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New York, 16 October 2012

President of the General Assembly addresses the members of the Third Committee of the General Assembly

The President of the General Assembly Mr. Vuk Jeremić addressed today the 10th meeting of the Third Committee of the General Assembly.

In his opening remarks the President underlined the crucial role of the Committee in promoting social and humanitarian issues and human rights matters with the UN system.

He commended the work of the Human Rights Council, as well as various Special procedure mandate-holders.

The President stressed the need to achieve gender equality and welcomed the role of UN Women in providing guidance to the Member States on empowering women and girls.

He encouraged the members of the Committee to focus on achieving the widest possible consensus on the many issues before them. He underlined the most important issues ranging from the death penalty, the rights of the Palestinians, to religious defamation and intolerance.

The President urged the members of the Committee to cooperate closely with the Second Committee on agenda items that fall within its scope of work. He expressed the hope that this would promote greater coherence in the work of the General Assembly and further revitalization efforts.

He stated that freedom of speech is a sacrosanct human right, but its abuse can result in hate speech. The President asked the members of the Committee to send a message that freedom of speech needs to be guaranteed, but that hate speech in any form should not be tolerated.


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