The 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on Tuesday amid calls for multilateral solutions to global challenges.
Srgjan Kerim, president of the General Assembly, said climate change, financing for development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, countering terrorism, and reforms aimed at improving the management, effectiveness and coherence of the world body are among the top priorities during the session.
"More than ever before, global challenges demand multilateral solutions," Kerim said in his opening remarks. "The United Nations is the appropriate multilateral forum to take action. This is why the revitalization of this General Assembly deserves our highest attention."
A number of high-level events will be held on the sidelines of the current session of the general assembly on such issues as climate change, Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, and the Middle East.
"The General Assembly must take the initiative and strengthen its central position in the multilateral system," Kerim said. "We must forge a lasting consensus -- a global alliance for action -- by bringing together member states, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations and civil society."
He said by working together, the international community can also help overcome the underlying misunderstanding between cultures and religions that is "at the core of many of today's problems."
Kerim called for courage and "bold compromises" to address the many challenges facing the world.
"If we want the United Nations to play its full role, we will have to do more and do it more effectively -- both operationally at the country level, and management at headquarters," he said.
Earlier Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed hope at a press conference that world leaders attending the session would "bring with them a renewed interest in multilateral resolution to challenges facing the world."
The 62nd session's general debate, during which heads of state or government express their opinions, is to be held from September 25 to October 3.
(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2007)