UN General Assembly kicks off high-level debate

xinhuanet.com 29-Sep-2015

\ 

Raul Castro, president of Cuba's Council of State and the Council of Ministers, speaks at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, on Sept. 28, 2015. The general debate of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly kicked off at the general assembly hall of the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The 70th session of the UN General Assembly on Monday opened the annual high-level General Debate at UN Headquarters in New York, with a focus on marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, peace and development in the world at large.

UN Secretary-General , while addressing the General Assembly, said as the UN marks its 70th anniversary, member states need to hear the call of the UN Charter and take actions to counter global challenges, including climate change, wars and conflicts, refugee and migration crisis.

"That means we must do everything we can to close the gap between the world as it is, and the world as it should be," said Ban. "That is the mission of the United Nations."

Mogens Lykketoft, president of the 70th session of the General Assembly, said the sustainable development goals, which have been adopted at a summit ahead of the general debate, can only be fulfilled when member states increase their efforts to end poverty and create inclusive economic growth model, among others.

"Never before has such a large share of humanity enjoyed so good a life, yet never before have we been at greater risk of fundamentally disrupting the basic living conditions on our small globe," he noted, referring to global challenges like climate change, regional conflicts and tensions.

About 140 heads of state and government are expected to attend this year's general debate scheduled to last from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3.

Each speaker has voluntary 15 minutes at the rostrum to elaborate on this year's theme: "the United Nations at 70 -- a new commitment to action."