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General Assembly President highlights Syrian crisis, upcoming events on global agenda

General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser.
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser.

General Assembly President highlights Syrian crisis, upcoming events on global agenda

In a wide-ranging press briefing today, the President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, called on the Syrian Government to bring an immediate halt to the violence and killing in the country.

“Sadly we are still getting reports of Syrian citizens being killed by their own government every day. The violence and the killings must stop immediately,” Mr. Al-Nasser said. “The Syrian government must cooperate fully with [the Joint Special Envoy], Mr. Annan for the sake of Syria and for the sake of the Syrian people. The government’s opponents must also cooperate with Mr. Annan.”

Mr. Al-Nasser was addressing the media at UN Headquarters in New York, in a mid-term press conference to mark the half-way point in his term as President of the 66th General Assembly. He said that with six months remaining in the Assembly’s current session, efforts to achieve success on the Assembly’s agenda were being redoubled.

On the issue of Syria, Mr. Al-Nasser said that he had spoken yesterday with the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, who briefed the Security Council on Monday. He added that he had asked Mr. Annan to brief the General Assembly as well.

Looking ahead, the Assembly President said in May, along with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, he will co-chair a High Level Thematic Debate on the State of the World Economy. The event will provide an opportunity for Member States, international organizations, and representatives of the private sector and civil society to have a discussion, at the highest possible level.

“We will examine the challenges and opportunities presented by the global economy during this time of change,” Mr. Al-Nasser said. “The discussions are intended to contribute to the international efforts to secure a sustained, inclusive and equitable recovery of the world economy.”

Later in May, he will convene an informal high level meeting of the General Assembly on ‘The Role of Member States in Mediation.’

“We expect presidents and prime ministers, as well as foreign ministers and some of the most prominent international mediators to participate,” Mr. Al-Nasser said. “We aim to draw deeply from the experiences and knowledge of all participants so that we can deal more effectively with regional and international conflicts.”

The Assembly President added that in the last week of May, he will convene a retreat on preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20. “This meeting is important in getting all Member States on board to ensure success for the Rio+20 Summit in June,” he said.