UN General Assembly 71st session to commence in New York

UN General Assembly 71st session to commence in New York

UN General Assembly 71st session to commence in New York

Written by Lahiru Fernando

19 Sep, 2016 | 9:39 pm

World leaders have gathered in New York where the general debate of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly is scheduled to get underway.

The UNGA General Debate is set to begin today, Monday, September 19 with the participation of Sri Lanka’s Head of State, President Maithripala Sirisena.

President Sirisena arrived in New York this morning (Sri Lankan time) to attend the General Assembly, with a delegation which includes Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, Ministers Faiszer Mustapha, Arjuna Ranatunga and Gayantha Karunathilake.

President Sirisena will be hosted for a reception by POTUS (President of the United States) Barack Obama, who will be addressing the UN for the last time, before wrapping up his duties as president of the major power house. President Sirisena will also meet Malcolm Turnbull , the Prime Minister of Australia on Tuesday, September 20.

The United Nations General Assembly meets annually and feature many heads of state of UN countries.

Min. Mangala Samaraweera has said that the session is of great importance for Sri Lanka as the theme is set on the push for sustainable development goals universally to transform the world.

“…Since the new government came in to office 18 months ago we have also been working along the sustainable development goals in order to take Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s development process… forward with more rapidly and systematically and I am sure this session will certainly give added impetus to what the Sri Lankan government is trying to do at the moment”,  said Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Officials and heads of state from around the world were preparing for the United Nations 71st General Assembly in New York City on Sunday, September 18,  against a startling backdrop — an explosion on  the night of Saturday, September 17, less than two miles away,  that left 29 people injured – that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo described as “an act of terrorism.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has told reporters that the city’s already expanded police presence — which includes a counter-terrorism unit launched last year,  known as the Critical Response Command — would now expand even more. The state was chipping in as well; Cuomo ordered 1,000 state police and National Guardsmen across the city.

During the U.N. General Assembly, New York typically increases police presence, but officials said Sunday,  law enforcement would be on particularly high alert in the city this week, as a result of the explosion.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the U.N. Secretary General, told News 1st that over 14,000 passes have been issued for dignitaries, their aides, and additional press for the U.N. General Assembly this year.

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