The 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) commenced today (Sep. 20) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Leaders and representatives from 193 member countries in the world, including Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena attended the summit, which inaugurated under the patronage of UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.

Inaugurating the session for 2016, Secretary-General delivered the keynote address. The first half hour of the summit was allocated to celebrate the completion of one year since sustainable development goals were introduced.

The Summit is held from September 20 to 26 and President Sirisena will address the 71st Session of the UNGA on September 21st.

This is the second time that President Maithripala Sirisena will address the United Nations General Assembly after assumption of duties as the President. Experts point out that the statement by the President will be significant as a leader who committed himself to build peace and reconciliation, while ensuring democracy, freedom and human rights within the country.

The 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly is important due to its focus on Refugees and Migrants.

Similarly, U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly for the last time as the U.S. president and UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon who held this position for the last 10 years will deliver his last speech as the UN Secretary-General.

President Sirisena will hold bilateral talks with several leaders in the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.