Barcelona, 19 September 2016. A delegation from the Secretariat of Union for the Mediterranean headed by Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi participates in the General Debate of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly taking place at the UN headquarters in New York on 20 September. The theme of the General Debate this year is “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world.”
The United Nations General Assembly adopted in December 2015 a resolution granting observer status to the Union for the Mediterranean, at the initiative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Co-President of the Union for the Mediterranean (along with the EU), and with the sponsorship of the UfM Member States. This came as another international support to the UfM’s global role as a driving force for regional cooperation and integration in the Mediterranean.
The UfM delegation also participates in the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September; the first time the UN General Assembly has called for a summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants and it is a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response.
On the margin of these key events, the UfM Secretary General is holding bilateral meetings with Ministers and other UfM Member States high officials, as well as with high representatives of the UN System and other international actors. In line with the 2030 Development Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UfM Secretariat works closely with its international partners in order to more effectively address the serious challenges affecting the Mediterranean, while deepening cooperation on the three interrelated priorities of the Euro-Mediterranean region: stability, human development and integration as well as highlighting the important scope of opportunities.
Furthermore, in the framework of the Climate Week NYC, and in preparation for the upcoming COP22 next November in Marrakech, the UfM delegation is participating to several meetings on the Climate action agenda.
Update on the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants
World leaders came together at the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September 2016 to adopt the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants which expresses the political will of world leaders to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, to save lives and share responsibility for large movements on a global scale.