The 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) comes at a particularly precarious moment for international peace and security. The war in Ukraine, the specter of renewed great power competition, and conflicts and crises around the globe have threatened to undermine the rules-based international order. At the same time, the need for multilateral cooperation has never been more pressing in the face of transnational challenges ranging from climate change to pandemics to nuclear non-proliferation. 

Against this backdrop, world leaders and civil society representatives will meet in New York City from Sept.13-27 to discuss these and other critical issues.

During the next two weeks, Just Security will highlight UNGA 77’s key moments and trends to watch. We invite you to regularly check this page for the latest commentary from UNGA 77 as it is updated to reflect the assembly’s meetings, speeches, notable quotes, expert analysis, and more.

Relevant Expert Analysis

Collections

United Nations General Assembly Archive
Just Security’s coverage of United Nations General Assembly affairs, from policy critiques and enforcement of accountability to safeguarding international justice. 

Russia-Ukraine War Archive
A catalog of more than 100 articles from Just Security’s coverage of the conflict in Ukraine, with topics ranging from the war’s disinformation and economic consequences to questions of genocide and nuclear proliferation. 

Prosecuting the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine
A new series that outlines the importance of prosecuting the crime of aggression committed against Ukraine, organizing an international criminal tribunal established through the United Nations General Assembly, and addressing issues of jurisdiction and composition.

Anniversary of the Fall of Kabul
A collection of articles marking the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

Articles

United Nations

Mexico’s Initiative for Dialogue and Peace in Ukraine
Ambassador H.E. Juan Ramón de la Fuente and Pablo Arrocha Olabuenaga discuss the Mexican President Manuel López Obrador’s proposal for the establishment of a High-Level Caucus for Dialogue and Peace in Ukraine, as well as the rationale behind it, given the United Nations Security Council’s standstill. 

Framing the Problem of Hunger and Conflict at the UN Security Council
Michael Fakhri (@MichaelFakhri) analyzes the Security Council’s failure to adequately address the link between food security and conflict and calls for a global right to food plan.

On Crimes Against Humanity, Protect the UN Sixth Committee’s Integrity With Action
Leila Nadya Sadat (@leilasadat1) and Akila Radhakrishnan (@akilaGJC) review how the UN General Assembly’s Sixth Committee could make progress on the International Law Commission’s draft treaty.

Addressing Atrocity Crimes at the United Nations General Assembly’s 77th Session
Rebecca Barber (@becjbarber) details how states can leverage this year’s General Assembly to respond to atrocity crimes, including those committed by Myanmar’s military junta, the Taliban in Afghanistan, China, and Russia.

The UN’s Summit of the Future: Advancing Multilateralism in an Age of Hypercompetitive Geopolitics
As the 77th United Nations General Assembly commences, Richard Ponzio and Joris Larik (@JorisLarik) analyze the need to address geopolitical challenges in the midst of a hostile international climate. 

Richard Gowan on Ukraine and How Russia’s War Reverberates at the United Nations 
Richard Gowan discusses challenges to holding Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine against the backdrop of the 77th United Nations General Assembly. 

The Case for Creating an International Tribunal to Prosecute the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine
Oona Hathaway (@oonahathaway) emphasizes the importance of prosecuting Russia’s crime of aggression in Ukraine and outlines a framework for a tribunal through the United Nations.

The United Nations in Hindsight: Challenging the Power of the Security Council Veto
Shamala Kandiah Thompson (@skandiah), Karin Landgren (@LandgrenKarin) and Paul Romita (@PaulRomita) examine the Security Council’s flawed veto power and its recent shortcomings.

Human Rights

A UN Report Implicates the Chinese Government in Crimes Against Humanity. What Comes Next?
Sophie Richardson (@SophieHRW) discusses the implications of the recently released report on China’s human rights violations against ethnic minorities and how the global community can hold the Chinese government accountable going forward.

Human Rights in the Crosshairs
James A. Goldston (@JamesAGoldston) offers suggestions to strengthen the contemporary human rights movement in light of democratic backsliding and endangered justice. 

Next Steps on the Road to Accountability and Security for Rohingya Refugees
Tun Khin evaluates the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis and the Myanmar government’s wrongdoings whilst urging the international community to provide refugees with further humanitarian support.

Gender and Women’s Empowerment

Afghan Women Entrepreneurs Battle to Retain Economic Freedom
Manizha Wafeq (@WWafeq) reviews how the Taliban’s economic and legal systems have squeezed the dwindling number of women-owned businesses in Afghanistan.

Gendering the Legal Review of New Means and Methods of Warfare
Andrea Farres Jimenez (@afarresj) argues that artificial intelligence systems in warfare should be required to take into account gender under the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

Counterterrorism

The UN’s Counterterrorism Office Wants a Seven-Fold Budget Increase. First, Tackle Underperformance and Risks.
Larry Attree (@LarryAttree) explores the causes and effects of the UN’s counterterrorism shortcomings and suggests structural changes to make its efforts more effective.

Abusive “Counterterrorism” Crackdowns Choke Independent Civil Society in the Middle East
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin (@NiAolainF) writes on how “counterterrorism” strategies in Israel and Saudi Arabia target individuals and groups seeking to hold the governments accountable. 

Biden’s New Counterterrorism Policy in Somalia: Cautions and Unknowns
Luke Hartig (@LukeHartig) analyzes the Biden administration’s decision to deploy 500 troops to Somalia and conduct strikes against al-Shabaab.

Non-Proliferation

The United Nations in Hindsight: The Security Council and Weapons of Mass Destruction
With the failure of the 2022 Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Karin Landgren (@LandgrenKarin) analyzes the U.N. Security Council’s role in regulating weapons of mass destruction. 

The Tenth NPT Revcon: What’s at Stake for the Global Nuclear Order
Sang-Min Kim (@SangMinKim0) reviews key experts’ views on the goals of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Climate

Good COP, Bad COP: After the Mixed Results of COP26, What’s Next?
Ben Abraham and Jocelyn Perry analyze the “mixed results” of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference and suggest that implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement will depend on countries’ commitment to addressing the threat of climate change.

Long Term International Climate Assistance to Pakistan is a Hard Sell, but Necessary. Here’s Why.
Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) examines Pakistan’s severe climate vulnerability and the need for international aid as the country endures devastating floods.

Key Meetings and Speeches

General Debate

The General Debate will take place September 20-26, 2022. Delegates from each member state will have 15 minutes to speak, beginning with Brazil and then continuing in alphabetical order

General Assembly (September 21st, 9:00 AM ET): Sixth plenary meeting, continuation of the General Debate

18 delegates will speak during the sixth plenary meeting.

  • Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari), President, Nigeria
    • On Climate
      • “Africa and other developing nations produce only a small proportion of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to industrial economies. Yet, we are the hardest hit by the consequences of climate change as we see in the sustained droughts in Somalia and floods of unprecedented severity in Pakistan.”
      • “Rocketing energy costs worldwide are, in part, the product of conflict and supply disruptions to Europe and the Americas. Yet, we are all paying the price. It is, therefore, our expectation that this UNGA 77 and the upcoming COP 27 will help galvanize the political will required to drive action towards the fulfillment of the various existing climate change initiatives.”
    • On Disarmament 
      • “The danger of escalation of the war in Ukraine further justifies Nigeria’s resolute calls for a nuclear-free world and a universal Arms Trade Treaty, which are also necessary measures to prevent global human disasters. In this regards we must find quick means to reach consensus on the Nuclear non-proliferation Treaty with related commitments by nuclear weapon states.”
  • Ebrahim Raisi, President, Iran
    • On Israel-Palestine
      • “The region has not seen previously a savage occupying power such as the Zionist regime in its midst in the past. The killing of children and women are present in the dark report card of the Zionist regime. It has managed to form the biggest prison in the world in Gaza.”
    • On Disarmament
      • “The Islamic Republic of Iran with goodwill accepted an agreement in 2015. And in the first phase, we did live up to all of our commitments without any exceptions. But the result of that was the trampling upon by America on that agreement. And as themselves said in so many words, there were unprecedented oppressive sanctions in history. Sanctions are a punishment on the people of Iran for being freedom seekers. Weapons of mass destruction is what these sanctions are.”
      • “It was America that left and trampled upon the agreement, not Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency issued 15 different reports stating precisely that Iran had remained fully committed to all of our commitments.”
      • “We gave ample opportunities for those who trampled upon and left this agreement to return to it. We have been extremely flexible and had it not been for our flexibility, the negotiations have stopped in the very first few days. The logic of negotiations of Iran is a just analysis of what is going on. Our wish is only one thing: commitment, observance of commitments.”
  • Khurelsukh Ukhnaa (@UKhurelsukh), President, Mongolia
    • On Disarmament
      • “I urge not only States Parties to the treaty [on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons], but also all UN Member States to exert political will and courage to build a world free of nuclear weapons, unite and work together wholeheartedly and faithfully for the sake of our Mother Earth, peace, and future generations.”
    • On Climate
      • “We, Mongolians, are nomadic and pastoralist people. Lives of over 200 million people, raising livestock and living in harmony with the nature like us, are at risk now due to climate change, land degradation, desertification, drought and extreme winter calamities. In order to protect their interests, improve pasture management and use, preserve ecosystem balance, and provide global food security and supply, Mongolia initiated a UNGA resolution proclaiming the year of 2026 as the “International year of Rangelands and Pastoralists”, and it was adopted on March 15, 2022.”
    • On the Security Council
      • “We are of the view that it is important for every Member State to take an active part in the process of the UN reforms and constructively contribute to strengthening the position and role of the organization. Mongolia views that the key to the reform of the UN is the reform of the Security Council, which bears the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.”
  • Joseph R. Biden (@JoeBiden), President, United States
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter — no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force. Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe and a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime.”
      • “Russia, in the meantime, is pumping out lies, trying to pin the blame for the crisis — the food crisis — onto sanctions imposed by many in the world for the aggression against Ukraine. So let me be perfectly clear about something: Our sanctions explicitly allow — explicitly allow Russia the ability to export food and fertilizer.  No limitation.  It’s Russia’s war that is worsening food insecurity, and only Russia can end it.”
    • On the Security Council
      • “Members of the U.N. Security Council, including the United States, should consistently uphold and defend the U.N. Charter and refrain — refrain from the use of the veto, except in rare, extraordinary situations, to ensure that the Council remains credible and effective. That is also why the United States supports increasing the number of both permanent and non-permanent representatives of the Council.  This includes permanent seats for those nations we’ve long supported and permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.”
    • On Climate
      • “We all know we’re already living in a climate crisis.  No one seems to doubt it after this past year. As we meet, much of Pakistan is still underwater; it needs help. Meanwhile, the Horn of Africa faces unprecedented drought. Families are facing impossible choices, choosing which child to feed and wondering whether they’ll survive. This is the human cost of climate change.  And it’s growing, not lessening.”
    • On China
      • “Let me be direct about the competition between the United States and China.  As we manage shifting geopolitical trends, the United States will conduct itself as a reasonable leader.  We do not seek conflict.  We do not seek a Cold War.  We do not ask any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner.”
      • “We seek to uphold peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. We remain committed to our One China policy, which has helped prevent conflict for four decades.  And we continue to oppose unilateral changes in the status quo by either side.”
    • On Israel-Palestine
      • “And we will continue to advocate for lasting negotiating peace between the Jewish and democratic state of Israel and the Palestinian people.  The United States is committed to Israel’s security, full stop.  And a negotiated two-state solution remains, in our view, the best way to ensure Israel’s security and prosperity for the future and give the Palestinians the state which — to which they are entitled — both sides to fully respect the equal rights of their citizens; both people enjoying equal measure of freedom and dignity.”
    • On Disarmament
      • “The five permanent members of the Security Council just reaffirmed that commitment in January.  But today, we’re seeing disturbing trends.  Russia shunned the non-proliferation ideals embraced by every other nation at the 10th NPT Review Conference. And again, today, as I said, they’re making irresponsible nuclear threats to use nuclear weapons.  China is conducting an unprecedented, concerning nuclear buildup without any transparency. Despite our efforts to begin serious and sustained diplomacy, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to blatantly violate U.N. sanctions. And while the United States is prepared for a mutual return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if Iran steps up to its obligations, the United States is clear: We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
    • On Iran
      • “Today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights.”
    • On Yemen
      • “We’ll continue to back the U.N.-mediated truce in Yemen, which has delivered precious months of peace to people that have suffered years of war.”
  • William Samoei Ruto (@WilliamsRuto), President, Kenya
    • On Economic Reform
      • “On behalf of Kenya, therefore, I join other leaders in calling upon the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral lenders to extend pandemic-related debt relief to the worst hit countries, especially those affected by the devastating combination of conflict, climate change and COVID-19. Furthermore, I urge the G20 to extend and expand the scope of the common framework to suspend or reschedule debt repayments by middle-income countries during the pandemic recovery period.”
    • On the Security Council
      • “A just and inclusive world order cannot be spearheaded by a United Nations Security Council that persistently and unjustly fails the inclusivity criterion. Similarly, threats to democracy will not be credibly resolved by an undemocratic and unrepresentative Security Council.”

General Assembly (September 21th, 3:00 PM ET): Seventh plenary meeting, continuation of General Debate

19 delegates will speak during the seventh plenary meeting.

