September 18-26, 2023

The 78th UN General Assembly took place September 18 to 26, 2023, at a time of unprecedented setbacks on global progress.

The Earth is getting hotter, faster. Poverty and food insecurity are worsening, amid war and inflation. Humanitarian needs are escalating in scale and cost. Inequality is deepening.

During UNGA 78, world leaders, including young leaders, discussed and debated how to confront the global polycrisis, and find strategies to accelerate action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The SDG Summit was a central UNGA 78 event. It brought together leaders and communities to reaffirm commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals at the halfway mark to 2030.

The Climate Ambition Summit, held on September 20, was an opportunity for leaders to demonstrate their collective commitment to respond to the mounting climate emergency.

During UNGA 78, the United Nations Foundation highlighted key moments, and shared insights and perspectives from leaders, experts, and influencers across borders and sectors.

Explore this page for updates, event recaps, and commentary on UNGA 78.

Quotes That Defined the UN General Assembly in 2023

The largest diplomatic gathering since the COVID-19 global pandemic just wrapped up in New York City. Re-visit the best moments from the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 78).

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Frequently Asked Questions about UNGA

What is the UN General Assembly (UNGA), and when is it? With all the abbreviations and acronyms, it can be confusing to make sense of the biggest moment on the diplomatic calendar. Let’s break it down.

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Acclaimed foreign affairs journalist Mark Leon Goldberg hosted a special edition of his popular Global Dispatches podcast to offer daily analysis and hot takes on what was trending in New York. Tune in for the latest from the UN General Assembly, plus commentary from special guests.

Episode 1: The Key Stories to Watch During UNGA 78 | A Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals

To set the stage for High-Level Week, Mark hosts UN Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens to discuss what’s driving the diplomatic agenda at UNGA 78. Navid Hanif, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), joins the second half of the show to highlight the SDG Summit’s ambitious aim to revive the Global Goals.

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Episode 2: Key Moments from Biden and Zelenskyy's Speeches | Climate on the Agenda

Tuesday, September 19 marks the start of the General Debate at UNGA 78. Anjali Dayal, Associate Professor of International Politics at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus and Maya Ungar of the International Crisis Group join the podcast to discuss the big moments from Day 1. Up next is Butti Almheiri, UN Foundation Next Generation Fellow for Climate, to preview climate-focused themes ahead of tomorrow’s Climate Ambition Summit.

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Episode 3: Global Health on the Agenda | A Big Meeting on Financing for Sustainable Development

After a packed day at UNGA 78, Vera Songwe, Chairwoman and Founder of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility and Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel on Climate Finance, joins the podcast to discuss the crucial topic of financing for development. Then Kate Dodson, Vice President for Global Health at UN Foundation, breaks down the day’s global health convenings, and previews the upcoming meeting on tuberculosis.

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Episode 4: The Climate Ambition Summit | Why So Few Women Leaders?

In today’s episode, Pete Ogden, Vice President for Climate and the Environment at UN Foundation, explains what happened at the Climate Ambition Summit and how it will shape the outcome of the next major moment in climate diplomacy: COP 28. Next, Mark discusses the issue of women’s political representation with Hibaaq Osman, founder and CEO of Karama, an organization that works to end violence against women and promote women’s political participation.

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Global Goals Week

Global Goals Week is an annual moment where more than 150 partners across civil society, business, academia, and the UN system show their shared commitment to accelerate action, awareness, and accountability for the Goals. During UNGA 78, the coalition had a unique opportunity to mobilize communities, demand urgency, and supercharge transformative solutions for achieving the Goals.