Miroslav Lajčák hopes that under his presidency the United Nations General Assembly will overcome narrow national interests and produce tangible benefits for people. “My hope is that the 72nd session of the General Assembly will be a good one, a productive one that will result in many concrete solutions to the world’s problems,” Mr. Lajčák told UN News ahead of the session’s opening today.
The career diplomat from Slovakia, who was elected by the 193-member Assembly as its President, highlighted two of the world’s most pressing issues – conflict and migration – as his priorities. “I wish to pay attention to what we can do better to prevent conflict. Because by avoiding conflict, we save human lives and we also save money,” he said, while noting that Member States will also be devoting time and energy to the drafting of a global compact on migration, which is expected to be adopted in 2018.
Having been through difficult missions, particularly in the Balkans, Mr. Lajčák said he understands what it takes to succeed in multilateralism.
“If we disagree, this is not the reason to punish each other. It’s the reason to sit down and try to find a consensus or compromise. This is what I understand as the essence of diplomacy,” he said.