Given recent developments related to the global COVID-19 outbreak, holding of certain events will be assessed in accordance with advice from the United Nations Secretariat, local authorities and the World Health Organization. The President of the General Assembly’s correspondences to Member States regarding the aforementioned situation can be accessed via the following link: https://www.un.org/pga/74/documents/letters/
This document is evergreen and will be updated periodically
ROADMAP FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE VISION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Updated 14 April 2020
The President’s letter dated 8 June 2020 regarding the virtual ceremony to mark the commemoration of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations to be held on 26 June 2020;P
The General Assembly is the chief deliberative and policymaking organ of the United Nations (UN) and the world’s most representative intergovernmental organ. The overall objective of the President is to strengthen the role of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The President is under the authority of the UNGA and will carry out his functions in accordance with the mandates and directions provided by the Assembly.
The primary task of the President of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is to guide the discussions of all plenary meetings in accordance with the GA Rules of Procedure. Also, under resolution 59/313, the President of the General Assembly is authorized to propose interactive debates on current issues, in consultation with Member States.
The President will seek to facilitate amicable deliberations and champion collective efforts within the UN to tackle global challenges. He will work closely with the General Committee, including the Chairs of the six Main Committees of the UNGA.
The Office of the President has a staff complement of 44, of which five positions are financed by the regular budget of the UN, four positions are financed by the Trust Fund , three positions are with the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) and the Department of Global Communications (DGC). The remaining positions are financed by Member States, the EU and UN entities, and made available as secondments. The Code of Ethics applies to the President and all office staff. The values of the office are: integrity, impartiality, respect, transparency and accountability.
Collaboration with Member States, Principal Organs of the UN, UN entities and other Stakeholders
The President is consulting with Members States and other stakeholders through, inter alia, morning dialogues, the General Committee, bilaterally and in other relevant fora.
The President is collaborating with the Presidents of other principal organs of the UN, notably the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Security Council as well as the Secretary General, with a view to ensure coordinated approaches and synergies.
The President is actively seeking opportunities for stakeholder engagements, in particular with the civil society, academia and other key stakeholders on issues relating to the priorities of the seventy-fourth session of UNGA and the overall implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Galvanizing Global Action for the Implementation of Agenda 2030
The President is using his office to mobilise global action for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda focusing, in particular, on poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education and climate action. While these are all separate standing SDGs, they are intrinsically interlinked and complementary, as are all the SDGs. The President will, thus, raise awareness of the interconnected character of the SDGs, and focus on inclusion as a central and crosscutting issue.
The outcomes of the high-level week of the seventy-fourth session is guiding deliberations over the course of the session. All up-coming meetings will be prepared with the view to raising awareness of the work of the UNGA and the importance of multilateral approaches to addressing global challenges.
Goal 4 of the SDGs requires Member States to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and to promote lifelong learning. The global illiteracy rate is, in numerical terms, quite high. More than one million people are illiterate and nearly two-thirds of all the illiterate adults in the world are female, the majority of whom are in developing countries.
Ensuring access to free and quality primary and secondary education, as well as affordable and inclusive vocational and technical education, is vital. This is imperative, given the reality that no nation can develop beyond its educational capacity, particularly the capacity of its teachers. Our commitment to remove impediments to girls’ access to quality education is a priority for the PGA. Specifically, the President will focus on:
- Access to quality education
- Adequate infrastructure for education
- Quality of teachers
Modern technologies present opportunities for expanding access to education through Internet based learning programmes, but there are also challenges where infrastructure, learning environments, the capacity of teachers and the quality of education have not kept pace with the demands of an economy that increasingly demands high-skill levels.
Therefore, the President will, throughout the session and through the prism of already mandated meetings and other fora, use his good offices to raise awareness and mobilize action for the implementation of SDG4 and its affiliated targets.
Inclusion, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
The President is focusing on inclusion, in particular, the role and rights of the youth and persons with disability, as well as gender equality and women’s empowerment. A paper on the President’s work on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment can be found here.
