Heads of State and Government arrived in New York to the annual debates at the United Nations General Assembly; they were hosted by President María Fernanda. 

The new President of the General Assembly, H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, of Ecuador, took the oath of office on 17th September and officially opened the General Assembly a day later with a pledge to dedicate her presidency to women and girls. She said: “I want to support those women who have entered politics; who are demanding equality in the workplace; those women and girls who are victims of violence and those girls and adolescents who demand access to quality education.”

President Espinosa Garcés is the first woman of the Latin America and Caribbean Group to preside over the General Assembly.

The 73rd session of the General Assembly focused on gender equality, migration and refugees, decent work for all and the role of youth in peace and security. The session also focused on supporting the rights of the disabled, climate action and revitalization of the work of the UN.

Ms. Espinosa Garcés is committed to bringing the UN closer to the people and people closer to the UN in order to make the Organization relevant to everyone.She has dedicated her year in office and that of her team to ensuring that the UN delivers seven days a week, every week. Her slogan has been abbreviated to: D.A.R.E which stands for “Delivery, Accountability, Relevance and Efficiency.”

Along with the statements from world leaders, the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, will also include high-level events on the elimination of tuberculosis and tackling of non-communicable diseases, as well as a special session on global peace in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela

A statue of Mr. Mandela will also be unveiled at the UN Headquarters in New York in recognition of his lifetime of efforts to promote peace and security and protect human rights, both pillars of the United Nations.