Heads of State and Government are arriving in New York to the annual debates at the United Nations General Assembly; they will be hosted by President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the first woman from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over the General Assembly in 73 years and only the 4th woman ever to be elected.


United Nations, New York, 21 September 2018 – Following the opening of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 18 September, the stage is set for the annual High Level General Debate, which will start on Tuesday 25 September.

The new President of the General Assembly, H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, of Ecuador, took the oath of office on 17th September and officially opened the General Assembly a day later with a pledge to dedicate her presidency to women and girls. She said: “I want to support those women who have entered politics; who are demanding equality in the workplace; those women and girls who are victims of violence and those girls and adolescents who demand access to quality education.”

President Espinosa Garcés is the first woman of the Latin America and Caribbean Group to preside over the General Assembly.

The 73rd session of the General Assembly will focus on gender equality, migration and refugees, decent work for all and the role of youth in peace and security. The session will also focus on supporting the rights of the disabled, climate action and revitalization of the work of the UN.

Ms. Espinosa Garcés is committed to bringing the UN closer to the people and people closer to the UN in order to make the Organization relevant to everyone.

She has dedicated her year in office and that of her team to ensuring that the UN delivers seven days a week, every week. Her slogan has been abbreviated to: D.A.R.E which stands for Delivery, Accountability, Relevance and Efficiency.

Along with the statements from world leaders, the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, will also include high-level events on the elimination of tuberculosis and tackling of non-communicable diseases, as well as a special session on global peace in honour of former South African President Nelson Mandela

A statue of Mr. Mandela will also be unveiled at the UN Headquarters in New York in recognition of his lifetime of efforts to promote peace and security and protect human rights, both pillars of the United Nations.


For further information or for media contacts, please liaise with Mark Seddon in the Office of the President of the General Assembly: seddon@un.org


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