A Defining Week

When a diplomat called September 25-30, 2015, “a defining week”, he was pointing to three critical events taking place at the United Nations: more than 150 Heads of State or Heads of Government spoke during the annual General Debate at the beginning of the 70th Session of the General Assembly, with the situation in Syria dominating many speeches; the adoption of Agenda 2030, the Post 2015 Development Agenda, with an address by Pope Francis at the start of the Summit, giving prominent attention to the environment; and a meeting convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the massive influx of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, desperate for safety and security, into Europe.

The discussions as well as Pope Francis’ speech were a loud cry to strengthen international cooperation and solidarity because the issues involve global challenges, requiring global responses and global responsibilities. For those who would like to follow some of these discussions and/or hear the speech by Pope Francis, here is where to go on the UN website.

  • General Debate – please go to http://gadebate.un.org/ , then type in the name of the country in the box “Choose Speaker/Country” and click “go”. You may want to look up what your country had to say.
  • Address by Pope Francis – please click here. This 52-minute speech can be heard in English and Spanish (original).
  • Meeting of September 30, on the current refugee crisis – please click here. It is a 3-hour meeting but very much worthwhile to watch.

NGO Office
October 2015