What is the UN General Assembly?
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main policy-making organ of the United Nations.
Almost every country in the world, 193 in total – from the largest to the smallest – has a voice and a vote on issues around peace, stability and sustainability.
World leaders come together once a year in September to debate and discuss issues that affect us all at the UNGA General Debate.
UNGA 2023 High-level Week
UNGA High-level Week takes place this year from 18 - 22 September. This is the beginning of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78).
Our foreign policy is rooted in a belief in multilateralism. UNGA High-level Week is a key international moment for Ireland. It is a vital forum for debating, discussing and agreeing ways to build a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
League of Nations
UNGA78 takes place as Ireland marks ‘100 years of Peace Building’, a centenary of its entry to the League of Nations.
A deep commitment to working with the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect has defined Ireland’s engagement with the world ever since.
What's Ireland's role at UNGA78?
Ireland will be engaging in key debates on climate, conflict and global health at UNGA78.
We are playing a leadership role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit. The SDGs are a crucially important instrument for a united global response, and highlight the interconnectedness of global challenges. They also show how our responses must be collaborative and unified.
What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
This year’s UNGA marks the half-way point of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, Ireland and Kenya were tasked by the UN Secretary General to bring the world together to agree a plan to tackle global challenges by 2030.
The SDGs are 17 goals with 169 targets that all 191 UN member states have agreed to strive to achieve by 2030. Among the goals are:
- the elimination of poverty
- ending hunger
- securing gender equality
- ensuring education is available to all.
Progress to date
The centre-piece of UNGA this year is the SDG Summit. This will review progress to date and agree a way forward for the second half of the project. Ireland, alongside Qatar, has been given the role of securing a political declaration towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.
Only seven years remain, and many of the goals are off track. Coming together at UNGA78 is essential for renewing political energy and commitment into the SDGs.
Fairness and equality
Numerous related debates are taking place at UNGA78 on food systems, climate change and peace and security. Each of these affects millions of people around the world.
Ireland will bring our values of fairness, equality, solidarity to these discussions.
Ireland's priorities at UNGA78
Ireland’s first priority at UNGA is to ensure that progress is made on tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time.
The key issues we will be seeking to influence are:
- Sustainable Development Goals
Ireland is co-facilitating the political declaration on the future of the SDGs.
Ireland’s unwavering support for Ukraine will be a focus of our contributions to UNGA78.
- Global health
Ireland will play an active role in debates around better preparedness and responses to future pandemics.
In the build-up to COP28, Ireland will seek to influence debate on climate action and financing.
- Food security and hunger
As global hunger increases, Ireland’s leadership role on food and hunger will form a core part of our UNGA engagement.