13 September 2021, New York, USA - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore to the United Nations as Chair of the Forum of Small States (FOSS), concluded a two-day course entitled “Briefing New Delegates on the Work of the 76th General Assembly” with approximately 331 participants attending. Mr. Marco A. Suazo, Head of UNITAR office in New York, Highlighted the message of the General Assembly and how important it is to deliver it. He then welcomed Mr. Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director of UNITAR, for his remarks.
Mr. Seth welcomed all delegates. He talked about working for peace and prosperity. Working towards consensus, durability and sustainability often depends on the diversity of people around you, Mr. Seth said. He discussed his previous experience and knowledge in the General Assembly and advised delegates to accommodate other points of view. Despite the COVID-19 situation, which affected the opening of the UN General Assembly session, the United Nations was able to deliver via VTC and face any challenges. Mr. Seth then gave the floor to H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to the United Nations.
Mr. Gafoor thanked Mr. Seth and welcomed H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, President-elect of the 76th General Assembly, acknowledged Ms. Ruth de Miranada, Director of the General Assembly and ECOSOC Affairs Division in the department for General Assembly and Conference Management, Mr. Marco Suazo, Head of the UNITAR New York Office, permanent representatives and delegates. He mentioned how multilateralism is under pressure and being tested and issues, such as climate change, ocean, outer or inner space and others, can be solved if we work together. Mr. Gafoor advised the delegates to keep an open mind and understand the position of the other countries and needs, and look for mutual benefit solutions and live with compromises.
Ms. Ruth de Miranda, Director, General Assembly and ECOSOC Affairs Division, took over and gave a brief overview of the work of the GAEAD and responsibilities and what the department provides. She explained what the technical secretariat services are and who supports the secretariat and assists the delegates.
Mr. Kenji Nakano, Chief, General Assembly Affairs Branch, gave a brief overview of the 76th session of the General Assembly where he discussed in details of the rules of procedures of the General Assembly, and where to find the agenda items. He went through the opening session in details: how it’s organized, what kind of agenda items discussed, and when the high level week takes place. Mr. Nakano went through other meetings mandated by the General Assembly and talked about terminologies used and when to use them. Q&A session took place towards the end of the session.
Ms. Tomoko Iwata, Secretary of the Credentials Committee and Legal Officer at the Secretariat, talked about protocol and liaison service and rules and procedures during the 76th session of the General Assembly. She provided a brief background on the office of legal affairs. Ms. Iwata also talked about credentials, agenda and the role of the committee. Moving toward the end of the session, a Q&A session took place.
Ms. Beatrix Kania, Director, Chief of Protocol, briefly discussed access management and talked about bilateral meetings and meeting booths in General Assembly. She discussed the principles that should guide the delegates for determining order of precedence and simple order of precedence amongst the UN organizations. Closing remarks by Mr. Suazo, concluded today’s session, thanked all those who attended and was looking forward for the afternoon session.
Session II opened with H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Incoming Chair of the First Committee and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, and he spoke about the role of the First committee in Disarmament and International Security along with discussing the differences between formal and informal meetings.
Ms. Sonia Elliot, Secretary of the First Committee, Chief of the Disarmament and Peace Affairs Branch, DGACM, took the floor speaking about the programme of work of the First Committee and explained the divisions in the work of the Committee. She also discussed the voting procedure of the Committee
Multiple speakers then took over on session II discussing the work of the Second Committee and the Relationship of the ECOSOC to the GA. H.E. Mrs. Vanessa Frazier, Incoming Chair of the Second Committee and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malta to the United Nations, took the floor discussing the Committee’s working methods to achieve its goals along with the making a clear link between drafting resolutions and content and the implementation of the 2030 agenda.. Ms.Irena Zubcevic, Chief of OISC Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, discussed how the COVID- 19 pandemic affected reach the SDGs and the items of on countries in special situations. She discussed the Committee’s methods of work. Ms. Emer Herity, Securitary of ECOSOC, ECOSOC Affairs Branch, General Assembly and ECOSOC Affairs Division Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, discussed organizational and procedural matter. She briefly explained the program of work and phases of the Second Committee of the GA. She explained how to use the e.deleGATE platform, ending the session with Q&A with delegates.
H.E. Mr. Mohamed Siad Doualeh, Incoming Chair of the Third Committee and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nation, where he discussed the work of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural). Mr. Ziad Mahmassani, Secretary of the Third Committee and Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, supported Mr. Doualeh words with a detailed explanation of the role and main responsibilities of the technical secretariat. Mr. Mahmassani went over the program of work of the Third Committee and the documents, submissions and drafting proposals.