The Week Ahead at the United Nations


22 September – 2  October 2020    

(This document is for planning purposes only and is subject to change) 

To find out which events will be webcast see:   
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, most meetings scheduled to take place at the UN Secretariat have either been cancelled, or are taking place remotely, without physical presence.    
Please consult the  UN Journal and the website of the UN Security Council to find the latest information. 


Tuesday,  22  September

At 9 a.m., in the General Assembly Hall and online, the General Debate of the UN General Assembly will begin.

The theme for this 75th General Debate is “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.” Held at the beginning of each session of the General Assembly, the General Debate provides an opportunity for world leaders to deliver a statement on global issues. This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Member and Observer States can submit a pre-recorded video statement by their respective Head of State or Head of Government, which will be played in the General Assembly Hall, after being introduced by the respective national representative who can be physically present in the Assembly Hall.  You can find more information here: 

The SDG Action Zone is starting today at 8 a.m. and will continue until 24 September.  The all-virtual SDG Action Zone will provide a space for open, transparent, and inclusive multi-stakeholder engagement and global audience participation during the UN General Assembly’s high-level week. Conversations, talks and debates with leading thinkers, activists and creators from across regions, sectors and generations will highlight critical areas to accelerate action on the Sustainable Development Goals in a programme focused on inspiring the transformative change so needed for people and our planet. More information is available here:

SDG Media Zone. Until 29 September - the all-virtual SDG Media Zone will feature UN and other expert voices providing timely, reliable information on key issues at UNGA75. The programme of interviews and discussions, conducted in collaboration with media partners around the world, will highlight solutions, science and solidarity, offering hopeful avenues for the audience to connect with global issues related to recovering from COVD-19 and rebuilding sustainably. The content will inspire audiences to take steps toward a more sustainable world and engage in priority campaigns such as UN75Verified, and ActNow. You can find a full programme of events linked to the SDG Media Zone here: 

In Geneva, the UN Information Service is scheduled to hold its bi-weekly briefing for journalists.

Wednesday,  23  September

Today is the International Day of Sign Languages.

At 7 a.m., the 2020 SDG Business Forum will take place. This event will be co-convened by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the UN Global CompactLiu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of DESA, will be giving a keynote speech as one of the co-hosts.

At 8 a.m., there will be a Virtual annual meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Landlocked Developing Countries.

At 8 a.m., the World Health Organization (WHO) is holding a virtual event titled Infodemic Management: Promoting healthy behaviors in the time of COVID-19 and mitigating the harm from misinformation and disinformation.

At 10 a.m., there will be a High-Level virtual event on Digital Cooperation. The event, entitled Digital Cooperation - Action Today for Future Generationswill be focused on concrete actions to safeguard the technological era for future generations. It is held in conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Generation Unlimited, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Digital Cooperation. The Secretary-General is expected to join the opening segment by video message.

At 10:00 a.m., the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) is organizing the Lebanon - High-level Meeting on Peace & Security. This meeting is expected to reaffirm united international political support for Lebanon’s stability and state institutions.  It will also call for the swift formation of an effective and credible government able to meet the legitimate aspirations and needs expressed by the Lebanese people. The Secretary-General is expected to deliver remarks by video message.

At 10 a.m., the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Russian Federation are organizing the event Progress and Multisectoral Action towards Achieving Global Targets to End TBThis side event will bring together Heads of State, Ministers of Health and other ministries, Heads of Agencies, partners and civil society, to discuss how we can collectively implement the recommendations outlined in the 2020 progress report of the UN Secretary General to advance multisectoral action and accelerate progress to reach the 2022 targets of the UN political declaration on TB. A spotlight will also be placed on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on progress towards ending TB.

At 11 a.m., the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the UN Global Compact and UN Water will host the SDG 6 Business Forum Breakout Session.

At 1 p.m., there will be a Capacity Development Webinar Series entitled “Leveraging Digital Government & Spearheading Innovative Digital Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic in Caribbean SIDS”. This webinar series is being organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) together with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Secretariat and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).

Thursday, 24  September

Today is World Maritime Day.

At 8:30 a.m., the Security Council is scheduled to hold an open VTC on the Maintenance of international peace and security: Global governance post Covid-19.

At 8 a.m., there will be a High-Level Launch Event and Panel Discussion about the Interim Report of the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.

This event will be followed by a hybrid press conference, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Press Briefing Room.

