75th General Assembly of the United Nations

On its 75th anniversary, and amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations will for the first time convene world leaders in a hybrid format to seek action and solutions for a world in crisis. Heads of States of all UN members will announce bold actions in response to global risks in their addresses at the UN General Assembly’s annual signature gathering General Debate. Several major events, in addition to the General Debate, are expected to highlight solutions that will ignite the transformations needed to secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all.

The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism

Earlier this year, Member States agreed to hold a high-level event on 21 September to mark the UN’s 75th anniversary, and to adopt a forward-looking political declaration “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.

At this year’s United Nations General Assembly, UNESCO will promote and mobilize more support for education, protection of biodiversity, digital cooperation, nature-based solutions and universal access to information.

In line with the official theme of the UNGA General Debate which stresses the unprecedented changes that the world is currently facing: “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action”, UNESCO will host a high-level side-event “Education During Covid-19 and Beyond: The Global Education Coalition in Action”.  Featuring the participation of Heads of State and government and private sector CEOs, the discussion will highlight measures and best practices in responding to immediate challenges of school closures and re-openings.  Concrete examples on how the Global Education Coalition members engaging in supporting country needs will be showcased. (25 September 2020, 10:00-11:30, online, RSVP link).

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, will also address the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity to be convened at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.” The Summit will highlight the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. (30 September 2020, 10:00-18:00, online).

The Director-General will also speak at the Nature for Water session, a part of the Nature for Life Hub. The discussion will explore how nature-based solutions can build long-term water security and highlight examples and best practices from around the world in integrating nature into national water management plans. (24 September 2020, 13:00-14:30, online).

In addition, UNESCO will take part in the SDG Action Zone: Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences, will highlight UNESCO's commitment to biodiversity at the session “Integrational solutions: life in harmony for nature” on 23 September 2020, and Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, will highlight UNESCO’s leading role in coordinating the efforts of the international community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, on 24 September 2020.