News Stories

General Assembly agrees to hold more talks on responsibility to protect

14 September – The General Assembly today adopted by consensus its first resolution on the responsibility to protect, agreeing to hold further discussions on the international understanding to intervene to stop atrocities from taking place.


Assembly President calls for revamping UN in final address to Member States

14 September – The President of the General Assembly today called for a complete overhaul of the United Nations so that it can effectively carry out its mission, as he wrapped up his year-long term as head of the 192-member body.


UN panel calls for new global reserve, credit systems to avert future crises

10 September – A high-level United Nations commission on the world financial crisis today called for a new global reserve system that does not rely on a single currency like the dollar, a new global credit facility to complement the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a new global coordination council that would be more inclusive than the current G20 bloc of countries.

Report on Gaza by the President's Chief Advisor on Humanitarian Affairs

19 August – On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day (19 August 2009) and in view of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the President of the General Assembly is circulating the report, entitled "Gaza - Destruction and Hope", of his Chief Advisor on Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Kevin M. Cahill, who visited Gaza at the President's request. Dr. Cahill writes: "Seeing Gaza in February 2009, shortly after the Israeli invasion, reminded me of Dore’s l9th century engravings of hell for Dante’s Inferno. The level of destruction conjured up images of Dresden or Hiroshima at the end of World War II. There were areas in the northern Gaza Strip where not a single structure was standing. An Amnesty International report has deemed this “wanton destruction” of civilian buildings on such a massive scale as constituting 'war crimes'."

Hiroshima anniversary time to renew commitment to disarm – top UN officials

6 August – The 64th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima serves not only as a reminder of the destruction wrought by nuclear weapons but as a time to renew the global commitment to rid the world of this deadly scourge, top United Nations officials said today.


Assembly President warns on doctrine to intervene on war crimes, atrocities

23 July – The principle of ‘responsibility to protect,’ the international understanding to intervene to stop atrocities from taking place, could pose a threat to national sovereignty, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto warned today.


Honduras: Ban voices support for efforts to end political crisis

14 July – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his support for the Costa Rican leader’s mediation efforts to resolve the political crisis in Honduras, where President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was ousted by the military last month.


UN expert criticizes actions of authorities, Supreme Court in Honduras

10 July – An independent United Nations human rights expert has criticized the actions of the de facto authorities in Honduras, and the behaviour of the Supreme Court, and called for an immediate return to the rule of law following the recent coup d’état.


Ban calls on regional bloc to find peaceful resolution to Honduran crisis

6 July – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his sadness at the deaths that have occurred in Honduras following the ouster of President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and called on the Organization of American States (OAS) to find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis.


Western Sahara: UN envoy wraps up regional visit

1 July – The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy who is trying to help broker a political solution regarding the status of Western Sahara has wrapped up a visit to the region which took him to Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Spain.


Officials from UN-African Union mission visit returnees in North Darfur

29 June – Officials from the joint United Nations-African Union mission have visited areas of North Darfur to verify reports of the spontaneous return of refugees and displaced persons to their villages, and to assess their living conditions.


Honduras: Ban voices concern over arrest of President

29 June – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his deep concern over the situation in Honduras, voicing his strong support for the nation’s democratic institutions and speaking out against the arrest of its constitutional President.


UN financial summit ‘first step’ on new path towards solidarity – Assembly President

26 June – The high-level United Nations meeting on the global economic crisis has culminated in the approval of an outcome document that represents the first step in a long process of putting the world on a new path towards solidarity, stability and sustainability, the President of the General Assembly said today.


Ban urges restraint to avoid escalation of political tensions in Honduras

26 June – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his concern about the political and institutional tensions in Honduras and urged restraint by all concerned to prevent any further escalation.


Assembly President strongly condemns 'attempted coup' in Honduras

25 June – General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto today deplored an "attempted coup" against the Government in Honduras, and called on all parties to resolve their differences through peaceful dialogue.


