MDG Summit to precede general debate of the General Assembly’s 65th session

General debate which provides Heads of State and Government the opportunity to express their views on major international issues, gets underway on 23 September in New York

With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs, the Summit held on 20-22 September “will be a crucially important opportunity to redouble our efforts to meet the Goals,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon referring to the targets adopted at the UN Millennium Summit of 2000, aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths and other ills by the 2015 deadline.

The High-level Plenary Meeting on MDGs will consist of six plenary meetings, on the basis of two meetings a day, and six interactive round-table sessions to be held in concurrence with plenary meetings regarding several topics: poverty, hunger and gender equality, health and education, promoting sustainable development, addressing emerging issues and evolving approaches, addressing the special needs of the most vulnerable and widening and strengthening partnerships.

The MDG Summit will be followed by the General Debate on the theme “Reaffirming the central role of the United Nations in global governance” on 23-25 September and 27-30 where Heads of State and Government will express their views on the theme.

High-level meeting on Biodiversity

In addition to the MDG Summit, a High-level meeting of the General Assembly as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity will be held on 22 September. The meeting will be chaired by the President of the 65th session of the General Assembly. The panels will be co-chaired by Heads of State and Government at the invitation of the President of the 64th session on the basis of equitable geographical representation.

The President of the General Assembly will prepare a summary of the discussions during the high-level meeting for presentation at the closing plenary meeting and for transmission, under his authority, to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Mauritius Strategy +5 Review

The Mauritius Strategy +5 Review (Five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States) will be held on 24-25 September.

The review should provide the international community with an opportunity to conduct a thorough assessment of the progress made, lessons learned and constraints encountered in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation and to agree on what needs to be done to further address the vulnerabilities of small island developing States.

65th session of the General Assembly

At its 65th session, the Assembly will address the promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development, maintenance of international peace and security, development of Africa, promotion of human rights, justice and international law; effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts, disarmament; drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; and other organizational, administrative and other matters.

Second and Third Committee

The Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) and the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) will discuss the items on the agenda related to economic questions and social and humanitarian issues, respectively. The Committees seek where possible to harmonize the various approaches of States, and present their recommendations, usually in the form of draft resolutions and decisions, to a plenary meeting of the Assembly for its consideration.

The Assembly’s Second Committee – dealing with the economic and financial aspects of development – will convene starting on 4 October. DESA’s has planned a number of side events including panel discussion. The Assembly’s Third Committee – dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural matters – will also convene on 4 October to discuss items questions relating to advancement of women, youth, ageing, the disabled, humanitarian assistance and related issues.

The Assembly is the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN, a forum for multilateral negotiation. While it is empowered to make only non-binding recommendations to States on international issues within its competence, it has, nevertheless, initiated actions – political, economic, humanitarian, social and legal – which have affected the lives of millions of people throughout the world. The Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000, and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, for example, reflected the commitment of Member States to reach goals to achieve development, poverty eradication, promote the rule of law, meet the special needs of Africa and protect the environment.

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