The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will officially open today, with the General Debate – an opportunity for representatives from all 193 member states to address the chamber – beginning the following week. The UNGA serves as the main deliberative and policy-making body of the UN, addressing complex world issues as well as the challenges facing individual members. It is the only body in the organization where all members have representation. Prime Minister Imran Khan will virtually address session of the world’s biggest diplomatic gathering, on September 24. Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will participate in person in several events being held during the Assembly’s high level week including a meeting of the OIC Working Group on Jammu and Kashmir, a Ministerial meeting of the Uniting for Consensus group on Security Council reform, and a high level meeting on Energy. Foreign Minister will also hold a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts and the UNSG, address think tanks and interact with Pakistani community, businessmen and media.
According to the UN Charter, the body is charged with addressing matters of international peace and security not currently being addressed by the UN Security Council (UNSC). It also debates matters of human rights, international law, and cooperation in “economic, social, cultural, educational, and health fields”.
Pertinent to highlight, more concretely, the UNGA approves the sprawling organization’s annual budget, while one of its six main committees directly oversees the funding of peacekeeping missions around the world. Events surrounding last year’s 75th-anniversary UNGA – forced mostly online due to the coronavirus pandemic – focused on reinvigorating multilateral institutions.