UN Assembly Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Marking the 70th anniversary of the first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the body has truly become the “Parliament for all people.”

Seventy years ago on 10 January 1946, 51 nations came together at Westminster Central Hall in London, England, and called to order the first meeting of the UN General Assembly. Among the many people who participated in that meeting was Sir Brian Urquhart, a British Government official who went on to serve the United Nations over four decades. He was among the participants in this event.

The President of the 193-Member body’s current session, who himself turned 70, began his address by highlighting several features from the first ever meeting, such as it lasting just over one hour with only one decision taken – whom to elect as its first President.

Mr. Lykketoft underlined that following a “horrific period” of war, destruction, genocide and nuclear bombings, nations of the world deliberately decided to come together.

Mr. Lykketoft recalled that with 193 members representing 99.5 per cent of the world’s population, the General Assembly has become the “single most representative, deliberative body in the world.

In their remarks, both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Lykketoft highlighted some of the most notable General Assembly achievements in the past year, including agreeing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement.