Virtual UNGA and Effect on UN-SGDs 2030

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~ Arunima

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) comprising 193 state members is based on 6 principal organs with conducting procedures well defined in chapter IV of the UN Charter. The Assembly organizes annual sessions from September to December at UN headquarters in New York. Setting up the agenda is usually done 7 months before the session and resolutions are enforced afterwards.

The 75th session of the UN General Assembly was virtually conducted from 15 September with pre-set goals of climate action, sustainable development, global TB targets, universal health coverage and the first and foremost were the COVID vaccines. This session was continued till September 30 and conducted in silent halls virtually. Pre-recorded conferences have been presented for sorting out the global issues, budget approvals and for non-permanent member’s elections. But among all, the most prominent goal was the complete eradication of coronavirus through the usage of vaccines. Recent details have revealed that about 170 countries will likely participate in the cover mission. Whereas 193 member states were expected with their recorded statements and speeches that had to be exchanged during the conference. The focus was on the Biodiversity Summit, global health and sustainable development with the main speakers including UN Secretary-General, Antònio Guterres, WHO leaders and youth representatives.

What is sustainable development?

One of the major goals of the UN is sustainable development goals (SDGs). As we are aware of the abundance of our natural resources, which is limited in the case of non-renewable products. To maintain the integrity of the ecosystem and to preserve precious resources for our forthcoming future generations. We’re in the process to conserve and limiting our needs. We can’t just ignore the importance of sustainable development and that’s the reason we are at a turning stage that participation is an obligatory demand.

Sustainable development is an interlaced project of 17 major goals which must be implemented and achieved in developing countries till 2030. The Rio declaration on environment and development held in 1992 founded the sustainable development project which includes 27 principles like poverty eradication, reduced pollution, environment importance for forthcoming generations etc. The Rio Declaration was adopted by 178 member states at the Earth summit, later on, recognized by other nations. It was also based on other issues such as forest principle, the convention of biological diversity (CBD), combat desertification and the straddling fish stocks agreement.

This 75th session of the UN General Assembly focused on implementing Agenda 21 regarding achievements in sustainable consumption, production and sustainable development of small islands in developing states, followed by disaster risk management, protection of global climate and work to overcome desertification problems in Africa. The 2020 virtual arrangements were due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were guided by the motto “stay home, stay safe”. WHO updates of coronavirus revealed a high-risk zone in many countries leading to an increasing number of cases day by day. Recovery from global health crises has obstructed our growth towards our goals. This virtual meeting had discussions on how the pandemic sidelined the SDGs and the major steps to be taken to overcome this condition.

Working procedure of the 75th conference 

The UN president set some resolutions and procedures to be followed on which each member state was provided 72 hours to come up with positive responses or strong suggestions. A note verbale was emailed for any recommendations, the prior passed resolution was adopted if no such emails arrive. The step by step rules demonstrates that any statements drafted will be discussed by the bureau members through the virtual system. Indeed this system has some limitations and led to declination in development but still, it’s the only way we can continue. Amid this situation, the first resolution was passed for the pandemic under “Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19” and was adopted by the general assembly.

All members have a strong viewpoint on the devastating effects on our global economy, on trade and travel still, some countries have successfully reduced the cases to zero and others are struggling with it. The unsettled achievements like the end of gender inequalities and woman empowerment are reframing in SDGs under agenda 2030 due to recent cases of women harassment and sexual abuse which are hurdles for the women in our society. Available recent data records 47 million women and girls below the poverty line due to severe pandemic results. This will bring Generation equality campaign which was again delayed.

To overcome the faults and failure a policy of the UN comprehensive response to Covid 19 adopted with main objectives to “save lives, protect societies and recover better” is in response to devastating effects caused by the pandemic. $ 2 billion amount is released by the UN to the most affected countries. The funding system seems to satisfy our demands but can’t assure us to live a healthy life in future again.


The UN State members and our youth representatives will undoubtedly resolve the situation somehow.

But the whole world can contribute by following rules like social distancing, avoiding public meets, sanitizing homes and workplaces. Our true efforts will enlighten the success path, resulting in at the end of virtualism.

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