Every year the United Nations hosts a High Level Week with world leaders.
Every year the United Nations hosts a High Level Week with world leaders.
Photo Credit: Mathias Reding/Unsplash

UN hosts General Assembly High Level Week

Every year the UN General Assembly meets for their High Level Week. During this week, world leaders gather to discuss issues that need to be addressed throughout the world. This year the prominent topics were Climate Ambition, Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response, and Universal Health Coverage. They also held a High Level meeting on the fight against Tuberculosis. 

The General Debate was held from the September 19 to the 23 with another session scheduled for the 26th. According to the UN website the General debate is “ the opportunity for Heads of State and Government to come together at the UN Headquarters and discuss world issues.” The debate is broken up into morning and afternoon sessions with world leaders attending varying sessions. President Biden, in his address, called for support for Ukraine and world peace. He also spoke about the fight of autocracy versus democracy and spoke about why democracy is so important.

AP Government teacher Chandler Jackson says, “The United Nations serves as a force to provide peace and security throughout our world today. The Organization started as the revamped successor to the failed League of Nations that was established shortly after WWI which in turn tried and failed at maintaining peace and communication between nations. The United Nations meeting occurring on September 26th will certainly be an interesting meeting as it will: result in the Election of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and result in a High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. As one can imagine, both of these topics are major sources for discussion, debate, and have the potential to make significant changes in international and domestic politics.”

The Climate Ambition Summit as part of the General Assembly was held on September 20. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change once again made the assessment that it is important to act fast due to damage from climate change already spreading rapidly. The UN says “The Summit represents a critical political milestone for demonstrating that there is collective global will to accelerate the pace and scale of a just transition to a more equitable renewable-energy based, climate-resilient global economy.”

The set up for the UN SDG summit includes 17 different colors associated with Sustainable Development Goals. (Photo Credit: United Nations)

AP Environmental Science teacher Raymond Rodriguez says, “Hopefully the world can get together to make even more progress to make a more sustainable future for all.  It’s our only world and we all have a shared responsibility to make it happen.” 

There was also a major focus on health this year. In 2019, the UN declared their plan to “reaffirming the right of every human being, without distinction of any kind, to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and recommitting to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.” Universal health care is still a major topic of discussion. Mia Bento (‘25) says “To be honest, I think universal healthcare is something that is good in theory, but the real-world application tends to fall short of expectations. Despite that, the system we have now is clearly not working, so maybe universal healthcare is the way to go, well just have to see.”

There is also a focus on pandemics due to the Covid 19 pandemic having had a devastating effect on the world, so the world leaders put together a document on September 20 called Political Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response. World leaders are aiming to be more prepared and ready for another pandemic.

Lastly, they focused on the fight against Tuberculosis. The high level meeting was held on September 22 and the theme was “advancing science, finance and innovation, and their benefits, to urgently end the global tuberculosis epidemic, in particular, by ensuring equitable access to prevention, testing, treatment and care.” With all of these meetings focusing on health care, people around the globe can have more access to treatment.  Overall, the High Level Week has put into place many measures that will help the world right now and in the future.

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