UNITED NATIONS (AP)--The new president of the General Assembly pledged at Tuesday’s (17/9/2007) opening of the 62nd session to make the world body the key forum for action on climate change and the fight against terrorism and poverty.
Srgjan Kerim, a diplomat and economics professor from Macedonia, told the 192 nations as he took on his job that he will also press for more debate rather than the usual "series of monologues," and for action on reforming the Security Council, the U.N.’s most powerful body.
There is strong support for enlarging the council, which currently has 10 members elected for two-year terms and five permanent members with veto power – the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and France – but previous attempts have failed because national and regional rivalries blocked agreement.
Kerim will preside over the General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting next week, which gathers leaders from around the world.
The new president said he will make suggestions "on how to structure the general debate so that it becomes really in the future an interactive one – to have a dialogue and not just a series of monologues."
As for priorities, Kerim said, "more than ever before, global challenges demand multilateral solutions."
"The United Nations is the appropriate multilateral forum to take action," he said. "This is why the revitalization of this General Assembly deserves our highest attention."