  • Julius Maada Bio (@PresidentBio), President, Sierra Leone
    • On Climate
      • Fair and accessible multilateral climate financing can catalyze the global and country-specific measures and innovation necessary to build and support sustainable climate resilience. Green investing does support sustainable development. In these efforts, the roles and interests of women and young people must be central to climate investments.”
    • On Equality
      • “To address the global food crisis that is disproportionately affecting least developed countries, Sierra Leone joins the urgent call for action to escalate financing to support agriculture and irrigation, enhance food systems and nutrition for vulnerable populations, and social protection for at-risk populations. Sierra Leone also associates with calls to ease global supply constraints especially for fertilizers, rice, and other agricultural commodities. Multilateral support for establishing agricultural development banks that will support private agricultural investments and agricultural value-addition will promote self-sufficiency and greater resilience in that sector.”
  • Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo), President, Ghana
    • On Economic Relief
      • “It has become clear, if ever there was any doubt, that the international financial structure is skewed significantly against developing and emerging economies like Ghana. The avenues that are opened to powerful nations to enable them take measures that would ease pressures on their economies are closed to small nations. To make matters worse, credit rating agencies have been quick to downgrade economies in Africa, making it harder to service our debts. The tag of Africa as an investment risk is little more than, in substance, a self-fulfilling prophecy created by the prejudice of the international money market, which denies us access to cheaper borrowing, pushing us deeper into debts.”
      •  “It is doubtful that any generation of inhabitants of this earth has ever witnessed such a perfect storm of global economic chaos, a war with global consequences, and an unwillingness or inability to find a consensus to deal with the catastrophe.”
    • On the Sahel
      • “A case in point is the destabilizing conflict in the Sahel. It might look to many, today, as a local conflict which affects only the countries in that region. We, in Ghana, know differently, we have watched in horror as the unrest has moved from the Sahel, inexorably, to the West African coastal countries. All of Ghana’s neighbours have suffered terrorist attacks, and some have lost territorial space to the invading forces. Furthermore, the terrorist pressure has provided a pretext for the unhappy reappearance of military rule in three (3) of the fifteen (15) member ECOWAS Community, two (2) of whom have borne the brunt of the terrorist outrages in the Region – Mali and Burkina Faso. It is a development we are determined to reverse, so that the ECOWAS space remains a democratic one.”
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President (@ZelenskyyUa), Ukraine
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory. Punishment for the murders of thousands of people. Punishment for tortures and humiliations of women and men. Punishment for the catastrophic turbulence that Russia provoked with its illegal war and not only for us, Ukrainians, but for the whole world. For every nation that is represented in this Hall of the UN General Assembly.”
      • “There is only one entity among all UN Member States who would say now, if he could interrupt my speech, that he is happy with this war – with his war. But we will not let this entity prevail over us, even though it is the largest state in the world.”
      • “And this is the first item of our peace formula. Comprehensive item. Punishment. Punishment for the crime of aggression. Punishment for violation of borders and territorial integrity. Punishment that must be in place until the internationally recognized border is restored. Until the aggression stops. And until the damages and losses for the war are fully compensated.”
      • “A Special Tribunal should be created to punish Russia for the crime of aggression against our state. This will become a signal to all “would-be” aggressors, that they must value peace or be brought to responsibility by the world. We have prepared precise steps to establish such a Tribunal. They will be presented to all states. Ukraine will appeal to the UN General Assembly to support an international compensation mechanism.”
      • “Even now, when Russia talks about negotiations, it only wants to slow down its retreat. Russia wants to spend the winter on the occupied territory of Ukraine and prepare forces to attempt a new offensive. New Buchas, new Izyums… Or at least it wants to prepare fortifications on occupied land and carry out military mobilization at home. We cannot agree to a delayed war. Because it will be even hotter than the war now.”
      • “On the eve of the General Assembly meeting, Russia fired missiles at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. The explosion hit the station buildings – windows were broken, walls were damaged. The rockets exploded only three hundred meters from the walls of the reactors! And this is after the IAEA’s clear appeal to Russia to stop any hostile activity against any nuclear facilities of Ukraine and, in particular, against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station – the largest one in Europe, which Russia has turned into a target. And that makes all of you a target. Russian radiation blackmailing is something that should concern each and every one of you, because none of you will find a vaccine against radiation sickness.”
      • “We must finally recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. At all levels. In all countries that confess the values of peace and protection of human life. Legally. Politically. If you don’t have a legal mechanism, you can make a political decision – in the parliaments. This is the foundation for restoring global security. If this strong step is taken, doubts will disappear – whether to take other important steps.”
      • “When one country tries to steal the territory of another state, it puts all world nations under attack.”
      • “The fifth item of the Ukrainian peace formula is determination. Something without which the other four items will not work. This is our determination to fight. This is the determination of the partners to help us, and also themselves. And this is the determination of the world to unite around the one who fights against armed aggression and to call to order the one who threatens all.”
  • Naledi Pandor, Minister, South Africa
    • On Public Health
      • “One of the tasks we must successfully implement to ensure developing countries are not left behind when treatments are available is to create and support research and innovation capacity in Africa for vaccine production invest in strengthened public health systems and produce thousands more professional health workers. This requires sustainable investment in higher education research institutions and in global research cooperation.”
    • On Israel-Palestine
      • “We cannot ignore the words of the former Israeli negotiator at the Oslo talks, Daniel Levy, who addressed the UN Security Council recently and referred to, “The increasingly weighty, body of scholarly, legal and public opinion that has designated Israel to be perpetrating apartheid in the territories under its control.” Israel must be held accountable for its destructive actions that have significantly impaired the possibility of a two-state solution.”
  • Arnoldo Andre Tinoco (@arnoldoandre), Minister, Costa Rica
    • On Migration
      • “Costa Rica has never closed its doors to migrants who see in our country a route of passage or a destination to integrate into our society. In the last five years, we have become the fourth country in the world in receiving more refugee applications per capita. But our economic situation and fiscal tightness, coupled with this phenomenon of massive migratory flows, limit our capacity for action and put at risk the adequate coverage that we have ensured in the past to these hundreds of thousands of people who have sought refuge on our soil.”
    • On Climate
      • “The ocean is an immeasurable and critical resource for the continuity of life on Earth. Therefore, on the International Day of Peace, Costa Rica vehemently calls for the adoption of a Declaration of Peace for the Ocean. We cannot survive as a species without our ocean. We will not be able to fulfill our various obligations to the Sustainable Development Goals without a healthy ocean. We have much multilateral work ahead of us to safeguard marine resources and ocean health for this and future generations: reaching a global agreement on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, concluding a successful and transformative BBNJ treaty, and discussion regarding the governance of sub-seabed mining.”
  • Liz Truss (@trussliz), Prime Minister, United Kingdom
    • On Governance
      • “Democracy gives people the right to choose their own path. And it evolves to reflect the aspirations of citizens. It unleashes enterprise, ideas, and opportunity. And it protects the freedoms that are at the very core of our humanity. By contrast, autocracies sow the seeds of their own demise by suppressing their citizens. They are fundamentally rigid and unable to adapt. Any short-term gains are eroded in the long term because these societies stifle the aspiration and creativity which are vital to long-term growth.”
    • On Queen Elizabeth
      • “I join you here just two days after Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest. We deeply mourn her passing and we pay tribute to her service. She was the rock on which modern Britain was built. And she symbolised the post-war values on which this organisation was founded. Our constitutional monarchy, underpinned by a democratic society, has delivered stability and progress. Her Late Majesty transcended difference and healed division. We saw this in her visits to post-apartheid South Africa and the Republic of Ireland. When she addressed this General Assembly 65 years ago she warned that it was vital not only to have strong ideals but also to have the political will to deliver on them. Now we must show that will. We must fight to defend those ideals.”
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “No-one is threatening Russia. Yet we meet here this evening… In Ukraine, barbarous weapons are being used to kill and maim people, Rape is being used as an instrument of war, Families are being torn apart. And this morning we have seen Putin trying to justify his catastrophic failures. He is doubling down by sending even more reservists to a terrible fate. He is desperately trying to claim the mantle of democracy for a regime without human rights or freedoms. And he is making yet more bogus claims and sabre-rattling threats. This will not work. The international alliance is strong and Ukraine is strong.”
      • “The Ukrainians are not just defending their own country – they are defending our values and the security of the whole world. That’s why we must act. That’s why the UK will spend 3% of GDP on defence by 2030, maintaining our position as the leading security actor in Europe. And that’s why – at this crucial moment in the conflict – I pledge that we will sustain or increase our military support to Ukraine, for as long as it takes. New UK weapons are arriving in Ukraine as I speak – including more MLRS rockets. We will not rest until Ukraine prevails. In all of these areas, on all of these fronts, the time to act is now. This is a decisive moment in our history, in the history of this organisation, and in the history of freedom.”
    • On Economic Reform
      • “Now we must use these instruments in a more systematic way to push back on the economic aggression of authoritarian regimes. The G7 and our like-minded partners should act as an economic NATO, collectively defending our prosperity. If the economy of a partner is being targeted by an aggressive regime we should act to support them. All for one and one for all. Through the G7’s $600 billion Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment we are providing an honest, reliable alternative on infrastructure investment around the world, free from debt with strings attached.”