Human rights must figure prominently in tackling financial crisis, UN summit told

25 June – The top United Nations rights official has joined several of the world body’s independent experts in calling on delegates attending a high-level General Assembly summit to prioritize human rights in formulating a response to the global financial slowdown.


Top officials converge at UN to tackle global economic crisis

24 June – As high-level delegates from around the globe gathered in New York today to discuss how to address the economic meltdown while taking the interests of all nations into account, top United Nations officials issued urgent calls for action to ease the burden on the world’s poorest.

Ban welcomes election of General Assembly President

10 June – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated veteran United Nations diplomat Ali Abdessalam Treki of Libya on his election as the President of the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

International Day spotlights need for more women in UN peacekeeping

29 May – The United Nations is marking the annual International Day of Peacekeepers by honouring the brave troops, police and civilians who serve in some of the most difficult places around the world, and by stressing the unique role played by women and the need to deploy more of them.

General Assembly postpones economic summit

26 May – The General Assembly has postponed until late June the high-level gathering aimed at assessing the global economic crisis and seeking solutions which take the interests of all nations into account, it was announced today.

General Assembly to consider possible postponement of financial summit

22 May – The President of the General Assembly announced today that the body will meet next week to consider postponing a high-level gathering which seeks to assess the economic crisis which has devastated the world economy and search for solutions taking all nations' interests into account.

Upcoming UN economic summit ‘timely and historic’ – Assembly President

8 May – The upcoming United Nations meeting to tackle the global financial crisis is both “timely and historic,” the President of the General Assembly said, urging all States to participate at the highest level and to support the draft outcome document that he presented today.

Assembly President urges Latin America, Caribbean to support economic summit

6 May – The President of the General Assembly has called on the Rio Group, an alliance of 23 Latin American and Caribbean nations, to play a central role in shaping the future of the global economy to truly reflect the needs and concerns of the region.

Solutions to financial crisis must have input of developing nations – UN official

1 May – The global conversation aimed at finding solutions to alleviate the economic and financial turmoil enveloping markets around the world needs to widen participation to include poor and developing nations, a senior advisor to the President of the United Nations General Assembly said today.

Indigenous peoples’ voices must be heard in climate change policies – UN official

23 April – The world’s 370 million indigenous people are suffering from the worst impacts of climate change, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said today, stressing that they must play a pivotal role in any decisions made on the issue.

Assembly President calls for unity in protecting planet on Earth Day

22 April – As the United Nations General Assembly officially designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day, its president called on States to “cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystems.”

General Assembly summit seeks wide participation, says President

14 April – The General Assembly's upcoming summit on the financial and economic crises that have swept the globe seeks to give a voice to nations not responsible for the turmoil but most impacted by it, the body''s President said today.

General Assembly agrees on terms of UN summit on financial crisis

7 April – The United Nations will convene a global summit in June to assess the impact of the world economic crisis on development, it was announced today, after the General Assembly agreed on the arrangements for the conference.

Assembly President, citing a billion now hungry, urges ‘new politics of food’

6 April – Warning that one billion people worldwide are on the verge of starvation, the President of the United Nations General Assembly today called for “a new politics of food” emanating from the bottom up and based on the right to sustenance.

Global finance structures must be revamped, says UN expert panel

26 March – International finance structures must be drastically overhauled in the face of the current global economic crisis, a panel of experts convened by the United Nations General Assembly said today, calling on wealthier nations to direct one per cent of their economic stimulus packages to help developing countries address poverty.

Education must be keystone of crisis recovery – UN Assembly President

18 March 2009 – The President of the United Nations General Assembly today urged that children’s education be made central to the assistance given to communities devastated by violence and disaster, as he opened a dialogue on the topic in New York.

Assembly President discusses UN meeting on financial crisis with world leaders

17 March – The President of the General Assembly has just returned to New York from a three-week trip during which he spoke with some 20 world leaders about the upcoming high-level United Nations meeting on the global financial crisis and its impact on development.

