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General political debate to open at UNGA 69 session

UNITED NATIONS, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. A general political debate the main phase of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly opens at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday. About 140 Heads of State and Government, as well as over 50 Foreign Ministers of UN Member-Nations will address those present within a week.

Following the introductory speeches by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of UNGA 69, a speech will be made by President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. This Latin American state is traditionally the first among UN Member-Nations to take the flooor, for it was precisely its representative Foreign Minister Osvaldo Aranha who presided over the first and second special sessions of UNGA in 1947. In 2011, Rousseff herself went down in history as the first woman to declare open a general political debate.

US President Barack Obama will be the second to address the UNGA delegates /also according to a long-standing tradition/. On Wednesday afternoon he will for the first time take the seat of the President of the UN Security Council to chair a meeting dealing with international terrorism. A resolution aimed at fighting foreign militants is expected to be put to vote during the meeting.

This event rivets special attention possibly even greater one than the very opening of the general debate at UNGA in view of the military strikes launched Tuesday against the positions of the Islamic State militants in Syria by the United States and its allies.

Russia more than once warned the US that such actions without a consent of Damascus and an appropriate sanction on the part of the UN Security Council are inadmissibe and run counter to international law. However, Washington acted in its own way, launching air strikes agsinst Syrian territory. On Tuesdsy, the UN Secretary-General dif not condemn the unilateral actions of the US and its allies,only calling on them to respect the UN Charter and international humanitarian law.

On the second day of the general political debate, speeches are to be made by the Presidents of Iraq, Iran, and Egypt, Fouad Maasum, Hassan Rouhani, and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, respectively, as well by Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseni Yatsenyuk. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said Monday that President Pyotr Poroshenko had to interrupr his visit to the USA and return to Kiev.

Among other speakers, Presidents Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan will address the delegates from the UNGA rostrum on Friday,Septmebr 26. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov will deliver a speeh in the morning of September 27.

The delegates' attentin will be also drawn to an address by Prime Minister Abdullah Abdurrahman Al-Thani of Libya his country came to feel the the entire burden of the consequences of NATO bombardments of late. A speech to be made by Ri Su Yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, bids fair to be the highlight of the evening meeting, for he is always expected to level a sharp criticism at Washington.

Sunday, September 28, is a day-off in UNGA session proceedings. On the next day, the delegates will be addressed by Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem. In the light of the latest events, he is considered to be one of candidates for the longest speech during the present debate. However, in the opinion of some analysts, Bolivia's President Evo Morales may puy up serious competition to him in this respect. He is to address the delegates as early as Wednesdya afternooon. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel, who traditionally stagesa a real show, will address the UN Member-Nations on Monday.

The general political debate is expected to focus on the situation in Ukraine, in Iraq, and in Syria, on the fight against terrorism, and the Ebola fever epidemic, as well as on global development matters. The officials of UN Member-Nations will avail themselves of the holding of the major international forum to discuss the acutest issues of our time during bilateral and multilateral meetings during the week.

Talks are to be held Wednesday between Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of Stae John Kerry. They are expected to discuss crisis situations, including that in Ukraine. A ministerial meeting on Syria and a high-level meeting on Iraq will be also held in the course of the day.

The situation in Libya is to be discussed on Thursday and a regional summit on Mali to be examined on Saturday. Simultaneously with these events, tens of press conferences and briefings will be held with the participation of Heads of State and Government, ministers, as well as members of civil society.

The General Assembly is the principal deliberative body of the UN. In 1946, one year after the founding of the United Nations Organization, it had 51 member-states, whereas now there are 193 members. The Republic of South Sudan was the latest to join the UN in 2011.