General Assembly (September 20th, 9:00 AM ET): Fourth plenary meeting, opening of the General Debate

15 delegates will speak during the fourth plenary meeting. 

  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General, United Nations
    • On Geopolitics
      • “Our world is in peril and paralyzed. Geopolitical divides are undermining the work of the Security Council, undermining international law, undermining trust and people’s faith in democratic institutions, undermining all forms of international cooperation. We cannot go on like this. . . . At one stage, international relations seemed to be moving towards a G-2 world. Now, we risk ending up with a G-Nothing.”
  • Csaba Kőrösi (@UN_PGA), President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly
    • On the Security Council
      • “I want to advance negotiations on Security Council reform. It is high time that the Council represents the world’s population more equally and that it reflects twenty first-century realities. This is a matter of credibility to our entire organization and our multilateral order.”
  • Jair Bolsonaro, President, Brazil
    • On the Environment
      • “It is essential that, when taking care of the environment, we do not overlook people: the Amazon region is home to more than 20 million inhabitants, including indigenous and riverside dwellers, whose livelihood depends on some economic use of the forest.”
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “Today, the conflict in Ukraine serves as a warning. A reform of the UN is essential if we are to find world peace. In the specific case of the Security Council, after 25 years of debates, it is clear that we need to look for innovative solutions.”
      • “We support all efforts to reduce the economic impacts of this crisis. But we do not believe that the best way is to adopt unilateral and selective sanctions, that are inconsistent with International Law. These measures have harmed the economic recovery and threatened human rights of vulnerable populations, including in European countries.”
  • Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein (@KingAbdullahII), King, Jordan
    • On Israel-Palestine
      • “Inclusion of the Palestinian people in regional economic projects should be an integral part of our efforts. And in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, peace continues to be elusive. Neither war nor diplomacy has held the answer to this historic tragedy. It is the people themselves, not politics and politicians, who will have to come together to push their leaders to resolve this.”
      • “The road forward is the two-state solution. In accordance with UN resolutions a sovereign, viable, and independent Palestinian state on the fourth of June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security and prosperity.”
    • On Jerusalem
      • Today, the future of Jerusalem is an urgent concern. The city is holy to billions of Muslims, Christians, and Jews around the world. Undermining Jerusalem’s legal and historical status quo triggers global tensions and deepens religious divides. The holy city must not be a place for hatred and division. As custodians of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites, we are committed to protecting their historical and legal status quo and to their safety and future.”
      • “Today, Christianity in the holy city is under fire. The rights of churches in Jerusalem are threatened. This cannot continue. Christianity is vital to the past and present of our region and the holy land.”
  • Gustavo Petro Urrego, President, Colombia
    • On Climate
      • “The jungle is burning, gentlemen, while you wage war and play with it. The jungle, the climatic pillar of the world, disappears with all its life. The great sponge that absorbs the planetary CO2 evaporates. The jungle is our savior, but it is seen in my country as the enemy to defeat, as a weed to be extinguished.”
      • “What is more poisonous for humanity, cocaine, coal or oil? The opinion of power has ordered that cocaine is poison and must be persecuted, while it only causes minimal deaths from overdoses . . . but instead, coal and oil must be protected, even when it can extinguish all humanity.”
    • On the War on Drugs
      • “The war on drugs has lasted 40 years. If we do not correct the course, and this continues another 40 years, the United States will see 2.8 million die of overdoses [from fentanyl], which is not produced in our Latin America. You will see millions of African Americans be imprisoned in their private prisons. The [Black] prisoner will become a business of prison companies.”
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan), President, Türkiye
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • Speaking about the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the President said, “As a result of the heavy efforts that we [Turkey] had invested together with the Secretary-General, we have managed to export Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, finding its way to the rest of the global markets. The Istanbul Convention that allowed this export is still very much vital, and the exports are gaining momentum as time goes by. This is a critical agreement that was undertaken jointly with the United Nations, and this is one of the greatest accomplishments of the United Nations in recent decades.”
    • On Refugees
      • “Greece is turning the Aegean into a refugee graveyard with its unlawful and reckless pushbacks.”
  • Yoon Suk Yeol (@President_KR), President, Korea
    • On Peace
      • “Genuine freedom is not just being free from the shackles but having opportunities to live life to the fullest with dignity. Genuine peace is not an absence of war but removing conflict and enmity that hold back shared progress of humanity and building the foundation for greater prosperity. Genuine freedom and peace can turn into reality when we are free from disease and hunger, free from illiteracy and free from want of energy and culture.”
    • On UN Commitments
      • “To tackle the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the UN must play a central role in bringing the community of nations together to decisively step up their support for countries with limited fiscal space and technical expertise.”
      • “In the era of digital sophistication, one of the most urgent tasks for the global community and the UN is promoting global cooperation to narrow the digital divide which exacerbates polarization between nations.”
    • On Technology
      • “The Republic of Korea is pushing forward with its plan to transform the government into a digital platform government. It is an ambitious initiative to remarkably upgrade our democracy, public service, and welfare through digital technology. We will continue to more widely share our advanced digital technology and data, and spare no effort in providing support and in investing in education.”
  • Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron), President, France
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “On the 24th of February this year, Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, through an act of aggression and invasion and annexation, broke our collective security. It deliberately violated the U.N. Charter and the principle of sovereign equality of states.”
      • “What we’ve seen since the 24th of February is the return to the age of imperialism and colonies. France rejects this.”
      • “We are all aware, as well, that negotiations will only be successful if Ukraine is liberated and its sovereignty is protected. Russia must now see that it cannot impose its will militarily even if there are fake pretend referenda in the territories that have been bombed and occupied.”

