Saturday, 30 August 2014

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The General Assembly

The inside to the GA

Desmond Parker

The Protocol and Liaison Office prepares for the 66th Session of the General Assembly

By: iSeek/Cathy Smith 

While some UN offices in New York enjoy quieter period in the summer, others are switching into high gear to prepare for the upcoming 66th session of the General Assembly. The Protocol and Liaison Office is one such office, and Desmond Parker,

Chief of Protocol, sat down recently with iSeek to talk about the work of his office.

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Being a Member of the World’s Biggest Club

GA HallFor the 66th session of the General Assembly, 193 states will gather to discuss questions within the UN mandate. In 1946 when the first UN General Assembly met in London, the member states only numbered 51. Over the years membership has grown, and this year South Sudan became the 193rd member of the United Nations and the General Assembly. The latest successful applications since then were those of Montenegro in 2006 and Switzerland and Timor-Leste in 2002. InFocus explains to you how states become a member of the UN, and how the General Assembly makes sure that membership is continued by recognised governments.

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Obesity on the agenda as world leaders gather in New York

GA president 66 sessionAs the 65th session of the General Assembly is coming to an end, symbolized in part by the recent appointment of the Qatari diplomat Nazir Abdul Azziz Al-Nassar, 57, as President of the 66th session (succeeding Joseph Deiss), the focus will very soon be on the upcoming session and the challenges waiting to be discussed.

But what exactly is on the General Assembly's Agenda when political leaders from all 193 Member States of the United Nations gather in New York on 13 September?

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No room for error

Desmond Parker with US President ObamaWhen world leaders gather in New York at the General Assembly it is the responsibility of the Chief of Protocol to ensure that all goes according to plan.

The UN General Assembly in New York could be described as a minefield of possible diplomatic incidents. When up to 190 heads of state and government attend a summit it is the role of veteran UN Diplomat Desmond Parker of Trinidad and Tobago to take on that challenge. A tall order when his predecessors have had to deal with challenges such as a gun waiving Palestinian guerrilla commander, a shoe banging Soviet leader and a Libyan openly opposed to any diplomatic traditions.

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F
acts:

    • The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations

    • The General Assembly consists of all the 193 members of the United Nations

    • The Assembly meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year

    • The Assembly has allocated items relevant to its work among its six Main Committees

    • The president of the 66th General is Assembly is Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, a Qatari diplomat

    • The European Union has been granted higher participation status in the General Assembly

Sources: http://www.un.org/en/ga/

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38261&Cr=general+assembly&Cr1