We have reached another notable moment on the United Nations calendar.
With the end of the 67th session of the General Assembly, we express our gratitude to the President of this body, His Excellency Vuk Jeremic, as well as the Vice Presidents, committee chairs and others who helped steer the Assembly through an eventful year.
I thank again His Excellency Vuk Jeremic for the great dynamism he brought to the job. When he was elected, he was just a month away from his 37th birthday, making him one of the youngest people ever chosen to serve in this capacity. I am sure he now feels considerably older than 38; presiding over 193 Member States has a way of aging a person!
Over the past year, the General Assembly has realized a number of significant achievements across the range of issues that are on the General Assembly’s agenda.
To cite but a few, the Assembly held its first-ever High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law and adopted a far-reaching and forward-looking Declaration on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels.
The Assembly also adopted an Arms Trade Treaty, the first-ever international treaty to regulate the trade of conventional weapons.
These were important breakthroughs indeed.
All in all, the Assembly adopted more than 300 resolutions, including on the strengthening of the Organization itself.
Mr. President, you also convened a number of thematic debates and dialogues on entrepreneurship, culture, inequality and, just last week, on the Responsibility to Protect, a timely initiative indeed. The Assembly also renewed its efforts to combat trafficking in persons.
The 67th session coincided with a challenging period for the international community.
The Assembly stepped in when the Security Council was divided on Syria.
The Assembly continued to wrestle with the prolonged consequences of the global economic crisis.
Member States also began the hugely important discussions on the post-2015 development agenda and a new set of goals for sustainable development, including by establishing the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and the High- Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
The 67th session also saw us close the General Assembly Hall for a much-needed renovation. I thank Member States for the continued support for the Capital Master Plan.
I again thank all those who, during the 67th session, helped to establish the necessary groundwork for achievements in the years ahead. I look forward to the capable stewardship of Ambassador John Ashe during the 68th session of the General Assembly to take this vital work forward, for the benefit of the people we are here to serve.
I thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership.