Global Policy Forum

UN General Assembly Concludes 63rd Session After 'Most Turbulent' Year

By Xiong Tong

September 15, 2009


The UN General Assembly concluded on Monday its 63rd session, after a year which the outgoing president described as "one of the most turbulent in many years."

"The most important months of my presidency occurred in the shadow of the current deep economic and financial crisis, which does not yet appear to have bottomed out," D'Escoto Brockmann told the closing ceremony of the 63rd session of the 192-member body.

"Today the most urgent issue continues to be the provision of resources to the most vulnerable countries ... in order to finance both public goods and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," the president stated.

He said that in the past year, "a dream" has been turned into reality in terms of the reform of the Security Council, since "we have succeeded in moving the reform process from a study ... to the level of intergovernmental negotiations in informal plenary meetings."

A total of 32 such meetings have been held since the start of the negotiations in February, with more than two thirds of member stated having "participated actively" in the meetings, he said.

"I am convinced that there is light at the end of the tunnel," Brockmann said.

"Only a strong General Assembly which vigorously exercises its deliberative, policymaking and decision-making roles will be capable of enhancing multilateralism as the best option for relationships between States," he said. "It must be borne in mind that the most significant revitalization has been the capacity demonstrated by the General Assembly to address existential economic problems that it had been unable to tackle for almost three decades."

"Revitalization is a political rather than a technical issue," he said.

Before the session conclusion, representatives of such countries as Brazil, Uzbekistan, Iran, the Philippines, took the floor at the GA Hall to speak highly of Brockman's leadership as the GA president to work for peace, justice and development in the world at large, to revitalize the General Assembly.

Shortly before the conclusion, Brockmann invited the president of the 64th GA session, Ali Abdussalam Treki of Libya, to the GA podium, arousing applause from diplomats from 192 countries at the GA Hall.

The 64th GA session is scheduled to open on Tuesday afternoon. Treki was elected president of the new GA session on June 10.

The 63rd General Assembly session has the tight schedule on the last working day before it concluded here on Monday evening.

The General Assembly on Monday adopted its first resolution on the responsibility to protect civilians from armed conflicts.

"It is most significant that this resolution was adopted by consensus," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday in a statement issued here by his spokesperson. "I welcome it as an important step as we chart a common path towards meeting the commitment made at the 2005 World Summit to protect the world's peoples from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity."

Brockmann, born in the U.S. city of Los Angeles in 1933, has been president since Sept. 16, 2008. He convened an emergent GA session in January to condemn the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, and made great efforts to protect the Mother Earth, protect the legitimate rights of Palestinians, pay much more attention to the efforts for gender equality.

In June, he convened a UN high-level conference on the global economic and financial crises, enabling small, poor and other developing countries to have their voices heard by the world.

A veteran statesman, political, community leader and priest, Brockmann served for more than a decade as the foreign minister of Nicaragua, a post he held from July 1979 until April 1980.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ. It is composed of representatives of all member states, each of which has one vote. Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority. Decisions on other questions are by simple majority.



FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.