Financing for Development and Partnerships
The President is addressing impediments to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the need for stronger partnerships. In accordance with resolution 73/223, the President is advancing the implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development; and giving due consideration to the central role of maintaining and facilitating the financial and macroeconomic stability of developing countries (per resolution 73/220)
Following up on the previous session’s high-level Meeting on International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthen Good practices on Assets return and related resolution 73/222, the President, in collaboration with the President of ECOSOC, is seeking to galvanize greater support for financial integrity, including through scaling up cooperation efforts and promoting new and innovative initiatives. A paper on the initiative of the President of the GA and ECOSOC can be accessed via the following link.
Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the United Nations
The President will facilitate preparations for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations. The theme “The Future We Want, the UN We Need; Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism” and the modalities for the preparations have been decided by the General Assembly in its resolution 73/299. The theme will guide all activities, meetings and conferences organised by the United Nations, including all mandated events by the UNGA, as well as any new initiatives taken by the President.
In accordance with the aforementioned resolution, the President will:
- complement the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations; in partnership with the President of ECOSOC, the PGA will convene a Youth Plenary in conjunction with the Youth Forum, taking place under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council from 1 – 2 April 2020. Concept note and scenario can be found via the following link;[Given recent developments related to the global public health emergency (COVID-19), and guided by the risk assessments carried out by the UN Secretariat, we have decided to postpone the convening of the Youth Plenary and the ECOSOC Youth Forum, originally scheduled to be held from 31 March – 2 April 2020 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The aforementioned meetings will be held at a later date to be announced in due course]
- determine the modalities and prepare for the commemoration of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations on 26 June 2020 and the commemoration on/in conjunction with 24 October 2020 of the United Nations Day.
- Update: The President’s letter dated 8 June 2020 regarding the virtual ceremony to mark the commemoration of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations to be held on 26 June 2020. Concept notes and scenarios will be posted in due course; and
- prepare for a high-level meeting of the UNGA on 21 September 2020 to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations and has appointed two co-facilitators to lead and conclude intergovernmental negotiations on a declaration to be adopted by consensus.
In accordance with resolution 73/340, the President will convene a one-day Multi-stakeholder hearing on 21 July 2020, and, in accordance with resolution 73/294, he will convene a one-day high-level meeting on 23 September 2020 at its seventy-fifth session to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25). Concept notes and scenarios will be posted in due course. The 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, under the Economic and Social Council to be held from 9 – 20 March 2020, will also complement preparations for the marking of Beijing+25 and the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the United Nations.
The President will prepare and convene an informal high-level plenary meeting to mark the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace on 24 April 2020 (resolution 73/127). Concept note and scenario will be posted in due course.
[In line with the PGA letter to Member States from 11 March 2020 and given recent developments related to the global public health emergency (COVID-19), and guided by the risk assessments carried out by the UN Secretariat, we have decided to not go forward with the High-level event to commemorate and promote the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace scheduled for 24 April 2020]
The President will, based on his priorities and through collaboration with key partners, raise awareness on the issue of prevention of conflict and, in particular, the importance of accelerating the implementation of Agenda 2030 in this regard. The ongoing Review of the Peace Building Architecture will allow for discussions on how to strengthen UN’s efforts on sustaining peace.
Women’s role in peace and security and the importance of women’s participation at all levels of decision making in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts will be at the centre of the President’s efforts. Likewise, the need to develop both peace and security policies, plans and programmes with a gender perspective.
OVERVIEW OF MANDATES ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT; AND EVENTS TO BE CONVENED DURING THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION
LConvention on the Rights of the Child
In accordance with resolution 73/301, the President convened, on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a one-day High-level meeting on 20 November 2019. The President focused, in particular, on the impediments for children, girls and boys alike, in relation to access to education in order to raise awareness of the importance of quality education. Concept note and scenario can be accessed via the following link.
Midterm review of the “Follow-up to the 2nd UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries”
In accordance with resolution 73/243 and 72/232, the President convened two days of high-level plenary meetings devoted to the midterm review of the “Follow-up to the 2nd UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries”. The meeting was held on 5 and 6 December 2019. A draft outcome document was agreed through intergovernmental negotiations and was adopted during the high-level plenary meeting.
