Opening of the The 72nd UN General Assembly

With human migration and refugees, nuclear proliferation, climate change and its consequences and other global challenges front and center, world leaders will be arriving for the annual high-level sessions of the UN General Assembly, which begin on September 18.  While intense discussions on pressing global issues will take place inside the United Nations, there will be even more conversation around the city as innovators from business, local government, civil society –  and global citizens who care –  make their voices heard.  This year, more than any before, people with ideas for solving the globe’s greatest challenges will make the United States’s biggest city the place to be.

Outside UN Headquarters

Outside UN Headquarters

These big thinkers (with even bigger dreams for a peaceful, just and prosperous world) make their way to our shores this week for one reason – what happens at the UN matters.  And not just for this one week in New York.  The UN is working every day, in the most difficult circumstances on the planet, on the issues these global thinkers and doers are here to help solve.  From soldiers in the UN’s 15 global peacekeeping missions, to humanitarian workers rushing in before and after natural disasters, to economic experts helping governments improve the lives of their peoples, the UN’s people are making a difference.  Which is why those of us lucky enough to be in New York the week of the 18th will take all opportunities to hear from these experts from all fields and all corners of the globe.  Any idea that helps the UN deliver better, is an idea we want to know about.

Fortunately, for the events at the UN and for many of the others, you won’t have to be in New York to take part.  Look to the UN’s webcast, livestreams and social media to follow and participate from wherever you are.  Visit our UN Week event page for more resources.

Some of what I will be watching closely includes (but is not limited to):

The United Nations General Debate (speeches from Heads of State and Government)

Social Good Summit

Climate Week NYC

Concordia Summit

World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit


Robb Skinner, Director, UNIC Washington