What to expect as world leaders attend 78th UN General Assembly

World leaders, activists and other influential voices come together at UNHQ, as the 78th session of the UN General Assembly is underway. Photo @UN

The climate crisis and the war in Ukraine are expected to figure prominently at the United Nations this week, as more than 140 leaders and state representatives from around the world descend on New York to address the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The high-level General Debate, which begins on Tuesday following two weeks of meetings, is the most widely watched event in the UN’s annual calendar.

It provides world leaders and heads of state the opportunity to lay out their priorities for the coming year, urge cooperation on pressing issues, and often, call out their adversaries.

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“It is a one-of-a-kind moment each year for leaders from every corner of the globe to not only assess the state of the world but to act for the common good,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters last week. “And action is what the world needs now.”

This year’s General Debate is being held under the theme, “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all”.

According to Aljazeera, series of bilateral discussions will also be held on the sidelines of the event.