The President focused, in particular, on raising awareness on the need to find avenues to address the challenges faced by landlocked developing countries, including through the eradication of poverty and hunger, and the advancement of quality education for all. Concept note and scenario can be accessed via the following link.
Conclusion of the International Year of Indigenous Languages
In accordance with resolution 73/156, the President convened a high-level event on 17 December 2019, to mark the conclusion of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The event focused on the critical importance of indigenous languages. Concept note and scenario can be accessed via the following link.
International Day of Education
In conjunction with UNESCO, the President marked the International Day of Education on 24 January 2020, (resolution 73/25) with an Interactive Dialogue that addressed, in particular, the critical importance of quality education for all. Concept note and scenario can be accessed via the following link.
In a letter dated 9 June 2020, the President shared the summary of the Interactive Dialogue on the theme, “Aligning Inclusive Quality Education Policies with Sustainable Development Goals”.
Interactive Dialogue on: “Targeting Hunger: South- South and Triangular cooperation for Transforming Agriculture”
To highlight and find solutions to the growing problem of ‘Hunger’ around the world, the PGA convened an interactive dialogue on “Targeting Hunger: South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Transforming Agriculture” on 12 February, from 3 pm to 6 pm at the UN headquarters. The event highlighted the crucial role of smallholder and family farmers in promoting sustainable agriculture as a lever to achieve the SDG 2 of Zero Hunger by 2030. The dialogue featured panel discussions involving policy makers, practitioners, academics and private sector representatives including farmers. Concept note and scenario can be accessed via the following link.
2020 UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and Sustainable Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development
Update: Noting with concern the situation relating to the coronavirus disease, the General Assembly adopted decision 74/548 to postpone the Conference to a later date to be decided by the Assembly. Link to the decision. Link to the relevant letter.
In accordance with resolution 73/292, the 2020 UN Ocean Conference will be held in Portugal from 2 – 6 June 2020. Per the same resolution, the President of the General Assembly has appointed two co-facilitators, one from a developing country and one from a developed country, to:
- chair a two-day preparatory meeting on 4 and 5 February 2020, convened by the President, with a view to considering the themes for the interactive dialogues of the aforementioned conference; and
- to oversee the preparatory process and conclude intergovernmental consultations on a brief, concise, action-oriented and intergovernmentally agreed declaration focusing on, and highlighting, the science-based and innovative areas of action to support the implementation of Goal 14 by May 2020.
Concept note and scenario can be accessed via the following link.
Interaction between the United Nations, National Parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union
In keeping with tradition, the President co-hosted the annual interaction between the United Nations, National Parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The meeting was held on 17 and 18 February 2020 (resolution 72/278). Concept note can be accessed via the following link
Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries
Update: In view of the actions taken to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the joint thematic event on “Accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda in LDCs to leave no one behind” has been postponed. See letter here.
In fulfillment of GA resolution, A/C.2/74/L.54, the PGA will collaborate with the President of ECOSOC to convene a half-day thematic event on preparation for the 5th UN Conference on LDCs in Doha. Further information on the event and the Concept Note can be accessed via the following link
Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
Update: In light of recent guidance severely limiting the number of persons attending in-person meetings as a result of the continuing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commemorative meeting on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, scheduled for 23 March 2020 has been postponed. See letter here.
In accordance with resolution 73/262, the President, in concert with the President of the Human Rights Council, will convene a meeting of the Assembly and the Council during the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 23 March 2020. A Concept note for the event will be posted in due course.
In a dated 9 June 2020 sharing the summary of the Interactive Dialogue on the theme, “Aligning Inclusive Quality Education Policies with Sustainable Development Goals”, which was held on 24 January 2020, in commemoration of the International Day of Education.
Permanent Memorial to and Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Update: In light of recent guidance severely limiting the number of persons attending in-person meetings as a result of the continuing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commemorative meeting on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade has been postponed. See letter here.
