*Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General making a point at a previous function
United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Guterres is set to open the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York today. The UN chief will welcome the incoming General Assembly president Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria to his new role as head of the 193-member body. As is tradition, the new session begins one week before the assembly’s high-level debate kicks off on September 24 with the participation of world leaders.
In a fast-changing world where humanity’s issues are “increasingly interlinked,” the General Assembly is “our universal platform to build consensus for the common good,” Guterres said at the closing of the 73rd session on Monday. “From the climate crisis to migration flows and rising inequality, from waves of intolerance to harnessing technology for good, one thing is certain: global issues require global solutions,” the UN chief said.
The 74th session will be presided over by Muhammad-Bande, who will hold the mainly ceremonial position for one year. Muhammad-Bande takes over from Maria Fernanda Espinosa of Ecuador, who was the fourth woman to lead the UN’s parliament-style body.
The General Assembly is the main representative body of the UN, and all 193 member states have equal voting rights in its chamber. It adopts treaties and passes resolutions, but they are not legally binding.