The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is back after 2020’s all-virtual version. Leaders from over 100 countries are in New York this week for the annual summit. Here’s everything you should watch out for.
What is the UNGA?
The United Nations General Assembly or UNGA was first established in 1945. It is the UN’s chief policymaking, representative, and deliberative organ. The 193 members of the UN make a unique forum for multilateral negotiations and cover a wide range of issues. Moreover, it plays a major role in the codification of international law. The UNGA holds the authority to recommend states on internal issues and problems. It also provides countries with a platform to express their opinions on international issues and debate with others. This year, heads of state are expected to attend the summit from September 20 to 27.
Main themes for 2021’s UN Assembly meeting
This year, the main themes of the coveted meeting will revolve around the impending climate crisis. In addition to this, they will also discuss Afghanistan and the Quad Alliance. The United Nations General Assembly meeting will be following the discussions from the climate summit in Glasgow. “We need immediate action on cash, automobiles, coal, and trees,” said Barbara Woodward, the UN ambassador from Britain. She also added that over $100 billion funding will help disadvantaged nations deal with th effects. They will also try to get countries to commit to goals for reducing carbon emissions.
The UN has warned that if Afghanistan does not receive aid, a humanitarian disaster is not far away. Presently, there are very few countries that want to recognize and help the Taliban government. However, they do not want the withdrawal to trigger an even larger crisis for refugees and women. In a meeting on Wednesday, foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council will likely discuss the issue.
United Nations General Assembly: Who’s who
President Biden will be representing the United States in this high-profile meeting. Additionally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson (United Kingdom), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey), and President Jair Bolsoaro (Brazil) will also be a part of the meeting. However Russian President Putin and Xi Jinping, the Chinese President will not be attending the meeting. Moreover, Emmanuel Macron (France) and Ebrahim Raisi (Iran) will also be no-shows this year. But, Hossein Amirabdollahian, Iran’s Foreign Minister will represent the country.
Additionally, leaders of America’s ‘closest Asian friends,’ Indian PM Narendra Modi, Australian PM Scott Morrison and, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga will travel to Washington for the first in-person Quad Alliance meeting. The US, China, Russia, UK, and France make up the UN’s permanent members who will take a major call on the Afghanistan issue.