The US plans to focus on Sudan and “work to uphold the principles enshrined in the UN Charter – including respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all Member States.”
One of the key parts of the UN structure is the General Assembly–which begins its annual High-Level Week on Monday, 19 September, in New York.
The increasing ties–or not–of nation-states are pronounced during the annual High-Level week, and so too, will be the unevenness of their engagements, negotiations, challenges, and achievements, as world leaders gather from all over the world.
The General Debate starts on Tuesday, 19 September, continues until Saturday, 23 September, and ends on Tuesday, 26 September 2023, at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, in New York City.
On Thursday, 14 September, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield briefed reporters from the United Nations, providing some insight into topics which the U.S. government will focus on during the High-Level week. “I went on this trip, on behalf of President Biden, to draw attention to the conflict in Sudan – to shed light on the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by armed groups, and to meet with refugees in desperate need of humanitarian assistance,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, elaborating on the ramifications of war that she witnessed on her trip describing her experience as “really was a harrowing experience.”
“My takeaway from this trip was this: the international community must do more to help the Sudanese people. As we speak, Sudan’s Humanitarian Response Plan for 2023 is less than 30 per cent funded. And that is truly unacceptable. And Member States that can give more must give more. And they must give more now.” While in Chad, she announced additional humanitarian assistance for Sudan, in the amount of $163 million. Also while in Chad, in the first week of September, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield travelled “to the border with Sudan to receive briefings from UN partners, including representatives from UNHCR, on the humanitarian response to populations fleeing the conflict in Sudan,” as confirmed by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy. The office said that she met “with Transitional President Mahamat Deby to discuss how the crisis in Sudan is affecting Chad and neighbouring countries, and engage with members of civil society.”
According to the UN Security Council last week, “Since the outbreak of conflict in April, several regional and international stakeholders have led mediation efforts aimed at resolving the crisis but these have failed to gain traction.”
Expressing the US intention to keep the Sudanese crises a key agenda item during the 78th UN General Assembly, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, “I will continue to raise this issue in the Council and will continue to focus on this during High-Level Week.”
Previewing what US priorities will be during the 78th UN General Assembly, she said, “We will work to strengthen partnerships – including with countries we sometimes disagree with. We are advancing critical partnerships – bilaterally and through the multilateral system, including here at the United Nations. These partnerships will help us tackle global challenges and advance the Sustainable Development Goals – which is the world’s blueprint for a more just, more peaceful, and more prosperous future.”
Additionally, she said the US plans to “continue to push for reforms to the multilateral system – reforms that will make international institutions more effective, inclusive, transparent, accountable, and fit for purpose in this century”.
On Monday, 18 September–on the eve of his UN General Assembly address–along with US First Lady, Jill Biden, President Joseph Biden will participate in Democratic Party election campaign receptions in New York City.
Last year, Sudan’s Transitional Government was represented at the 77th Session, by Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan Abdelrahman Al-Burhan.
The UN headquarters is located on the eastern shore of Manhattan Island, on the banks of New York City’s East River, where it occupies at least 18 acres and from where the world looks upon it as “both a symbol of peace and a beacon of hope,” according to the UN.
Pearl Matibe is a Washington, DC-based White House Correspondent, and media commentator with expertise on U.S. foreign policy and international security. You may follow her on Twitter: @PearlMatibe