62nd UN General Assembly gets underway

Tuesday was the first day of the 62nd United Nations General Assembly. Over the next two weeks, Member States will debate a number of pressing international issues, including the situation in the Middle East, Iran’s nuclear issue and climate change.

The first week – the plenary session – is expected to be relatively calm and quiet, its main purpose being to work out the agenda due to be finalised on Friday.

Next week world leaders will convene in New York. Among those who are due to address the General Assembly are U.S. President Georges W. Bush, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Mideast Quartet leaders are scheduled to meet this weekend. Tony Blair will deliver a report on political situation in the Middle East.

Also, a ministerial-level meeting on the independence of Kosovo will be held in the framework of the Kosovo Contact Group. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to take part in these consultations as well.

A high-level meeting on Iraq with the participation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki will also take place. The aim will be to get the international community more involved in the rebuilding of Iraq. Its agenda will be centered around a new Security Council resolution on Iraq, the strengthening of regional initiatives and the developing of international contacts.

Other problems to be discussed include the Iranian nuclear issue, and the UN Security Council reform.