At the beginning of the session, the General Assembly devotes a period of two weeks to the general debate, during which heads of delegations may state the views of their Governments on any item before the Assembly.
In accordance with resolution 58/126 of 19 December 2003, in June of each year, the President-elect of the General Assembly, after taking into account the views provided by Member States and following consultations with the incumbent President and the Secretary-General, will suggest an issue, or issues, of global concern upon which Member States will be invited to comment during the general debate.
By its resolution 57/301 of 13 March 2003, the General Assembly decided that the general debate should open on the Tuesday following the opening of the regular session of the General Assembly and should be held without interruption over a period of nine working days. However, for the sixty-second session, in the light of resolution 61/269 of 25 May 2007, by which the General Assembly decided to hold a High-level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace on 4 and 5 October 2007, the general debate will be held from Tuesday, 25 September, to Wednesday, 3 October 2007.
At the sixty-first session, 14 plenary meetings were devoted to the general debate (A/61/PV.10-23), during which 193 speakers took the floor.