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157868_4662131_updates.jpgMiroslav Lajcak (centre), president of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, gavels open the session?s first meeting. He is flanked by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (left) and Catherine Pollard, under-secretary-general for General Assembly and conference management. Photo: UN 

NEW YORK: The United Nations General Assembly opened its 72nd session on Tuesday, with an emphasis on striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet, according to the UN.

?The UN was created for people,? Miroslav Lajcak said in his first address as president of the General Assembly. ?The people who need the UN the most are not sitting in this hall today. They are not involved in the negotiation of resolutions. They do not take the floor at high-level events. It is one of the tasks of the General Assembly to make sure that their voices can still be heard.?

In today?s address, he noted that while it was ?impossible? to select one priority for the UN to focus on this year, his aim will be to strive for balance, so that all points of view are represented.

Lajcak takes the reins one week before the start of the high-level General Assembly debate on September 19, and said he hoped the 193 UN member states participating would treat each other with diplomacy and mutual respect.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Lajcak reiterated the importance of using the world body to assist people around the world.

Addressing the opening of the General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also emphasised the importance of focusing on people in the UN?s work and underscored his proposed reforms to streamline the organisation.

?People around the world are rightly demanding change and looking for governments and institutions to deliver,? he said. ?We all agree that the United Nations must do even more to adapt and deliver. That is the aim of the reform proposals that this assembly will consider.?

He added that one key change within and beyond the UN must be the empowerment of women and girls around the world, and highlighted his own roadmap for achieving gender parity.

Abbasi's address

Sources informed Geo News that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will address the session on September 21. He is likely to be accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif during his maiden visit to the US. 

Pakistan has taken strong exception to US President Donald Trump's new 'anti-Pakistan' policy for South Asia, that was announced amid much-hype last month. 

The country has been on a diplomatic offensive since then, with the foreign minister dashing to China, Iran and Turkey in an effort to build regional consensus. 


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