Flags of member nations flying at United Nations Headquarters - Photo: un.org

Outgoing UN General Assembly president urges UN reform

Geopolitical rivalry hinders cooperation and solutions in the UN, and diverts focus from the transition to sustainable development, Csaba Korosi, the outgoing Hungarian president of the United Nations General Assembly, told the closing event of the GA's 77th session in New York, urging a reform of the organisation in view of the challenges of modern times.

Korosi said the world was running a race for time on issues such as climate change, preserving biodiversity, education and gender equality, and regretted that the UN’s 2015 sustainable development targets could not be met by 2030.

The UN adopted a “historic” resolution last year, declaring a clean, healthy and sustainable environment a human right, Korosi said. The organisation should now ensure transparency and accountability by determining those responsible for implementing the document, he said.

Korosi urged that the UN should be restructured in line with current challenges. He said changes were not easy in view of the UN Charter, but said that the document should be applied in its entirety rather than selectively, with special regard to conflict management, massive unrest, genocide and other war crimes.

The next General Assembly session of the UN will be presided over by Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago. The 78th session, starting on September 18, will be addressed by Hungarian President Katalin Novak.

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