The newly-elected UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson of Fiji opened the 71st session Tuesday, promising to dedicate himself to facilitation of the transition process and working with two Secretaries-Generals.
Speaking before the member states attending the opening ceremony of the 71st session, Kuwait delegation among them, Thomson said that he will be working to "strengthen the relations between the UN's organs, continuing the practice of holding regular meetings with the Secretary-General, the Presidents of the Security Council, and the President of ECOSOC, and I will inform the membership as to the scope of these meetings."
In his new position, leading the General Assembly, Thomson promised to uphold the principles of transparency and inclusiveness, during the 71st Session, and seek to give greater prominence to ethics in the work of the United Nations.
Thomson said that his office will strive to find new methods to resolve entrenched conflicts, diminish the atrocities of global terrorism, better manage migrant and refugee flows, and resolve the many humanitarian crises that remind us millions of people in our world are still denied even the most basic conditions for a secure life.
In this regards, he welcomed the cessation of hostilities that has come into effect in Syria, and called on all parties to honor the terms of the agreement. "I sincerely hope that this understanding may ease the humanitarian suffering, and lead to a lasting peace for the Syrian people," he added.
Due to the importance of Sustainable Development Goals, the President of the General Assembly said it has been heartening to observe the sincerity with which Governments and national planning agencies around the world have begun integrating the Agenda into national processes.
But make no mistake, he expressed, the great majority of humankind has yet to learn of the Agenda; it has yet to embrace the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, that if successfully implemented will bring an end to poverty and secure a sustainable place for humanity on this planet.
Therefore, he announced that it is for this reason that the theme of the 71st Session is " The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World." On his part, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed, during his remarks at the opening ceremony, the theme picked by President Thomson, affirming that the first year is crucial.
"It is a time when all Member States should align their policies, programs and spending behind the 17 goals," he said.
Ban said that the Assembly will be called upon to address many threats, and to show its solidarity with people facing injustice. "People also look to this body not just to react to problems, but to work proactively and preventively to better the human condition," he said.
Prior to the opening, the President of General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft closed the 70th session, handing over the presidency to Thomson.
Kuwait's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi led the Kuwaiti delegation to both the closing of the 70th session, and opening ceremony of the 71st session at the General Assembly Hall.