Taking the pulse of the planet as the world gathers at the UN.

Date30 September 2023

Streets around UN HQ in Midtown Manhattan will be cordoned off, roadblocks erected, and security heightened and tightened, as world leaders gather to take the pulse of the planet during a week of high-level events and come together to tackle global challenges.

The 78th session of UNGA begins on 6 September and will be followed by a series of key meetings and summits on 18 September, not forgetting of course the General Debate where each Member State enjoys a global platform to focus on issues of international importance.

Here's what to look out for at UNGA 78:

  1. Taking the world's pulse

    UNGA 78 President Dennis Francis, from Trinidad and Tobago, will gavel open on 19 September the annual General Debate, where global leaders will discuss speeding up progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the theme Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity.

    All UN Member States and observers have the right to deliver a speech in the storied General Assembly Hall and through 25 September, their representatives will present and explore solutions to myriad intertwined global challenges to advance peace, security, and sustainable development.

    A custom established in 1955 at UNGA 10 carries on today, with Brazil taking the podium first, followed by the United States, as host country of UN Headquarters, and the entire UN membership.

    Tune in live or visit our UN Meetings Coverage, where colleagues produce daily summaries in English and French.

  2. Sustainable Development Goals - The SDG Summit

    As the centrepiece of UNGA 78's high-level week, the SDG Summit will be the central platform for Heads of State and Government to provide political leadership on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the wide-reaching global action plan focused on attaining the 17 SDGs.

    Kicking off the high-level week, from 18 to 19 September, the SDG Summit aims to mark the start of a new era of progress towards the goals, which has slowed, culminating with the adoption of a forward-looking political declaration.

    The 2030 Agenda is a promise, not a guarantee. At the halfway mark (the agenda was launched in 2015), that promise is in deep peril. Development progress is facing the combined impacts of climate disasters, conflict, economic downturn, and lingering effects of COVID-19.

    'The SDG Summit in September must be a moment of unity to provide a renewed impetus and accelerated actions for reaching the SDGs,' UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.


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