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UN General Assembly opens, seeks peaceful solutions to global disputes

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday opened its 67th session with an urgent call for cooperation to tackle the economic and political uncertainty being experienced in many parts of the world.

The UN session also urged member states to ensure peaceful solutions of international disputes.

“Peace and security is a prerequisite for the stability needed for global economic growth, sustainable development and social progress,” the new President of the 193-member body, Vuk Jeremic, said..

Jeremic outlined the main areas of focus for the year’s session with the overarching theme being the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

“I hope this framework will usefully serve the noble cause of preventing conflicts and resolving existing ones. Peace and security are essential to advance development,’’ the president said.

He said the Assembly should focus not just on achieving the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but also on the post-2015 agenda.

Jeremic, however, underscored the importance of fulfilling the commitments made during the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20), 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,’’ he added.

He stressed the importance of making progress on arms control and disarmament, strengthening UN peacekeeping, improving a global coordinated response to terrorism, and promoting human rights in the international arena during the next 12 months.

Jeremic said the rule of law would remain one of the main priorities on the assembly’s agenda.

“Close to 800 years after the Magna Carta was promulgated, many people around the world still do not enjoy the fundamental rights enshrined in that seminal document,’’ he stressed.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, congratulated Jeremic on his new role and thanked the former President of the Assembly, Nassir Al-Nasser, for his leadership over the past year.

He called on member states to deepen their efforts to work together. “We are living through a period of unease. We are also seeing incidents of intolerance and hatred that are then exploited by others.

“Voices of moderation and calm need to make themselves heard at this time. We all need to speak up in favour of mutual respect and understanding of the values and beliefs of others. The UN must rise to the moment,” the UN scribe said. (NAN)


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