The opening session of the 77th General Assembly session was held under the theme of “transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,” and featured a high-profile summit aimed at tackling the education crisis.
A large number of Heads of State and Government made the trip to New York this year, a sign that the world is opening back up, after almost three years of travel restrictions and disruption linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new President of the General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary (right), oversaw General Debate proceedings from the podium. In his speech to world leaders taking part in the Debate, the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres (left), warned that progress on the big global challenges is being “held hostage to geopolitical tensions”.
Young people were given a key role at the Summit. On the first day of the event, youth groups had the chance to tell decision-makers about the changes they want to see, in order to bring about quality education that is fit for the Twenty-First Century.
The International Day of Peace was marked by a special session in the Economic and Social Council Chamber; hundreds of high school students filled the room, to hear from young activists and celebrity speakers. The Blue Man Group were also there, for an interactive performance on the theme of diversity.
The SDG Moment was once again an eye-catching part of the opening GA session. Those in the General Assembly hall were treated to a visual display of oceans and forests, an address by Indian actor Priyanka Chopra, a video message from K-Pop stars BLACKPINK, and a reading of a new poem by American poet Amanda Gorman.
There were no babies at the General Assembly this year (New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern famously brought her new-born to the General Debate in 2018), but UN photographers spotted the young daughter of El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele, in the Hall.