General Assembly (September 20th, 3:00 PM ET): Fifth plenary meeting, continuation of General Debate

18 delegates will speak during the fifth plenary meeting.

  • Romualdez Marcos, President, Philippines
    • On Climate
      • “The effects of climate change are uneven and reflect an historical injustice: Those who are least responsible suffer the most. The Philippines is a net carbon sink, absorbing more carbon dioxide than we emit. And yet, we are the 4th most vulnerable country to climate change.”
      • “We call on industrialized countries to immediately fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, provide climate financing and technology transfer for adaptation for the most vulnerable and developing countries, and lead by example. We look forward to concrete outcomes at the Conference of Parties in Egypt later this year.”
    • On the Security Council:
      • “Our continued solidarity will also benefit from a reformed and more inclusive Security Council and an empowered General Assembly that can 11 hold the Council to account. At the same time, the United Nations must forge ahead with its flagship tradition of global peacekeeping.
  • Gitanas Nausėda, President, Lithuania
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “On the 24th of February a UN Security Council permanent member started an unjustified, unprovoked, and illegal war against a neighboring country. This gross violation of international law undermined the very essence of the United Nations”
      • “Every UN member is expected to respect the rules of international order we have been creating through decades. But it is only up to us to decide what is still tolerable and what is not. Where are the red lines and were the red lines crossed. For how can we tolerate a member of the international community in a war of conquest and annihilation? A country that is deliberately attacking the rules-based world order. A country whose actions make it more difficult for us all to maintain peace and security across the globe.”
      • “We all know that Russia’s violations of the founding principles of the United Nations did not start seven months ago. Destructive actions have undermined international security for many years. Breaching arms control treaties. Using prohibited chemical weapons both at home and abroad. Continually violating the territorial integrity not only of Ukraine but of Georgia and Moldova as well. Interfering in the elections of other countries. These are just a few examples.”
      • “Lithuania will continue to engage in accountability mechanisms to address the mass atrocities being committed in Ukraine. I call on the global community to establish the Special Tribunal to address the war crimes. It is also crucially important to ensure effective forms of reparations for the victims of these crimes.”
  • Andrzej Duda (@AndrzejDuda), President, Poland
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “Russia is not limiting itself to fighting the Ukrainian army, with whom they are losing. It is killing civilians or forcibly relocating them to its territory. It is destroying cities, monuments, schools, kindergartens, hospitals. It destroys agricultural crops and devastates the environment. It destroys literally everything it cannot seize or loot. It even threatens to cause a nuclear catastrophe.”
      • “The decision to wage this war was made by people prompted by imperial sentiment and colonial, nationalist hubris – exalting their own people and denying the right to self determination to their sovereign neighbors. They managed to obsess the nation of one of the UN’s founding states with this thought. A nation that had a chance to protest against the insanity of its leaders. Unfortunately, only a few, those most courageous, stood up against this war.”
      • “More than one-third of what has been the granary of large parts of the world has been eliminated by Russian aggression. Who will suffer from this? Those who are most in need. It is an economic weapon, it is the weaponization of food hitting the hardest Africa and the Middle East.”
      • “And there is no hiding it: Russia owes Ukraine war reparations, which it will have to pay back. There is no justice without reparations. This applies to any country plundering another country. It applies today, but it also applies to unsettled issues from the past. I say this as the Polish President. And I think you can well understand why I am saying this.”
  • David Kabua, President, Marshall Islands
    • On Climate
      • “For the Marshall Islands, our first and most threatened priority is to never cease to safeguard our nation’s land, ocean and maritime boundaries, as seas are rising, and to ensure our communities have a safe, secure and fully democratic sovereign future. Our vulnerabilities, and those shared in our region, are severe and diverse.”
      • “Over thirty years ago, in this great hall and at the Rio Summit, our leaders sounded the alarm and warned of its dire consequences. As a matter of record, Marshallese presidents and leaders in every succeeding administration have been active and at the forefront of all UN global conferences on climate change and global warming – speaking out and fighting to keep our low lying nation afloat. Today, we renew our call to the world to declare total war on this century’s greatest challenge – the climate change monster.”
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “The war in Ukraine has influenced sharp economic shocks around the world, and as a remote, small island developing state, our energy security is at a saturation point. Even as we seek to boost efficiency and renewables, greater cooperation is needed to move towards regional approaches to energy security and affordability, including addressing potential joint bulk purchasing.”
    • On Nuclear Weapons
      • “My country, the Marshall Islands, was ground zero for the testing of the 67 nuclear and thermonuclear weapons for twelve years during the UN-US administered trusteeship era. The exposure of our people and land has created impacts that have lasted – and will last – for generations. These impacts to our human rights, land, culture, health and lives, are burdens that no other nation or country should ever have to bear.”
  • Mario Draghi, Prime Minister, Italy
    • On Russia-Ukraine
      • “We thought we would no longer have to witness wars of aggression in Europe. Imperial ambitions, militarism, systematic violations of civil and human rights seemed to belong to the last century. Since February, however, we have witnessed the bombing of theatres, schools, hospitals; we have seen terrible attacks and violence on civilians, on children; we have witnessed the attempt to subjugate a free and sovereign democracy, which has fought back with pride and courage to defend its independence, its dignity.” 
      • “The unity of the European Union and its allies has been instrumental in providing Ukraine with the support it needs and to impose harsh costs on Russia. Moscow immediately tried to divide our countries, to use gas as a means of blackmail. Italy reacted promptly by diversifying gas suppliers and by accelerating the production of renewable energy.” 
      • “As Italy has long argued, the European Union must impose a price cap on gas imports, which will also help us further reduce our payments to Russia. Europe must support member states while they support Kiev.”
      • “Italy hopes there can be a future in which Russia returns to the principles it chose to subscribe to in 1945. A world divided into blocs, characterized by rigid ideological demarcations and military confrontations cannot generate development, cannot solve problems. We must maintain our individual identities, but conduct international relations responsibly, legally, peacefully. This principle must apply to all the crises we face: from Ukraine, to the recent clashes in the Caucasus, to instability in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, to tensions in the Indo-Pacific.”
    • On Climate
      • “We must continue to support the most vulnerable states to help them defend themselves against the impacts of climate change and to pursue their own transition paths. 11 I am thinking, for example, of the tragic flooding in Pakistan, where a very large part of the country is underwater and millions of people have been forced to leave their homes. The environmental crisis affects us all, and we must come out of it together.”

September 21st 

Roundtable on Climate Action 

Several world leaders will meet for a “frank and informal exchange” about climate change on the sidelines of the General Assembly. The Secretary-General and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt will chair the off-camera meeting. John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, will attend. Climate action has been a key theme in many speeches given on the General Debate floor thus far. Guterres held a talk with reporters after the roundtable.

