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World leaders to descend on UN headquarters next week for UNGA

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United Nations, Sep 17 (PTI) Over 140 heads of state and government, including US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will arrive here next week, with the conflict in Syria and Iraq, Ebola virus outbreak among major issues to take centrestage at the UN’s annual gathering.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the heads of state, civil society leaders and CEOs will seek to address issues like the “horrendous violence” in Syria and Iraq, “where conflict and governance failures have provided a breeding ground for extremist groups” as well as the situation in Mali, South Sudan, Ukraine and Libya.

“We will not let these crises be forgotten ? and we will meet next week at the highest level to determine what more we can do,” Ban said yesterday ahead of the UN General Assembly beginning September 24.

The annual General Debate of the UN General Assembly will see world leaders use the UN podium to address key issues.

Modi will address the world body on September 27.

Ahead of the General Debate, Ban will host nearly 120 heads of state for his one-day climate change summit on September 23 to mobilise political will for a universal and meaningful climate agreement next year in Paris and to generate ambitious steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience.

“Action on climate change is urgent. The more we delay, the more we will pay in lives and money,” he said.

The UN chief called on world leaders to unite in the face of the myriad devastating crises to uphold human dignity and the rule of law.

“At this time of turmoil, the next two weeks will highlight again the indispensable role of the United Nations in tackling global threats and seizing opportunities for common progress,” he said.

Ban said he is anticipating an “impressive turnout” of leaders and “significant commitments and progress.

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