In a timetable revealed by the UNGA, all 140 of the heads of state and government attending the session will have their chance to speak for 15 minutes starting at about 14:00pm here in The Gambia.
Ban Ki-Moon, secretary general of the United Nations will deliver a statement followed by Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff who will be the first president to formally present her country’s statement. UN tradition dictates that Brazil gets the first-speaking chance because the country was such an enthusiastic participant at the founding of the United Nations in 1947. In this way, it has chaired the first two assemblies and since then managed to nail down the privilege of speaking first in all other assemblies. US president Barack Obama will be the next as his country is the host. The theme of the general debate of the 69th session is “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”. It will provide member countries including The Gambia the opportunity to express their views on major international issues. World leaders have currently converged on the UN headquarters at Turtle Bay in midtown Manhattan to discuss some of the many urgent matters of the day. Each head of state or government will say what is on his or her mind at the assembly’s famous green marble podium. But the time of 15 minutes to do this is a restriction often abused, though seldom as much as by Muammar Gaddafi in 2009 when he spoke for more than 90 minutes.]]>