72nd
United Nations General Assembly: The Highlights

“You
reaffirmed your commitment to the UN and to each other. You said we are
stronger together, in a system based on dialogue and multi-
literal-ism, and you
stressed that any alternative would risk repeating the mistakes of history, but
that is part of the package. It is your right to do this. And regardless of
size, or population, or economy, all delegations have access to the same platform,
for the same amount of time. They can speak freely, without censorship, we
addressed many challenges over the past week. You talked about their impact on
the countries of the world. Importantly, you also talked about their impact on
people. We heard about people running from gunshots – or the force of exploding
bombs. People living for a week on the same amount some of us spend on a cup of
coffee, people forced to make the decision between risking their lives to stay,
or risking their lives to flee. People wondering when the next hurricane will
hit, or if their village will be under water in a few decades. People who are
beginning to lose – or have already lost– hope in international peace
processes. And people still waiting for justice and human rights to become a
part of their daily reality.”
Miroslav Lajcák – President, 72nd United
Nations General Assembly (Monday, 25th September 2017)
On Monday, 25th
September 2017, the United Nations General Assembly wrapped up its 72nd annual
general debate, with its President Miroslav Lajcak underscoring prevention of
conflicts before they break out, support for United Nations peacekeeping
missions, sustainable development, respect for human rights and gender equality
among the major priorities raised by the 196 Heads of State, Government and
delegations.

On May 31st, 2017,
The Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak was elected as President of the
United Nations’ 72nd General Assembly and 21 Vice Presidents were also elected.
Vice Presidents, other than the 5 permanent members of the Security Council,
were from Afghanistan, Bolivia, Chile, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala,
Indonesia, Israel, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Sri Lanka, United Arab
Emirates, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe.

Most states had a
representative speaking about issues concerning their country and the hopes for
the coming year as to what the UNGA will do. This presently an opportunity for
the member states to opine on international issues of their concern. The
General Debate took place from 19th –25th September 2017, except for the
intervening Sunday. The theme for this year’s debate was chosen by President
Miroslav Lajcak as “Focusing on
People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet
.”
(Seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly from
Wikipedia.com)

Similarly, The
President of the 72nd session, Miroslav Lajcák, identified six overarching
priorities for his term. These priorities include: making a difference in the
lives of ordinary people; prevention and mediation for sustaining peace;
migration; political momentum for the SDGs and climate; human rights and
equality, including equal opportunities for genders; and quality of events
organized by the presidency. In parallel to the opening session, several events
will take place including the Global Goals Week 2017 and the Climate Week NYC
2017. (Source: UNGA 72nd session agenda and main topics of discussion by Fatma
Al-Wahaidy, Monday, September 11, 2017) In consequence, as the topic above
suggests, this article would address the main highlights of the just concluded
UNGA 72 using excerpts from an article by Labaran Yusuf titled; ‘72nd UNGA: Threats, Counter-threats and
Caution’
. Please come on-board.

v  The 3 Newcomers
– This Year’s United Nations General Assembly saw a debut appearance of three
new world leaders – President Emmanuel Macron of France, US President Donald
Trump and U.N Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.  These three World Leaders attended their first
UNGA in September 2017.

v  Climate Change
– Mr Macron defended the nuclear accord, he told the UN General Assembly: “Renouncing it would be a grave error, not
respecting it would be irresponsible, because it is a good accord that is
essential to peace at a time where risk of a conflagration cannot be excluded
”.
He also added that Myanmar’s government crackdown on the Rohingya is “genocide”.

v  Myanmar
– Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, also condemned the targeted killings
of the Muslim-majority Rohingya population in Myanmar. He said the crisis is
very reminiscent to what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994,
which he called a state-backed campaign based on ethnicity and religion. He
also echoed the suffering of the Palestinian people and the humanitarian
situation in Yemen. The president also thanked the governments helping refugees
escaping conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. And at the end, Buhari
called for a peaceful solution to the North Korea nuclear crisis.

v  North Korea
– “The United States has great strength
and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or it allies, we will have
no choice but to totally destroy North Korea
”. These are clearly words
never, ever to be engraved in marble. The President of the United States chose,
in a forum dedicated to diplomacy, to threaten to wipe another nation – a much
smaller one – off the face of the earth. (Source: 72nd UNGA: Threats,
Counter-threats and Caution by Labaran Yusuf)
God Bless Us All
Olusanya, Oluwole
Sheriff
Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.