In accordance with resolution 70/7, the General Assembly in concert with the Secretariat will, on 25 March 2020, hold a commemorative meeting to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Informal Interactive Hearing on the Margins of session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
In accordance with resolution 71/321, the President will, as part of the preparatory process for the consideration of such measures during its seventy-fifth session, organize and preside over an informal interactive hearing on the margins of the session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (13 April 2020). Date and concept note for the event will be posted in due course.
Harmony with Nature
Update: Noting with concern the situation relating to the coronavirus disease, the General Assembly adopted decision 74/547 entitled “Interactive dialogue on Harmony with Nature” to cancel the interactive dialogue that was scheduled to be held during the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly. Link to the decision. Link to the relevant letter.
In accordance with General Assembly resolution A/C.2/74/L.47/Rev.1, the President will convene an Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature, commemorating the 11th International Mother Earth Day on 22 April 2020. Further information and the concept note can be found via the following link.
High-level debate on the theme “Urban safety, security and good governance: making crime prevention a priority for all”
In accordance with General Assembly resolution 74/177, the President will, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, convene a high-level debate on the theme “Urban safety, security and good governance: making crime prevention a priority for all”. A summary of the discussions will, thereafter, be transmitted to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and to all Member States. Concept note and programme for the event will be posted in due course.
High-level thematic debate on the Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets
In accordance with resolution 73/17, the President convened a high-level thematic debate on the “Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets”. The President focused on any gaps in digital education and access to technology, which undermines the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the role of technology for quality education and take stock of the developments within the UN system.
The meeting was held on 11 May 2020, prior to the annual multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals, under the auspices of ECOSOC.
Informal Interactive Dialogue on Commodity Markets
Postponed. Click for the link.
In accordance with General Assembly resolution 74/204, the President will convene an interactive dialogue on commodity markets. The event will seek to review world commodity trends and prospects and possible strategies for economic and export diversification, as well as value addition for sustainable development, particularly in commodity-dependent developing countries; and share experience and lessons learned. Further information on the date and Concept Note for the event can be found via here
High-Level Dialogue on Desertification
Update: the High-level dialogue on desertification, land degradation and drought scheduled was postponed. The President of the General Assembly will submit a draft decision recommending that this event is postponed to the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly, to a date to be decided at the seventy-fifth session.
In accordance with resolution 74/220 entitled “Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa”, the President will convene a high-level dialogue in collaboration with the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Combatting Desertification on 9 June 2020 (tbc). The dialogue will seek to assess the progress made in the fight against desertification, land degradation and drought and to map the way forward, in the light of the end of the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification in 2020. concept note can be found here.
Human Rights Treaty Body System
In accordance with resolution 73/162, the President invited the Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies to address and engage in an interactive dialogue with the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session under the item relevant to the work of the treaty body.
In his statement at the event, the President contended that with the COVID-19 pandemic, Member States must ensure that international human rights law and standards are at the centre of all responses to the pandemic in order to protect the most vulnerable and marginalised.
United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules)
In accordance with resolution 70/175 and in keeping with tradition, the President will arrange for a celebration of the Nelson Mandela International Day (also known as Mandela Prisoner Rights Day) tentatively on 20 July 2020. Concept note and scenario for the event will be posted in due course.
Summit on Biodiversity
The General Assembly resolutions 73/234 and A/C.2/74/L.66 entitled “Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development” decided to convene a summit on biodiversity to highlight the urgency of the action at the highest level in support of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity. The President has appointed Co-facilitators for this process.
MANDATED REVIEWS AND PROCESSES
Revitalization of the Work of the GA
Update: A letter from the co-facilitators on the proposed way forward in view of the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic
In accordance with resolution 73/341, the GA will, at its seventy-fourth session, establish an ad hoc working group on the revitalization of the work of the GA, open to all Member States to:
(a) identify further ways to enhance the role, authority, effectiveness and efficiency of the Assembly, inter alia, by building on the progress achieved in past sessions as well as on previous resolutions, including evaluating the status of their implementation; and
(b) To submit a report thereon to the Assembly at its seventy-fourth session.
