Akufo-Addo addresses UN General Assembly today

BY: Kobby Asmah
Akufo-Addo addresses UN General Assembly today
Akufo-Addo addresses UN General Assembly today

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will deliver a statement at the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in New York, United States of America, today.

This will be the President’s second address at the General Assembly since he assumed the reins of power in January last year.

Nineteen speakers, including the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Cuba and Korea, are expected to address the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which opens this morning with the general debate.

The debate forms part of the annual meeting of Heads of State and Government at the beginning of the assembly.

With the exception of the high-level meetings, the debate is the only one in which Heads of State and Government regularly participate.


Debaters scheduled to speak include the Presidents of Brazil, the United States, Rwanda, France, Iran and South Africa.

During the general debate, only the Holy See (The Vatican), the State of Palestine and the European Union are invited to participate and their speaking slots are determined by the level of representation.

This year, the debate is on the theme: "Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”.

End of debate

The debate, which closes on Monday, October 1, 2018 (including Saturday) is generally held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

However, each meeting lasts until all scheduled speakers have spoken. Depending on how closely speakers comply with the recommended time limit, the morning meetings may run into the lunch break, and the afternoon meetings well into the night.

According to the General Assembly Rules of Procedure, the general debate is to be held without interruption for nine working days. However, in practice, seven days are usually sufficient to accommodate all speakers.

Heightened security

The general debate and assembly are not open to the public. Due to the large number of VIPs attending, additional security measures are taken in and around the UN premises.

Access to the premises is restricted to only delegates and their staff, staff members of the UN Secretariat and the funds, programmes and agencies of the UN system, accredited media and affiliates who are wearing a United Nations grounds pass.

In addition, members of civil society who are invited to attend the high-level meetings are required to be in possession of meeting-specific passes at all times.