UN General Assembly – the work continues

The 2019 general debate has officially come to a close, but the work of the General Assembly hardly ends once the world leaders leave. Over the next months, the nitty‑gritty debates and negotiations in the General Assembly’s six main committees begin. UN DESA is substantively supporting the work of two of them.

Second Committee – Economic and Financial Issues

The Second Committee of the General Assembly addresses a range of issues related to sustainable development, from the macroeconomic situation to poverty eradication.

Chaired by Cheikh Niang, the Permanent Representative of Senegal to the UN, the Committee will kick off its work on 7 October 2019 under the theme “Inclusive societies based on new economic models and sustainable use of natural resources.”

This year, the Committee will consider issues ranging from financing sustainable development to advancing and monitoring the SAMOA Pathway for small island developing States, to reviewing the desertification, biodiversity, and climate change conventions.

It will also deliberate on challenges and solutions for countries in special situations, such as least-developed and landlocked developing countries. In addition, the Second Committee will take a closer look at the double bind of income poverty and time poverty and at emerging economic models, during two special side events organized with UN Women, UN DESA and UNCTAD.

At a joint meeting with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Second Committee will deliberate on the “Ecosystem Approaches for shifting the world onto a sustainable pathway.”

Third Committee – Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Issues

The Third Committee begins its seventy-fourth session on 1 October, under the chairmanship of Christian Braun, the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the UN. The Committee’s discussions on social development will cover a range of issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities and education for all.

The Committee’s deliberations will be informed by the Secretary-General’s report on the “Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the 24th special session of the General Assembly.”

The report calls for strengthened international cooperation for social development, especially on universal and equitable access to education and health care, and to advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report highlights the importance of investing in people, which is essential to develop human capacity and achieve social development.

The report also addresses the special needs of Africa, the least developed countries, and various social groups at risk of being left behind. It recommends the acceleration of progress towards universal health coverage; scaling up social protection, including floors; addressing the specific challenges of disadvantaged groups; and mobilizing additional resources to invest in water and sanitation infrastructure.

The Third Committee will also discuss the forthcoming UN DESA World Social Report, which analyses inequalities based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, migrant status, disability and socioeconomic status.

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