New General Assembly President brings ‘valuable insights’ into key UN challenges

The new President of the 74th session of the General Assembly brings to his role “years of United Nations experience”, the UN chief said on Tuesday, as Tijjani Muhammad-Bande banged the gavel to open his year in office.

In his inaugural address as General Assembly President, or PGA, Mr. Muhammad-Bande said he would “collaborate and coordinate” with the Security Council, and the Secretariat “to ensure that greater attention is paid to prevention rather than reaction to full blown conflict.”

“I will also advocate for effective early detection and warning systems, as well as mediation, negotiation and peaceful settlement of ongoing conflicts”, he promised. “I will work to engender cooperation that will address drivers of conflicts such as poverty, exclusion and illiteracy”.

Segueing into the importance of quality education, the PGA said “the fact that no nation can develop past its educational capacity, particularly that of its teachers, means we must work to ensure that Member States can partner on teacher training, access to free and quality primary and secondary education” and highlighted the urgency in devising “means to attend to the educational needs of all”.

Turning to climate change, which Mr. Muhammad-Bande called “a key issue in development”, he said, “we must tackle its causes and repercussions: “The recent emergencies in the Bahamas, Mozambique, and the Sahel region, among others, reminds us of the urgency of strengthening global action to tackle climate change”, he argued. 

Accentuating inclusion, the PGA flagged the importance of ensuring the rights and empowerment of youth, women and the disabled, as a continuing priority.

Redouble efforts to ‘bridge gaps’

“In line with the far-sighted vision of its founders”, he stated that “as the most representative deliberative body” of the UN, the Assembly needs to “redouble its efforts to bridge gaps and act for the common good of the people we serve, particularly as we prepare for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Organization”.

Mr. Muhammad-Bande said that we must “build trust with one another, deepen partnerships and show empathy” as “the only way to resolve the many challenges that confront us”.

“We will have to strive together, to deliver for all”, concluded the new General Assembly President.
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