President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe. The first couple of the Southern African nation of Zimbabwe is attending the UN 67th General Assembly in New York during September 2012., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President arrives in New York for UNGA
Friday, 21 September 2012 00:21
Caesar Zvayi in NEW YORK
PRESIDENT Mugabe and his delegation arrived here yesterday to attend the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly that opened at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday.
The President, who is accompanied by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and senior Government officials, was met at JFK International Airport by Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United Nations Chitsaka Chipaziwa and embassy staff.
The session opened with a call for peaceful solutions to international disputes at a time when the UN host country, the United States, has embarked on a concerted campaign of aggression in the Middle East and Africa.
Washington’s sabre-rattling has been largely held in check by the veto powers of China and Russia in the Security Council.
President Mugabe is scheduled to address the General Assembly during the annual debate that begins on September 25 and runs until October 1.
The Syrian conflict, peaceful resolution of international disputes and an efficient global co-ordinated response to terrorism are among the important issues expected to dominate debate in the 193-member UNGA whose theme this year centres on peaceful resolution of conflicts.
The annual debate will be preceded by a high-level meeting on the rule of law at national and international levels, during which member-states will deliberate on strengthening the rule of law.
Addressing the opening session on Tuesday, UNGA president, Mr Vuk Jeremic, Serbia’s former foreign minister, underscored the importance of peace and security in overcoming the prevailing global economic crisis.
He also outlined the main areas of focus for this year’s session, whose overarching theme is peaceful settlement of international disputes.
Other important high-level meetings and initiatives on energy, women’s health, nutrition and education, peace and security challenges are also expected to dominate discussions.
‘‘I hope this framework will usefully serve the noble cause of preventing gathering conflicts and resolving existing ones,’’ Mr Jeremic said.
The UNGA, Mr Jeremic said, should not just focus on achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals tenable in 2015, but also on the post-2015 agenda.
He underscored the importance of fulfilling commitments made during the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20), which was held in Brazil in June.
“Our objective should be the full implementation of the mandate this body received at the Rio+20 Conference. This will require a decisive commitment to observe not only procedural deadlines, but also the political and financial objectives it has been designed to accomplish,” Mr Jeremic was quoted as saying.
He also highlighted the importance of arms control and disarmament, strengthening UN peacekeeping, improving a global co-ordinated response to terrorism, and promoting human rights in the international arena during the next 12 months.
The rule of law, he said, would remains one of the main priorities on the Assembly’s agenda.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Mr Jeremic on his new role and thanked the immediate-past UNGA president, Mr Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, for his leadership over the past year.
He also underlined that the role of the UN is crucial during this period of uncertainty, and called on the 193 members of the UN to deepen their efforts to work together.
During the 67th session, which runs through mid-September 2013, the General Assembly will consider the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference.
As the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN comprising of all 193 member-states, the UNGA meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year and thereafter as required.