Annual United Nations General Assembly meeting begins in New York City

By Ruby Van Dyk || Contributing Writer

This week, the 193 Members of The United Nations General Assembly met in order to begin their annual session. The UN General Assembly is the only organ of the United Nations that has equal representation for each of it’s members, and is the main policy making organ of the UN.  It meets from September – December or until all issues are addressed, each year.

When the General Assembly votes on important issues, a two-thirds majority of those who vote is required. These issues might include admission or expulsion of members, the budget or recommendations having to do with peace and security. Each member country has one single vote, and all other questions need to be decided by a majority vote.

In the beginning of the annual session world leaders address the General Assembly, speaking about their own countries goals along with their global goals.

This year is the 72nd year of the convening of the UN, and President Donald Trump’s first meeting addressing the UN General Assembly since he was elected. On September 19th, President Trump gave his first major address to the UN General Assembly. Trump welcomed the delegates and leaders to the meeting, As he discussed the state of the world, he noted some of the issues the globe faces today including terrorism and conflict. He also threatened North Korea, saying “the U.S. has great strength and patience but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Although President Trump’s comments seemed to create the most news, many other leaders spoke including those from Brazil, France, Japan, Iran and many more. Along with these speeches, many meetings are being held to discuss global issues amongst various countries. These aspects of the General Assembly and meeting of the UN can often be forgotten, but many important ideas are solidified behind closed doors.

On the 22nd, nuclear weapons became the main focus of the main leaders discussions. Many leaders from around the world added their signatures to a treaty that bans nuclear weapons. Although many countries have agreed to the treaty, the nine nuclear-armed countries declined to sign it. This continues the debate on nuclear weapons, and the amount of control and limitation that should be placed on them.

The General Debate of the General Assembly does not end until the 25th of September, while other meetings continue until the 29th. As the General Assembly continues to meet the amount of problems that face the UN increase. From the issue of nuclear weapons to human rights atrocities to global warming, world leaders have their hands full. But, it is up to them to push past their own interests and work together in order to solve the problems our world faces.

First-year Ruby Van Dyk is a contributing writer. Her email is rvandyk@fandm.edu.

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