The UN General Assembly meetings are divided into annual sessions which start every year in late September. The current session, the 73rd, started on September 18. The session then runs for almost a year.
However, the phrase UNGA is often (incorrectly) used as a synecdoche for the “annual general debate” and sometimes the “high level plenary meeting” that take place in weeks two and three of the session. Week two is often referred to as “UNGA week” because this is when world leaders make speeches. In addition, important announcements and events involving high-profile participants such as CEOs and celebrities are timed to take place during this week – a high-level plenary meeting on global peace takes place on Monday 24 September, for example. One of the largest meetings of world leaders annually, UNGA week is an important part of the diplomatic calendar, providing ample opportunities for negotiations, informal discussions and bilateral meetings in the corridors of UN headquarters.
UNGA week this year will be themed around ‘Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies’. This theme was announced in July 2018 by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President-elect of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
UNGA week tends to attract disproportionate media attention, but the real work of UNGA takes place during the rest of the year, so we strive to support journalists and the public in continuing to follow the more substantive developments at the UN throughout the year.