Crises threaten attainment of rights by world’s poorest – Assembly President

4 March – The twin economic and financial crises threatens poorer nations’ ability to attain basic human rights, such as the right to food and access to water and sanitation, the head of the General Assembly declared today.

‘Moral courage’ needed to combat human trafficking – Assembly President

3 March – Human trafficking has no place in the 21st century, the General Assembly President said today, calling for commitment and change exceeding political will to eradicate the scourge.

Myanmar: General Assembly President calls for resumption of substantive talks

19 February – The President of the General Assembly today called on both the Government of Myanmar and the opposition to resume substantive dialogue without preconditions and without further delay, after meeting with the United Nations envoy who just returned from a visit to the South-East Asian nation.

General Assembly President to discuss reform efforts during upcoming trip

General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

18 February 2009 – The President of the General Assembly will be leaving later this week to visit a number of cities around the world to inform heads of State about ongoing efforts to reform the United Nations.

UN General Assembly on verge of negotiating Security Council reform

13 February – On-going work on reshaping the size and membership of the Security Council and making the vital organ of the world body more democratic is finally heading for serious negotiations, the Ambassador to the United Nations for Afghanistan, Zahir Tanin, told the press today.

World’s poor should not have to bear brunt of financial crisis – Assembly President

12 February – Countries must work together in the face of the worst global economic crisis in decades to ensure that the world’s most vulnerable – who are the least responsible for the meltdown – do not bear the brunt of the turmoil, the President of the General Assembly said today.

Assembly President calls for action to bring marginalized into mainstream

10 February – The President of the General Assembly today stressed the need to recognize the rights of the marginalized and boost their inclusion in local and global financial structures, during the launch at United Nations Headquarters in New York of the first-ever World Day of Social Justice.

Senior UN officials survey ‘shocking’ aftermath of Israeli offensive in Gaza

22 January 2009 – Senior United Nations officials today began their assessment of the humanitarian needs in Gaza, getting a first-hand look at the damage and destruction inflicted on the Strip’s 1.5 million residents during three weeks of Israeli military operations.

UN agency to resume suspended aid distributions in Gaza after Israeli assurances

9 January 2009 – The United Nations will resume suspended aid distribution for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza as soon as possible after receiving credible security assurances from “the very highest levels” in Israel following an attack that killed one UN contract driver and injured a second although they had received Israeli clearance.

Security Council overwhelmingly calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

8 January 2009 – The United Nations Security Council tonight overwhelmingly called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza leading to a full Israeli withdrawal, the unimpeded provision throughout Gaza of food, fuel and medical treatment, and intensified international arrangements to prevent arms and ammunition smuggling.

Security Council calls on Israel, Palestinians to end violence immediately

28 December 2008 – The Security Council on Sunday called on Israel and the Palestinians to immediately end all violence, as Israeli airstrikes in response to rocket attacks by militants in Gaza reportedly killed 270 people and wounded more than 600 in the Strip.

General Assembly approves nearly 17 per cent increase in current UN budget

24 December 2008 – The United Nations General Assembly today approved an almost 17 per cent increase in the current United Nations budget for the 2008/2009 period to $4.87 billion from $4.17 billion, including nearly $500 million for the next six months for peacekeeping operations in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region.

On International Day, UN officials call for protecting dignity and rights of migrants

18 December 2008 – Top United Nations officials are marking International Migrants Day by stressing the need to ensure the dignity and human rights of the more than 200 million people worldwide who cross borders to live and work, and who make a vital contribution to their societies.

Cooperation among developing nations vital to tackling current crises – D’Escoto

General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

16 December 2008 – Current global crises, ranging from food to fuel and finance, offer an opportunity to increase solidarity among developing countries, the President of the General Assembly said today, stressing the potential benefits of South-South cooperation for dealing with a range of issues.

