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General Assembly

With global crises and the destructive effects of climate change continuing to threaten not only global socio-economic development, but also the world’s very existence, developed countries must assume their “historic responsibility” to help their developing counterpart bridge existing imbalances and gaps, many speakers said today, as the Second Committee continued its general debate.
It was a conundrum that, while the international community professed a desire for greater progress on disarmament to secure a safer world, it allowed outdated mechanisms at the disposal of Member States to deliver stalemates instead of the advancement of that objective, the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) heard today as it continued its general debate.
While the United Nations had seen breakthroughs in its efforts to serve the poor and empower women, the Organization must harness its convening power to achieve a binding climate agreement, ensure respect for basic rights of self-determination and, above all, reform its key structures to reflect current geopolitical realities, General Assembly delegates stressed today as they considered the Secretary-General’s report on the work of the Organization.
Since the creation of the United Nations, 80 former colonies inhabited by some 750 million people had gained independence, yet, even with fewer than 2 million people living under colonial rule today, the decolonization process, plagued by lack of political will, remained incomplete, the Fourth Committee was told as it began its annual general debate on that issue.
With the global economy fragile and on an uneven path to recovery, the world’s development needs, especially those of its most vulnerable people, must take centre stage in all fiscal policies and stimulus plans, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told the Second Committee today, as it began its annual general debate.
“If major steps forward in disarmament are postponed indefinitely, if questions persist of compliance with non-proliferation commitments, and if military spending continues to rise while Millennium Development Goals continue to be unmet, then our potential contributions will be correspondingly limited,” the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Sergio Duarte, warned the Disarmament Committee today, as it began its general debate.