  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General, United Nations
    • On Climate
      • “Climate destruction is happening now. People are suffering now. Which brings me to my fourth point: loss and damage. It is high time for a serious discussion and meaningful action on this issue. I hope COP27 in Egypt will take it up, as a matter of climate justice, international solidarity and building trust.”
      • “Before, there was only concern with mitigation. We have strongly advocated to have adaptation at the same level as mitigation, the same level of climate finance both for mitigation and adaptation. Without mitigation, disasters will be even bigger; and without adaptation, countries will not be able to cope with the impacts of the disasters and people will suffer even more.”

September 20th

UNGA Platform of Women Leaders (1:30 PM ET): First Meeting

The first meeting of the UNGA Platform of Women Leaders will be held under the theme “Transformative Solutions by Women Leaders to Today’s Interlinked Challenges.” This special initiative invites all current women Heads of State and Government to discuss priority issues on the international agenda during the UN General Assembly’s High Level week. 

  • Csaba Kőrösi (@UN_PGA), President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly
    • On Governance
      • “Inclusive governance can result in policies that create positive change over the long term. By integrating the views of diverse women – especially at the highest levels – governments can effectively tailor and target solutions to those most in need.”
  • Sima Bahous (@unwomenchief), Executive Director of UN Women
    • On Women
      • “When more women lead in political and public life, everyone benefits, especially in crises. A new generation of girls see a possible future for themselves. Health, education, childcare, and violence against women, receive greater attention and better solutions. We must find every possible way to amplify the assets women leaders bring. This Platform is an opportunity to do just that.”
  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir (@katrinjak), Prime Minister, Iceland
    • On Women
      • “It is my strong belief that the world needs more women leaders and more diverse leaders, people with all kinds of backgrounds and life experiences.”
      • “The decisions leaders make affect all people in our societies. These decisions should be made by people who have a real and deep understanding of how most people live, of what their concerns are, and are therefore response to their needs.”

September 19th

General Assembly (8:00 AM ET): Sustainable Development Goals Moment

The Sustainable Development Goals Moment brings into focus the promise of inclusion, resilience and sustainability embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Convened by the UN Secretary-General, the event features SDG priorities for the world experiencing much crisis. 

  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General, United Nations:
    • On UN Commitments
      • “Each peril is pushing the Sustainable Development Goals further out of reach. And in the face of such perils, it is tempting to put our long-term development priorities to one one side, to leave them for a sunny day, but development cannot wait. The education of our children cannot wait. Dignified jobs cannot wait. Full equality for women and girls cannot wait. Comprehensive healthcare, meaningful climate action, these cannot be left for tomorrow. Across all of these areas, young people and future generations are demanding action. We cannot let them down. This is a definitive moment… We can put our hands on the wheel of progress and steer a new course, that we can rescue the sustainable development goals and get back on track to building the better world that leaves no one behind.”
      • “We need finance and investment from the public and private sectors. We need a reformed financial architecture that benefits developing countries, providing critical financing and debt relief. This is the only sustainable pathway to address the inequalities that exist in every country, while ensuring that the world doesn’t slide into a recession. Governments need to invest like never before in the health, education, well-being of all people, including refugees and migrants. We need expanded universal social protection to protect people against economic shocks while boosting job creation, especially the digital care and green economies.”
    • On Climate
      • “We need to save our planet, which is quite literally on fire. This means addressing the triple crisis of climate breakdown, biodiversity loss and pollution. It means supporting the biodiversity framework to transform our youth and preserve our natural gifts for the future.”
    • On Peace
      • “By embracing peace and tolerance, and more importantly, by living these values every day, we can move one step closer to the sustainable, equal and just world that every person deserves.”
  • Csaba Kőrösi (@UN_PGA), President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly
    • On UN Commitments
      • “We need initiatives from civil society, the voice and passion of youth, the support of the private sector but, most importantly, you, the Member States, to deliver on promises made. The 17 Global Goals are the To-Do List. They must be the To-Do List of all leaders in this room. We are the people who can get this, the To-Do List of the world done.”
  • Mia Mottley (@miamotmottley), Prime Minister, Barbados
    • On UN Commitments
      • “We want you, my friends, the children of this word, to told us, the governments, accountable, and to recognize that we do have choice and leaders can make decisions and leaders are not constrained in the decisions that we make and that everything does not depend on finance, although it is absolutely critical, and we will fight for finance… [and] the reform of the international financial architecture, but even without that there are things that you and I can do.”
  • Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) Prime Minister, Canada
    • On UN Commitments
      • “There are many people living in poverty today, as there were in 2-15 when the 2030 Agenda was adopted. The truth is that everything from COVID, to climate change to international conflict makes the solutions we need more complex and interconnected than ever.”

Transforming Education Summit (10:00 AM ET): Leaders Day at the Transforming Education Summit

The third day of the Transforming Education Summit, Leaders Day, will be dedicated to the presentation of National Statements of Commitment by Heads of State and Government in the form of Leaders Roundtables. A number of thematic sessions will also be held to emphasize the cross-cutting priorities for transforming education. Leaders day will also feature the presentation of the Summit Youth Declaration and the Secretary-General’s Vision Statement for Transforming Education.

  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General, United Nations:
    • On Education
      • “We must transform education. Because education is in a deep crisis. Instead of being the great enabler, education is fast becoming a great divider.”
      • “Even in developed countries, education systems often entrench rather than reduce inequality, reproducing it across generations. The rich have access to the best resources, schools and universities, leading to the best jobs, while the poor – especially girls – face huge obstacles to getting the qualifications that could change their lives.” 
      • “Quality education must support the development of the individual learner throughout his or her life. It must help people learn how to learn, with a focus on problem-solving and collaboration. It must provide the foundations for learning, reading, writing and mathematics to scientific, digital, social and emotional skills.” 
      • “At a time of rampant misinformation, climate denial and attacks on human rights, we need education systems that distinguish fact from conspiracy, instill respect for science, and celebrate humanity in all its diversity.” 
      • “Every single person in this room knows education transforms lives, economies and societies. But we also know we must transform education. Because education is in a deep crisis. Instead of being the great enabler, education is fast becoming a great divider. Some 70 percent of 10-year-olds in poor countries are unable to read a basic text. Either they are out of school, or in school but barely learning.”
    • On Afghanistan
      • “From this platform, I appeal to the authorities in Afghanistan: Lift all restrictions on girls’ access to secondary education immediately. Girls’ education is among the most important steps to deliver peace, security and sustainable development, everywhere.”
  • Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi), UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
    • “To achieve that inclusion in education, which in many situations means essentially ensuring that refugees, displaced, and other marginalized people are included in national education systems. That means that States that are hosting those people or theaters of displacement must have inclusive policies and laws. And that is sometimes very difficult.”
  • Audrey Azoulay (@AAzoulay), Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
    • “Much remains to be done to achieve equality with men in education because we have generations and generations of inequalities in this area. And what it does is that among all today’s adults, among the 771 million adults worldwide who lack basic literacy skills, the injustice is there, two-thirds of these people are women.”
  • Sima Bahous (@unwomenchief), Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations / Executive Director of UN Women:
    • “Earlier this month, UN Women published data that show – based on current rates of progress – that women and girls will not achieve full equality with men and boys for another 300 years.”

