The 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly opened
on Tuesday amid calls for multilateral solutions to global
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
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
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)