of the UN reform process. She also called on them to continue moving toward a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.

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