September 17th

General Debate Interview with Secretary-General Guterres

Ahead of the 77th session of the General Debate (September 20-26, 2022), the Secretary-General stressed key issues in an interview at UN Headquarters.

  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General, United Nations:
    • On Climate:
      • “Climate change seems to have moved out of the priorities for many decision makers around the world, and this is a suicide. We see emissions growing and we see fossil fuels become fashionable again, when we know that fossil fuels are the main responsible for the progressive war against nature that we have been waging in our history.”
    • On COVID-19:
      • “It is absolutely essential to provide the countries that were impacted by the COVID, by the lockdowns, by the end of tourism, by many other aspects and are today in a desperate situation, in a perfect storm without fiscal space, with an increased debt, it’s necessary to have mechanisms of debt relief, to have mechanisms of provision of liquidity to the developing countries that are more in stress, including middle income countries, in order for them to be able to recover, when we saw that the richer countries were able to print billions or even trillions to relaunch their economies.”
    • On Russia-Ukraine:
      • “Most of the crises I have witnessed are crises in developing countries, relatively poor countries, and most of them are internal. Even if afterwards there is an intervention of external powers, but they became as civil wars or terrorist activities inside the country. Now, we have a war between one superpower, and Ukraine, that is also a modern country. And we are talking of levels of devastation that are not possible in situations where the nature of the armaments and the military capacity in place are completely different.”

September 16th

Transforming Education Summit (10:00 AM ET): Mobilization Day at the Transforming Education Summit

The first day of the Transforming Education Summit, Mobilization Day, will be youth-led and youth-organized and will involve the full participation of a wide range of stakeholders. It will serve to convey the collective recommendations of youth on transforming education to policymakers. The day consists of five parallel thematic breakout sessions that pertain to youth advocacy, climate action, and gender and refugee rights. 

  • Amina J. Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed), Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
    • “And we must never forget those that have not had the opportunity because of the context, the oppression, the wars, the conflicts, the humanitarian settings that they’re in. These humanitarian settings often are not a couple of weeks, they could be your whole life. And that excludes many, many from education.”
  • Csaba Kőrösi (@UN_PGA), President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly
    • “All these platforms, all these suggestions indicate that we have to teach you [youth] about climate change. And you have to teach us about how to galvanize momentum. None of them can be missing from the equation. We need you to make a change.”
  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General of the United Nations
    • security, I would say, education. If there was one single thing in which we should invest to reduce the dramatic inequalities in the world, I would say education. If I would have to think about one single thing in which you should invest to stop the destruction of our planet, I would say education. And if there is one thing only in which we could invest in order to make sure that human rights prevail in our societies, I would say education.”

General Assembly (11:00 AM ET): Third plenary meeting

Meeting pertains to the formal adoption of the General Assembly’s seventy-seventh agenda and allocation of items. The General Assembly adopted a resolution to allow Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy to participate via pre-recorded statement by a vote of 101-7, with 19 abstentions.

  • Prior to the vote, Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslystsya spoke to the assembly, stating that “according to the constitution of Ukraine, the President is the guarantor of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and commander in chief of the armed forces of Ukraine.” Therefore, he “must be and is with the army of Ukraine.”

Press Briefing (11:15 AM ET): Briefing by the US Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Reporters receive a briefing on the United States priorities for the UN General Assembly.

  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN), Permanent Representative to the United Nations on behalf of the United States
    • On Russia-Ukraine:
      • “The good news is that we’ve seen the vast majority of Member States reject Russia’s flagrant aggression. Earlier this year, we helped to win a historic vote to condemn Russia’s war of choice. We were able to successfully suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, and we continue to hold Russia accountable for its atrocities.”
    • On Food Security:
      • “Our first priority – global food insecurity – has never been more urgent. According to the World Food Programme, over 828 million people go to bed hungry every night, 828 million people. COVID-19 higher energy costs and the climate crisis have all combined to contribute to this crisis. And conflicts, especially Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, have exacerbated it.”
    • On Public Health:
      • “We will make again global health a key focus on this year’s high-level week, because as COVID-19 reminded us, global health threats do not respect borders. We must tackle COVID-19, monkeypox and other outbreaks and we must do it together.”
    • On UN Commitments:
      • “This is a moment to defend the United Nations and to demonstrate to the world that it can still take the world’s most pressing global challenges on.”

Press Briefing (12:00 PM ET): Briefing by the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly and the Spokesperson of the Secretary General 

Reporters receive a daily briefing, as well as a briefing on the 2022 Treaty Event by the Chief of the Treaty Section in the Office of Legal Affairs, David Nanopoloulos.

  • David Nanopoloulos, Chief of the Treaty Section in the Office of Legal Affairs
    • With treaties, “what we have seen in the last twenty years is a move from more traditional areas of international relations to those that are the concerns of states right now. So in particular, in the field of the protection of the environment, we have seen a number of treaties adopted, but also very important amendments.” He highlighted that particularly “in the realm of the SDGs, the treaties can be important. . . . For example, a success story is when states decided to fight against the substances that deplete the ozone layer. This was done in part by an important treaty, the Montreal Protocol, which has universal participation.”
  • Stéphane Dujarric (@StephDujarric), Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
    • On Humanitarianism:
      • “Millions of people are suffering from unprecedented hardship and conflicts, drought, floods, and other humanitarian emergencies where the scale of needs has vastly outpaced the resources we have available. The funding gap this year will be the widest it has ever been.”
    • On Israel-Palestine:
      • “There can be no winners [in the West Bank] if the current violence continues to escalate…civilians continue to pay the price for political failure.”
    • On Russia-Ukraine:
      • “We will support, in whatever way we can, the [Ukrainian] government’s efforts to restore basic services. These are areas that have just changed back into the control of Ukrainian authorities. If the government needs our support, we will do whatever we can.”
    • On Haiti:
      • “The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the current situation in Haiti, where civil unrest has brought the country to a standstill. The Secretary-General is particularly occupied with the safety of all Haitians, including the most vulnerable, and calls for calm and maximum restraint. He urges all relevant stakeholders to take immediate steps to deescalate the situation, avoid violence, and allow the Haitian national police to fulfill its role to protect the population. The Secretary-General reiterated a strong call for all stakeholders to rise above their differences and to engage without further delay in a peaceful and inclusive dialogue in a constructive way forward. He warns that if the current circumstances continue, the already-dire situation faced by Haiti’s most vulnerable people will deteriorate even further.

September 15th

General Assembly (10:00 AM ET): Second plenary meeting and tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Second meeting includes a tribute to the memory of Queen Elizabeth II, with statements from New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica and the Asia-Pacific Group. 

