United Nations: Pressing issues ranging from terrorism, nuclear safety to instability in the Middle East and the economic crisis will be high on the agenda of the over 120 heads of State who will gather here next week for the annual debate at the 66th session of the UN General Assembly.
The debate will be held from 21 to 27 September and will see participation from world leaders including President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
For the first time in the 66-year-old history of the United Nations, a woman leader - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff - will be the first speaker of the debate.
Of the 121 heads of state and government who will be attending the UN meet, 12 are women leaders.
“World leaders will be coming together at a moment of uncommon turbulence and high anxiety,” UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon told reporters.
Apart from the global economic crisis that continues to shake banks, businesses, governments and families, the world faces an “extraordinary” array of geopolitical and humanitarian challenges including famine in Somalia, aftershocks of the Arab Spring, ongoing conflicts and difficult transitions in some countries, Ban said.
“All this is in addition to the deeper political, economic and environmental transformations that are reshaping our world,” he added.
The secretray eneral said in his speech to the General Assembly he would focus on UN role’s in building a safer and secure world, women and youth issues, sustainable development as well as on ways to ensure a more transparent and accountable United Nations.
A host of key meetings have also been lined up on the margins of the debate.
In a first for the General Assembly, a high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases will be held on 19 September.
Next, a symposium on counter-terrorism would aim to strengthen global response to the continued threat of terror attacks in nations across the world.
An international initiative will also be launched to address the global challenge of ‘sustainable energy’.
A nuclear safety and security meeting would explore ways to advance the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, which is “key to our effort to create a nuclear-weapon-free world.”
It would also address the issue of safety and security of nuclear installations.
A special session would be held on Libya on 20 September during which he hoped to get prompt Security Council action on his proposals for a UN support mission to help the transitional authorities and the Libyan people in the post-conflict phase.