Alignment of the GA agenda with the 2030 Agenda
In accordance with resolution 73/341, the President will identify proposals, in a timely manner, through consultations with all Member States, the President of the Economic and Social Council and the General Committee, within their respective mandates, aimed at addressing gaps, overlaps and duplication where they are found to exist in the agenda of the Assembly as they relate to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, and reaffirm the respective mandates of the Main Committees of the Assembly, and on that basis, call upon all of them to continue their consideration of addressing gaps, overlaps and duplication in their respective agendas as they relate to the 2030 Agenda as a whole, and in this regard requests them to make proposals available for discussion during the seventy-fourth session of the Assembly.
The President has appointed two co-facilitators for this process.
Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and matters related to the Security Council
Update: a letter from the co-chairs.
In accordance with decision 73/554, the GA decided to immediately continue intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform in informal plenary of the GA at its seventy fourth session as mandated by previous resolutions, building on the informal meetings held during its seventy-third session and on the revised elements of commonality and issues for further consideration, circulated on 7 June 2019, as well as the positions of and proposals made by Member States, reflected in the text and its annex circulated on 31 July 2015, to help to inform its future work. The President has appointed Co-chairs for the intergovernmental negotiations.
Review of the Economic and Social Council and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
Update: A letter from the co-facilitators (05 May 2020)
In accordance with resolutions 72/305, 70/299 and 67/290, the President will facilitate a review of the Economic and Social Council and the follow-up and review of the high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The President has appointed two co-facilitators for this purpose. It follows from the aforementioned resolution, 72/305, that the GA will adopt one main theme for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the Economic and Social Council for 2020. To undertake consultations and prepare for such decision, a facilitator was appointed.
The high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will take place from 7 – 13 July, to be followed by the high-level Segment, including the three-day ministerial segment of the high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development from 14 – 17 July 2020.
Steering Committee on the Partnerships for Small Island Developing States
In accordance with resolution 70/202, the General Assembly will form a steering committee on partnerships for small island developing States that shall be open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of the specialized agencies, chaired by one Member State that is a small island developing State and one Member State that is not a small island developing State, to be appointed by the President of the General Assembly, which shall meet on a regular basis, with interpretation services provided on an as-available basis, to support the follow-up of existing and promote and advocate the launching of new small island developing States partnerships; entities of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, major groups and other stakeholders will be invited to contribute, as appropriate; the Secretariat, in particular the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, will provide a supporting role to the steering committee.
The President has appointed two co-chairs for this process.
The United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy Review
A letter from the co-facilitators on the proposed work plan for the process in the coming weeks. (19 March 2020)
In accordance with resolution 72/284, the GA will undertake the seventh biennial review of the Strategy at the seventy-fourth Session. The UN Secretary General (SG) is to submit to the GA, no later than February 2020, a report on progress made in the implementation of the Strategy, containing suggestions for its future implementation by the UN System, as well as on progress made in the implementation of the resolution.
The GA to undertake by June 2020, an examination of the report of the SG, as well as the implementation of the Strategy by Member States, and to consider updating the Strategy to respond to changes
To this end, the President has appointed two co-facilitators for this process.
Comprehensive Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture
In accordance with resolution 72/276, a comprehensive review of United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture will take place during the Seventy-fourth session. The Secretary General is to submit to the General Assembly, during its seventy-fourth Session, a detailed report in connection with the next comprehensive review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, focusing on continued implementation of resolution 72/262 and progress in the implementation of the recommendations and options contained in his report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. The Terms of Reference for this process can be accessed via the following link.
Informal interactive Dialogue of the Member States with the Candidate(s) for the Position of President of the General Assembly
Update: More information on the interactive dialogue that took place on 15 May 2020 can be found here
In accordance with resolution 73/341, the President organized the informal interactive dialogue of the Member States with the candidate for the position of President of the General Assembly pursuant to resolution 71/323 as a question and answer session with targeted and relevant questions. This served as a follow-up to the vision statement of the candidate and drew on the plans and priorities of the candidate for his term, and emphasized the need to provide enough time so that all participants would have the opportunity to put forward questions.