The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Bhutan continues to great importance to the work of the UNGA.

The 72nd UNGA begin on Tuesday, 12 September 2017 under the Presidency of H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia.

The General Debate will open on Tuesday, 19 September 2017.

The theme for the 72nd UNGA is: “Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”. The President of 72nd UNGA has highlighted six priority areas during his presidency: 

  • Step up the efforts of the General Assembly as the most representative organ;
  • Consolidate past and existing UN efforts in peace and mediation at the UN High-level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in 2018;
  • Bring global attention to migration as it is a complex global and generational issue through the IGN on the 2018 Global compact for Migration;
  • Maintain the political momentum on the SDGS and climate issues with particular focus on LDCs and SIDS;
  • Use human rights as an overarching principle guiding his work and continued support to equality and gender representation;
  • And no new reform agenda would be initiated that would place additional burden on small states rather, rather the focus would be on ensuring the quality on the mandated events to achieve concrete results.

The 72nd UNGA also takes place with a new Secretary-General at the helm of affairs, the ninth, in Mr. António Guterres, who took office in January 2017.

Mr. Guterres has pledged to reposition development at the centre of UN’s work to ensure that UN can change to effectively meet the myriad challenges facing the international community. He has made three strategic priorities for the UN: working for peace; supporting sustainable development; and reforming its internal management.

Efforts are underway on the reform process. A report, outlining SG’s vision on repositioning of the UN Development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been published. Report on the reforms in the peace and architecture is to be issued shortly and the broad parameters of the management of the reform has also been discussed with member states.

The 72nd UNGA also takes place against the backdrop of many incidences of terrorism and violence the need for the global community to deliver on a global coordinated response to ensure peace and security.

The 72nd GA also marks the second year in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In June, SG issued the 2017 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) progress report, providing an overview of global progress towards the 17 SDGs.

Bhutan’s broad priorities during the 72nd GA

 As a constructive member of the UN, Bhutan and will continue to follow and participate in the work of the UN in all three pillars of the UN: peace and security, human rights and development.

Within these, development pillar will be a top priority for Bhutan. Following are some of the top priority engagements for the 72nd GA:

  • Participate and follow in all the major UN processes on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, including presentation of Bhutan’s Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum.
  • Focus on the LDCs and LLDC issues. Bhutan is a member of the LLDC Bureau.
  • Managing the process of the LDC Graduation at the ECOSOC as well as GA to ensure smooth graduation.
  • Participate and follow developments and discussions on the UN reform process, particularly on the reforms in the UN Development system and implications on country level delivery.
  • Participate and follow the work of the UN Funds and Programmes.
  • Continue efforts on peacekeeping and work towards deployment of our first contingent.