UN Assembly President calls stories he tried to stop Israel speaking ‘malicious lie’

15 December 2008 – United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto today called media stories that he tried to prevent Israel’s representative from speaking on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “a malicious and absolute lie.”

Seven human rights fighters receive top UN awards

10 December 2008 – The United Nations General Assembly today awarded its top human rights prize to seven global advocates ranging from a Congolese doctor who treats female victims of sexual violence, a nun who fought for indigenous rights before her murder in Brazil, and the assassinated Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto.

Urgent action needed to alleviate desperate plight of Gaza’s civilians – UN rights expert

9 December 2008 – Steps to alleviate the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza must be taken immediately, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today, calling on the world body to turn its words into action.

Assembly President terms Doha call for aid to developing countries ‘remarkable’

5 December 2008 – United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D´Escoto today hailed the outcome of the recent Doha global finance meeting as “remarkable,” noting that it urged donor States to maintain their aid commitments to developing countries despite the global economic crisis.

Assembly President terms Doha call for aid to developing countries ‘remarkable’

5 December 2008 – United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D´Escoto today hailed the outcome of the recent Doha global finance meeting as “remarkable,” noting that it urged donor States to maintain their aid commitments to developing countries despite the global economic crisis.

On World AIDS Day, UN officials call for continued momentum to tackle disease

1 December 2008 – Top United Nations officials have marked World AIDS Day today by calling for vigilant efforts to build on earlier successes in the fight against the global epidemic and stressed the need to eliminate discrimination against sufferers of the disease.

Countries making progress ahead of UN development forum – Assembly President

25 November 2008 – Countries are reaching some consensus on the key issues ahead of this weekend’s critical United Nations conference on the need to strengthen financing for development for poor countries amid a time of global economic turmoil, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said today.

General Assembly President calls for ‘food democracy’ in face of global crisis

19 November 2008 – General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto today called for a new politics “that starts from the bottom up, not the top down” in the face of the current global food crisis of soaring prices and mass hunger.

General Assembly President unveils details of panel probing global financial system

14 November 2008 – General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto today announced the full composition of a high-level task force he is setting up to examine possible reform of the global financial system, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, in the wake of the current economic turmoil.

Religion can never justify terrorism or killing of innocents, General Assembly declares

13 November 2008 – A high-level meeting of the General Assembly today decried the use of religion to justify the killing of innocent people and terrorist acts and voiced concern that serious instances of intolerance, discrimination and harassment persist between people of different faiths and cultures.

Top UN officials tell world leaders it is time for action in fight against global woes

12 November 2008 – The General Assembly President today told global leaders the world is facing its most difficult period since the founding of the United Nations and urged them to use their “moral strength” in finding solutions to the problems plaguing the Earth, such as global hunger, poverty and climate change.

General Assembly President voices hope that global meeting on values will spur action

11 November 2008 – The General Assembly President expressed optimism today that the high-level “Culture of Peace” gathering, which kicks off tomorrow with the leaders and senior officials from dozens of nations, will hasten action on such global obstacles as hunger and poverty.

UN peacekeeping missions overwhelmed, top officials warn on anniversary

7 November 2008 – The bitter reality of conflicts in many countries dwarfs the ability of United Nations peacekeeping efforts to halt warring factions and maintain security despite their best intentions, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said today.

General Assembly President calls for international response to financial crisis

30 October 2008 – The international community must fundamentally reform the global financial system and help restore the trust lost as a result of the greed and corruption that caused the current economic crisis and untold suffering around the world, the President of the General Assembly stressed today.

UN Day marked around the globe with array of events and festivities

24 October 2008 – From a concert in New York by world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma to a tree-planting ceremony in strife-torn Darfur to a blood donation drive in Namibia, celebrations were held across the globe today to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

General Assembly President says idolatry of markets caused financial crisis

3 October 2008 – Unrestrained worship of the market has led to the current worldwide financial crisis, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said today, calling for solidarity between individuals and governments and a renewed faith in the value of regulation to resolve the economic problems.

