Saturday, November 29, 2014

65th General Assembly Opens under Swiss Presidency


Today the 65th session of the General Assembly opened under the Presidency of Switzerland.

This year marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, and the General Assembly will face a heavy agenda including a high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, the ongoing review of the Human Rights Council, and a third year of intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform.

General Assembly Opens 65th Session A wide view of the General Assembly during the first meeting of its sixty-fifth session under the presidency of Joseph Deiss (on screens).

The President of the General Assembly is H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss of Switzerland, a career Swiss politician who has previously held high-level positions including President of the Swiss Confederation, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Economic Minister, in addition to a period as a Member of Parliament. In his first statement, officially opening the 65th session of the General Assembly, President Deiss emphasized his faith in the United Nations and the General Assembly, and stressed that the United Nations Charter gives the General Assembly a central role as “the pre-eminent forum for global debate.” He outlined an ambitious set of goals, including the achievement of the MDGs; returning the United Nations to its rightful place at the center of global governance; and the promotion of sustainable development  (click here for the complete text of the opening statement).

Afghanistan, represented by Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will serve as a Vice President of the 65th GA. This is the second time that Ambassador Tanin will play this role; he previously served as Vice President of the 63rd GA from 2008-2009.

Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and H.E. Zahir Tanin

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)