General Assembly President looks back on 'eventful and extraordinary' session

21 December 2001

The President of the General Assembly today looked back on what he termed "one of the most eventful and extraordinary sessions in the history of the United Nations" as the 189-member body moved to wrap up the main part of its annual meeting.

Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea said the tenor of the session was set on 11 September "when tragedy struck just a few miles away" from the UN complex. The session began the next day with the adoption of a strong resolution condemning the terrorist attacks. The following month, New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani addressed the Assembly, followed by "an unprecedented number of speakers [who] stressed the need to urgently address the issue of international terrorism," the President recalled.

The Assembly's Legal (Sixth) Committee came "very close" to agreeing on a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism, according to Mr. Han. "Work on achieving this goal will continue in late January," he said.

Other highlights of the session included the two-day discussion of the "Dialogue among Civilizations," the President said. "This marked a major milestone in promoting interfaith and inter-cultural understanding, and I hope it will serve as a precedent for similar initiatives in the future."

Though the session had begun on a sombre note, "our spirits were considerably lifted when we learned of the joint award of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations and its Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan," he observed. "We will never forget the tragedy and the triumph of the past 100 days."

 

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