Top UN officials issue call for urgent action to help world’s hungry

23 October 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto appealed for swift measures to help the world’s poor who have been hit hardest during this time of financial, food and fuel crises, as United Nations Headquarters observed World Food Day today.

General Assembly President sets up task force to review global financial system

21 October 2008 – The President of the General Assembly has announced he is setting up a high-level task force to review the global financial system, including major bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in response to the current turmoil that is affecting all countries, large and small.


General Assembly President calls for boosting UN’s peacebuilding capacity

9 October 2008 – The President of the General Assembly today urged Member States to support the strengthening of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, designed to help countries emerging from conflict to secure long-term peace and avoid slipping back into war or chaos.


General Assembly President says idolatry of markets caused financial crisis

3 October 2008 – Unrestrained worship of the market has led to the current worldwide financial crisis, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said today, calling for solidarity between individuals and governments and a renewed faith in the value of regulation to resolve the economic problems.

Assembly President calls for power shift at UN

1 October 2008 – Calling for the democratization of the United Nations, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto today stressed the need to restore power “usurped” by the Security Council to other organs of the world body.

Current crises threaten to roll back development gains, warns Ban

26 September 2008 – The challenges posed by the weakening world economy, steep rises in food and energy prices, and climate change threaten to reverse previous development gains, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, addressing the countries most likely to bear the brunt of the impact of these problems.

Around $16 billion in new commitments unveiled at UN anti-poverty event

25 September 2008 – Governments, foundations, businesses and civil society groups have rallied around the call to action to slash poverty, hunger, disease and other socio-economic ills by 2015, by announcing an estimated $16 billion in new commitments to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), at a high-level event at United Nations Headquarters.

Global leaders set to meet at UN to chart progress towards development goals

24 September 2008 – Almost 100 world leaders are converging on the United Nations on Thursday for a high-level meeting to assess how to translate commitments into effective action to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

General Assembly President calls for solidarity to defeat culture of selfishness

23 September 2008 – The President of the United Nations General Assembly today opened its annual high-level debate with a call for the 192 Member States to “choose the path of solidarity” to overturn what he described as a culture of selfishness that allowed millions of people worldwide to suffer in poverty or as a result of other man-made problems.

At UN forum, leaders pledge to address Africa’s development needs

22 September 2008 – World leaders meeting at the United Nations today have underscored the urgency of finding solutions to the major challenges facing Africa, and have recommitted themselves to a global partnership to help the continent halve poverty, illiteracy and other socio-economic ills by 2015.


State of Africa’s development requires greater efforts by all, UN officials stress

22 September 2008 – Africa is facing a development emergency and only concerted efforts by the entire global community will enable it to make headway in halving poverty, illiteracy and other socio-economic ills by 2015, top United Nations officials said today as the General Assembly began a day-long meeting devoted to the continent.


On International Day, UN spotlights link between human rights and peace

21 September 2008 – Teaming up with a range of actors, from artists and students, to cell phone companies and chess enthusiasts, the United Nations is celebrating the International Day of Peace, which this year holds special meaning since 2008 also marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


World on ‘the brink’ of eliminating malaria deaths, says UN envoy

19 September 2008 – Leading figures from government, business and civil society will meet next week in New York to highlight how close the world is to ending malaria deaths by the target date of 2015, a goal that the United Nations special envoy for the disease says is clearly within reach.

Ban congratulates General Assembly President-elect

5 June 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua on his election as President of the 63rd session of the General Assembly.

Nicaraguan elected to head next session of General Assembly

Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, President - elect of the 63rd session of the General Assembly

Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, President - elect of the 63rd session of the General Assembly

4 June 2008 – The former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann will become the next President of the General Assembly after the 192-member body elected him today by acclamation.