The General Debate of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly takes place from 24 September to 4 October 2013. It is the largest and most diverse gathering in the diplomatic calendar, bringing together leaders and senior ministers from all 193 members of the United Nations. The Deputy Prime Minister is leading the high-level UK delegation who are participating in and hosting a number of events and meetings on our key foreign policy priorities.
The government’s aims for the summit are wide-ranging, but 3 areas are in focus this year.
The UK is leading international efforts to alleviate human suffering in Syria and the region. We are the second largest bilateral donor and are encouraging other countries to do more.
We will be pushing for improved access for humanitarian agencies so they can get to those in need, and working hard to increase global funding for humanitarian aid.
This builds on the Prime Minister’s efforts at the G20, where he secured more than £110 million in aid and made a strong statement calling for unfettered humanitarian access.
The UK is playing a leading role in discussions about global aims to eradicate poverty. A key objective of the week will be to establish how the international community makes progress with the Millennium Development Goals until they expire in 2015 and build support for the proposed post-2015 international framework for development.
What does the UK aid sector hope to see at the UN General Assembly? See quotes and photos in our Flickr gallery.
Reducing harm from conflict
Ministers will be encouraging further action against sexual violence in conflict situations, and gaining further support for the Arms Trade Treaty, the first international agreement to limit and control the sale of arms.
The Deputy Prime Minister will also be holding meetings to develop the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) by strengthening support for TTIP in the USA and highlighting the significant benefits to both sides from a successful agreement.
Stay connected to the latest happenings at the UN General Assembly 68 in New York through social media. Two main events will be live-tweeted. Regular updates throughout the week will be provided on a variety of social media channels.
Follow the handles, hashtags, and other social media accounts outlined below to stay connected.
Deputy Prime Minister’s speech to UN General Debate
The Deputy Prime Minister’s office will live tweet the Deputy Prime Minister’s address to the UN General Debate on Friday, 27 September. Follow the event at @DPMoffice or watch live online.
Prevention of sexual violence in conflict
On 24 September 2013 UK Foreign Secretary William Hague (@WilliamJHague) and Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence will call on members of the United Nations to sign a new declaration on preventing sexual violence, containing political and practical commitments to end these abhorrent crimes. The declaration expresses a shared commitment and determination to see an end to the use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war and will serve as a platform for future practical activity, particularly in conflict and post-conflict affected countries.
The event will take place on 24 September from 2:30pm to 5pm EST (7:30pm to 10pm British Summer Time). @UKUN_NewYork and @FCOHumanRights will live tweet the event. Follow #timetoact and #sexualviolence to join the conversation and hear from the numerous countries that will sign the declaration.
Anyone can add their voice to the call to end sexual violence in conflict by signing up for the Thunderclap on 24 September.
On Tuesday 24 September, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will host MDG Countdown 2013, an event that will showcase how girls and women are a force for change in helping the world achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The event aims to push for action towards the MDGs by sharing some of the most inspiring examples of women’s leadership and innovative projects that are transforming societies. By giving girls and women greater voice, choice and control over their lives, they are able to lift themselves, their families and countries out of poverty.
Follow the event on Twitter on Tuesday 24 September between 2pm to 3:30pm Eastern Standard Time (7pm to 8:30pm British Summer Time) by following #MDGCountdown
The event will be moderated by Nicholas Kristof @NickKristof, New York Times journalist and co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Prominent female figures in government and women leading innovative programmes around the world will participate, including:
UK Secretary of State for International Development
Rajiv Shah, Administrator,
U.S. Agency for International Development
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance
Executive Director of UN Women
Hollywood actress and UN Special Envoy for Women and Girls in the field of Technology
Deputy Prime Minister
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Senior Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Minister of State, FCO
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, FCO
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, FCO
Secretary of State for International Development
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development
UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN
Overall updates on the UN General Assembly: #UNGA
Prevention of sexual violence initiative: #timetoact
Post-2015 development agenda: #Post2015
Millennium Development Goals: #MDGs
Syria crisis: #Syria
Arms Trade Treaty: #ArmsTreaty
Speeches and statements
To find the latest speeches and statements delivered by UK officials at the UN General Assembly Events, visit the UK Mission to the UN’s main homepage.
General information on the UN General Assembly
For a list of all the events and side events of the UN General Assembly, visit the UN’s General Debate website