UNGA begins 66th session; PM to address on September 24

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US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
United Nations, Sep 13: World leaders including US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be in New York next week to address the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which commences here today (Sep 13).

Singh is scheduled to address the world body's 193-member policymaking organ at the General Debate on September 24.

This year, the session would see Palestinians take their bid for a statehood to the United Nations. The Prime Minister will be making an appearance at the UN General Assembly after a gap of three years.

He was last here in 2008, and during the visit he had held meetings with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari. Apart from addressing the UNGA, Singh is likely to hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders.

Obama would address the UN General Assembly on September 21, the first day of the general debate. After a gap of 19 years, India was elected for a two year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

With issues ranging from terrorism, international security, political instability in the Middle East and North African countries to the economic crisis plaguing countries across the world, all eyes and ears will be set on the world leaders and their messages as they take the floor for the general debate from September 21 to 27.

Another issue that is expected to cause political tensions is the Palestinian bid for statehood.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is expected to submit a formal request asking the United Nations to accept Palestine as its 194th member at the General Assembly. The US has already said it would object to such a bid and would veto any such resolution in the UN Security Council.

PTI

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