At 11:30 a.m., there will be a High-level Roundtable on Climate Action. This roundtable event, convened by the UN Secretary-General, will showcase high-impact solutions by governments and real economy leaders, in line with the Secretary-General’s six climate-positive actions to recover better together. The event will show the vast social and economic benefits of a sustainable recovery and of action to limit global warming to 1.5°C by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and ensure that people and planet are fully protected from climate change impacts. This Roundtable will also jump-start an ambition arc that will take us to the Fifth Anniversary of the Paris Agreement on 12 December, when governments are expected to present ambitious and quality climate plans (the Nationally Determined Contributions – NDCs – and Long-Term Strategies), all the way to COP26 in November 2021. More information here: 

At noon the spokesman for the Secretary-General will hold a hybrid press briefing, broadcast live on UN Web TV.

At 11:45 a.m., the event Women Rise for All – Together We Are Stronger will present messages from women Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York. The event will also show highlights of the initiativeWomen Rise for All to date, including the High-Level event convened by the Deputy Secretary-General on 14 July. To join the event please register at: View the programme here. This event is part of the SDG Action Zone Breakout Session (Stage 1). 

At 12:30 p.m., the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) are organizing an event entitled From risis to opportunity: How can open and accountable COVID-19fiscal measures support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda?

The World Health Organization is scheduled to hold a virtual press briefing today to provide an update on COVID-19. You can find more information on  WHO’s webpage dedicated to the pandemic.

Friday,  25  September

This Morning, the Security Council is scheduled to adopt resolutions related to Colombia.  The Security Council is also scheduled to hold an open VTC, followed by a closed VTC on the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

At 9 a.m., there will be a high-level virtual side event entitled Participation, Human Rights and the Governance Challenge Ahead. This event will be host by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with the European Union, Gambia, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, Uruguay and other sponsoring Member States. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will be among the panelists.

At 11:30 a.m., there will be a virtual event to launch "Protect the Progress - Rise, Refocus, Recover", the 2020 Progress Report on the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health. Speakers will include the Deputy Secretary-General, Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF, H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia and Co-Chair of the High Level Steering Group for Every Woman Every Child, and H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group.

At noon the spokesman for the Secretary-General will hold a hybrid press briefing, broadcast live on UN Web TV.

The guests at the noon briefing will be Cyrille Vigneron, the CEO of Cartier and Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme.

In Geneva, the UN Information Service will hold its bi-weekly briefing for journalists.

Saturday, 26 September

Today is the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Sunday, 27 September

Today is the World Tourism Day.

Monday, 28 September

Today is the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

Tuesday, 29 September

Today is the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.

This morning the Security Council is scheduled to hold an open VTC on the Middle East. In the afternoon, the Security Council is scheduled to hold a closed VTC on the Middle East.

At 8 a.m., there will be a High-level Event on Financing for Development. This high-level event, convened by the UN Secretary-General and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica, aims to articulate a coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response to the urgent financing for development crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heads of State and Government are expected to adopt an ambitious menu of policy options for countries to recover in the short term, mobilize the financial resources to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, review the global financial architecture to deliver the global standards and align with the SDGs, and strengthen the resilience and sustainability of countries over the medium to long term. More information at

Wednesday, 30 September

Today is the International Translation Day.

At 8:30 a.m., there will be a High-level side event titled Accelerating the end of the COVID-19 pandemic: Taking new solutions to scale to save lives, protect health systems and restart the global economy. The high-level side event hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Kingdom, South Africa, and  the UN Secretary-General, aims to build stronger political consensus for a coordinated global response to COVID-19 and champion the importance and urgency of equitable access to new tools, especially effective vaccines. It also seeks to catalyze a step-change in support for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), the most promising solution for global equitable access to the tools needed to accelerate the end of the pandemic.

At 10 a.m., the UN Summit on Biodiversity will begin. The UN Summit on Biodiversity, convened by the President of the UN General Assembly, aims to provide political direction and momentum for the development of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The event will also demonstrate ambition and commitment to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development, highlight the connections between biodiversity, societies and economies, and showcase biodiversity’s multiple and essential contributions to sustainable development.

Thursday, 1 October

Today is the International Day of Older Persons.

At 9 a.m., there will be a High-level Meeting on Beijing+25. Under the theme, Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls", this high-level meeting of the General Assembly aims to demonstrate the political will and leadership that will bring about the transformative change needed to address root causes, structural barriers, discriminatory practices and social norms that underpin discrimination and inequality. The event will also showcase concrete actions, plans and commitments to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030, including in support of the role of civil society organizations and youth. More information is available here: and 

Friday, 2 October

Today is the International Day of Non-Violence.

At 10 a.m., there will be a High-level Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 

This high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons aims to advocate for resuming dialogue and negotiations for nuclear arms control and disarmament and to consider how States can return to a common path to nuclear disarmament. The meeting also seeks to articulate solutions for the elimination of nuclear weapons and highlight the need for renewed engagement for building sustainable peace and security for all. More information here: