By December 11, 2018 Read More →

One-on-One With the President of the General Assembly

Trusteeship Council, UNHQ, Wednesday, December 5, 2018

It was a pleasure listening to the new President of the General Assembly, H.E. Ms. Maria Espinosa, as she shared her vision of the United Nations with a room filled with members of civil society. She remarked that civil society is the voice of our country and of society. She also mentioned that the slogan, “Making the UN Relevant to All,” is allowing her to directly address areas that need more attention given the current conditions of the peoples of the world. In order to make the UN relevant, she emphasized that there is a need for more:

  • efficiency
  • transparency
  • listening
  • grounding
  • better delivery

There are seven priority pillars Her Excellency and her team will focus one. These are namely:

  1. Revitalization of the General Assembly
    1. support the Secretary General and President
    2. implementation gap
    3. reform the Security Council
  2. Gender Equality (Mar. 12)
  3. Universalization of the UN, making it more accessible to persons with disabilities.
  4. Climate Action (Mar. 28, 2019) with focus on plastics
  5. Youth, Peace and Security – diplomacy approach with youth as the center point.
  6. Decent work – equal wages, etc. teaming with ECOSOC and ILO
  7. Migration & Refugees


One of the questions posed to Her Excellency was on the role and use/abuse of power. She gave a beautiful definition of power: as much as power is important, it’s not about controlling anyone or making decisions for everyone, it’s a collective effort. Heads of States are accountable to the people who put them in those positions and much as the people have the power to hold them accountable. She also noted that even though times have changed and the world has changed since the inception of the UN, the principles of the UN haven’t changed. The UN is the House for re-thinking power. She reached out to member states to re-read the UN Charter and see where the UN needs to step up to their responsibilities!!

It was a rich and enlightening discussion. The President even offered to come again to chat with the NGOs as she enjoyed it a lot. I invite you to to watch the full conversation:

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