  • Csaba Kőrösi (@UN_PGA), President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly
    • On Queen Elizabeth II:
      • “When the United Nations is judged by future generations, her hope, she said, would be that ‘our sincerity, our willingness to take a lead, and our determination to do the right thing, will stand the test of time.’ The parallels between the words spoken by Her Majesty and a description of her attributes are clear.” 
  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General of the United Nations
    • On Queen Elizabeth II:
      • “Queen Elizabeth defied political gravity. She was a consummate diplomat. And she often wielded her diplomatic skills as the only woman in the room. When our institution and Queen Elizabeth were both young, she stood at this very podium and called on leaders to demonstrate their devotion to the ideals of the United Nations Charter.”
  • Barbara Woodward (@BWoodward_UN), Permanent Representative to the United Nations, United Kingdom
    • On Queen Elizabeth II: 
      • “With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see the things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all. And faced with the complexity of history, Her Majesty reminded us of the importance of forbearance and conciliation of being able to bow to the past but not be bound by it.” 

Press Briefing (12:10 PM ET): Briefing by the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, Special Advisor to the Secretary General on the Transforming Education Summit Leonardo Garnier and Stefania Gianni (UNESCO) 

Reporters receive a briefing ahead of the Transforming Education Summit, which takes place between September 16-19 and constitutes one of the High-Level Meetings for UNGA 77.

  • Amina J. Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed), Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
    • On Education:
      • “Piecemeal change, no longer an option. So, once in a generation opportunity for us to radically transform education making it fit for purpose; the international community coming together to reverse the slide on the progress of SDG Four, and to begin to sow the seeds for a much deeper transformation of learning.” 
  • Leonardo Garnier (@leogarnier), Special Advisor to the Secretary-General for the Transforming Education Summit
    • On Education:
      • “When you don’t finance education, when you save on education in order to balance the budget, you’re being a regal bad economist. Because what you’re saving in the short term is much less than what you’re losing in the long term.” 
  • Stefania Giannini (@SteGiannini), Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO
    • On the Youth:
      • Our first outcome is the recognition of the role of youth as not just beneficiaries but actors of changes. The youth declaration outlines a set of recommendations to policymakers and highlights young people’s collective commitments and actions, and it will present it to the Secretary-General to act upon during the summit.”

Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization

Secretary-General Guterres released his annual report before world leaders convene for UNGA in New York next week. The Secretary-General wrote about the accomplishments of and the challenges facing the organization. 

  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary-General of the United Nations
    • On Climate:
      • “At the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Member States committed to recasting efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and to reach net zero emissions targets and phase out inefficient fuel subsidies. We are now pushing for Governments and the private sector to live up to those pledges and secure a rapid and just transition to renewables.”
    • On Disarmament:
      • “Disarmament remains central to our work. As military spending rose to $2.1 trillion, the highest level since the end of the cold war, we supported intergovernmental processes aimed at ensuring a safe, secure and peaceful cyber domain, assisted expert discussions on lethal autonomous weapons systems and helped to establish a new intergovernmental process to reduce military threats in outer space.”
    • On COVID-19:
      • “The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic persists and, with less than 20 per cent of people in low-income countries vaccinated, recovery is uneven.”
    • On Ukraine:
      • “Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, we consistently spoke out in support of the country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in line with the UN Charter and on the need for compliance with international law and for accountability.” 
      • “We also actively engaged in negotiations to facilitate unimpeded exports of grains, other foodstuffs and fertilizers to help tackle the global food crisis, which resulted in the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed by Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Türkiye under the auspices of the United Nations on 22 July 2022.”
    • On UN Commitments:
      • The Secretary-General spotlighted his landmark, 2021 Our Common Agenda report laying out his vision for the UN in response to member states’ request. The report “contains proposals on ways to strengthen social cohesion and solidarity, prevent and manage crises and tackle ongoing and new threats to security. In response, Member States have endorsed the proposals that can move forward immediately, and they are fully engaged on those where further work and dialogue are needed to deliver on Our Common Agenda.”

September 14th 

General Assembly (10:00 AM ET): Meeting on the organization of work of the General Assembly 

Meeting pertains to the formal adoption of the General Assembly’s seventy-seventh agenda and allocation of items. 

Press Briefing (11:30 AM ET): Briefing by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the 77th session of the General Assembly

Reporters receive a briefing on the General Assembly’s 77th session. 

  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary General of the United Nations
    • On Ukraine
      • “[Russian President Vladimir Putin] and I had the opportunity to discuss the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and its possible expansion… We have discussed the obstacles that still exist in relation to the exports of Russian food and fertilizers.” 
      • “It would be naive to think that we are close [to peace]… My good offices are ready, but I have no illusion that, at the present moment, the chances of a peace deal are minimal… So, obviously I go on with my contacts with both sides and hope that one day, it will be possible to move into a higher level of discussion.”
    • On Climate
      • “Whether it’s Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, small islands or Least Developed Countries, the world’s most vulnerable – who did nothing to cause this crisis – are paying a horrific price for decades of intransigence by big emitters.”
      • “Lower the temperature – now… Don’t flood the world today; don’t drown it tomorrow.” 
    • On UN Commitments
      • “This year’s General Debate must be about providing hope. That hope can only come through the dialogue and debate that are the beating heart of the United Nations.” 
      • “The solidarity envisioned in the United Nations Charter is being devoured by the acids of nationalism and self-interest. By a shocking disregard for the poorest and most vulnerable in our world. By politicians who play to people’s worst instincts for partisan gain. By prejudice, discrimination, misinformation and hate speech that pit people against one another.”

September 13th

General Assembly (3:00 PM ET): First plenary meeting and session opening by the President of the General Assembly

First meeting is devoted to organizing the work of the General Assembly’s seventy-seventh session.

  • Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly
    • On Ukraine
      • “The war must be stopped. It kills people, it kills development, it kills nature and kills dreams of millions.”
    • On Climate
      • “The water crisis is poised to become our next greatest threat. Recent weeks have seen record-setting temperatures, raging fires and devastating floods. It looks as if Mother Nature is fighting back.”
      • “We will not be returning to the old normal. The only way to achieve better outcomes is to transform. The contours of the transformation we need are already known.”
    • On Disarmament
      • “Never in the past 40 years has the risk of using nuclear weapons been greater than it is today. This ominous reality causes all of us to unite around the issue of disarmament. This also holds true to small arms and light weapons, the proliferation of which is a great obstacle to our development and progress around the world.”
    • On UN Commitments 
      • “This Hall was created as a place to build trust – to bring about peace and security, development and human rights. We owe it to our 8 billion constituents, the people we are here to serve, to succeed in our aims.” 
      • “I will work to foster measurable progress in the sustainability transformation – and cultivate the solidarity we need to achieve breakthroughs or to avert future disasters.”
      • “We must also reach out actively to young people, engaging them in what we do so that when they sit in these seats, they can come with better plans and better ideas than we did.” 
  • António Guterres (@antonioguterres), Secretary General of the United Nations
    • On the Future
      • “We face a world in peril across our work to advance peace, human rights and sustainable development. 
      • “Addressing common challenges will require continued solidarity as we demonstrate the great promise and potential of this organization. The United Nations is the home of cooperation. And the General Assembly is the life within that home.” 
      • “Debate. Deliberation. Diplomacy. These eternal tools represent the best pathway to a better, more peaceful world.”
IMAGE: Flags fly outside the General Secretariat Building at the United Nations Headquarters. (Getty Images)