Follow the coverage of the United Nations General Debate on gadebate.un.org.

In Focus

kids showing peace sign
International Day of Peace (21 September)

This year's theme “The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70” celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

young woman using sign language
International Day of Sign Languages (23 September)

This the first year we mark the International Day of Sign Languages. There are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide. Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities makes clear that sign languages are equal in status to spoken languages. Early access to sign language and services in sign language, including quality education available in sign language, is vital to the growth and development of the deaf individual and critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.  

migration in Africa
High-Level Panel on Migration and Structural Transformation in Africa (25 September)

The outflow of migrants from Africa to other regions, and particularly to Europe, features prominently in the media. Intra-African migration, however, has received little attention, even though an estimated 53 per cent of migration in Africa occurs intra-regionally.The high-level event will provide a platform to discuss how to maximize the economic and developmental impacts of migration in Africa and ensure the continent’s structural transformation is economically sustainable. 

In the Spotlight

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés
María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

On 5 June 2018, the United Nations General Assembly elected Ecuadorean Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of its 73rd session. Ms. Espinosa is only the fourth woman to hold that position in the history of the world body, and the first woman ever from the Latin America and the Caribbean region to preside over the Assembly. She says at the top of her priorities will be to "empower women in politics, empower women as architects of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." She will also focus on migration and refugees, climate change, the rights of persons with disabilities, peace and security and the revitalization of the UN.

The UN System at Work

Champion of the Earth Gala Diner UN Environment Assembly, Opening Plenary, Dec 4 to 6, 2017, Nairobi, Kenya, 5, December 2017
UN Environment

Tackling our environmental crisis takes courage, determination and grit. Our world needs extraordinary talent, new thinking and bold ideas. Discover the winners of this year’s top United Nations environment award, who are taking action to champion environmental protection around the world. This year’s UN Environment gala ceremony announcing the Champions of the Earth Awards and celebrating the Young Champions of the Earth prize winners will be held in New York on 26 September. Join us on social media to recognize the outstanding achievements of these women and men. #YoungChamps #EarthChamps. 

Goal of the week


Did you know?

Women make up the majority of international migrants in Europe and the Americas.  Find out more in Global Issues: Migration
Immigration slows down the ageing process of societies.  Find out more in Global Issues: Ageing
Unclean water and poor sanitation are the leading cause of child mortality.  Find out more in Global Issues: Water
The International Court of Justice rules on disputes between states, helping to prevent their escalation into conflicts. Find out more in Global Issues: International Law and Justice

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

girl pushing woman in wheelchair
two boys playing with water
bag valve mask and oxygen mask
two women preparing food
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