The general debate of the 68th General Assembly (the only principal organ of the UN in which all member nations have equal representation) will run from September 24-27 and September 30-October 1. Representatives from 193 countries have been invited to arrive at the summit (Poland will be represented by President Bronisław Komorowski), however there might be some notable absences.
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Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked US authorities not to grant Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir a visa necessary to enter the country. As the host of UN summits, Washington is expected to grant entrance to any head of state wishing to attend the US on UN business. Mr al-Bashir is sought by the ICC on charges of genocide in the war-torn Darfur region. As of press time, the US authorities hadn’t announced its decision whether to grant the Sudanese leader a visa.
While the session’s theme is “The Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage,” most expect that the situation in Syria will dominate the discussion. Others point to a possible meeting between US President Barack Obama and recently-elected Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani. Back in June, President Obama sent a letter to President Rouhani, congratulating him on his election victory.
Mr Rouhani called this move “positive and constructive” and in a recent interview with NBC said that his country had no intention of going forward with its military nuclear program. White House spokesperson Jay Carney acknowledged “dramatic” shifts in Teheran’s language but stressed the need to see its words matched by its actions. When asked if the two leaders would meet in New York, he replied: “We will see. It has always been possible.”
Antigua and Barbuda’s John William Ashe, who was chosen as the president of the Assembly, said that he’d like to initiate UN Security Council reform, which as the recent Syrian crisis showed yet again, has troubles reaching any agreements. Critics say the Council, established in 1945, does not reflect the realities of today’s world and many powerful nations, like Germany or India, are not represented on it.
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