UN General Assembly opens 72ed session

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Added On September 13, 2017

The UN General Assembly opened its 72nd session on Tuesday with an emphasis on striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.
 
World News has more.
 
Miroslav Lajcak, the new president of the UN General Assembly, declares the opening of the 72nd session of the decision-making body of the United Nations.
 
In his opening speech at the first plenary session, Lajcak outlines his priorities for the year ahead, which include people at the center of work, balance of interests, quality of work and transparency.
 
SOUNDBITE: MIROSLAV LAJCAK, UN General Assembly President
"Sometimes the work of the United Nations can be very complex. But the reason for its establishment was simple: the United Nations was created for people. Its job is to help people who are striving for peace and a decent life on a sustainable planet." 
 
Lajcak also highlights this year-long session with a number of "firsts".
 
SOUNDBITE: MIROSLAV LAJCAK, UN General Assembly President
"The 72nd session will be a year of firsts. We will negotiate the first inter-governmental compact on migration, we will receive the first report from the Secretary-General, and convene the first high-level event linked to the landmark resolution to sustaining peace adopted last year. Soon many states will sign the first agreement on the elimination of nuclear weapons, as well as the first international compact against sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping."
 
 
 
He doesn't forget the continuing topic facing UN leaders for decades: UN reform.
 
 
SOUNDBITE: MIROSLAV LAJCAK, UN General Assembly President
"Reforms will, indeed, mean something new. They will allow the UN to work in a way it never has before. However, reforms will also represent follow-up. The UN today looks very different from that which was established in 1945. This organization has been reforming and evolving over the years. We have seen this through the General Assembly?ˉs revitalization process. We must thus see UN reforms as an opportunity to contribute to an ongoing process - but with a fresh outlook."
 
In welcoming the new president, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres -- only into his ninth month in office -- lauds Lajcak at the first plenary session.
 
SOUNDBITE: ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN Secretary-General
"His experience, his vision and his wisdom are recognized by all of us that have the privilege to know him. I also welcome President Lajcak's choice of the theme for the year to come, ??Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet?ˉ."
 
 
Lajcak succeeded Peter Thomson of Fiji as General Assembly president. He served as Slovak foreign minister for several times and has been involved in Europe-level diplomacy. 
 
 
The General Assembly is one of the six most principal organs of the United Nations, the only one in which all member states have equal representation.
 
The assembly has powers to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council and make recommendations in the form ofGeneral Assemblyresolutions.