Saudi Gazette – Upon the directive of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, left for the United States on Sunday, the Royal Court said in a statement.

The Crown Prince will lead the Kingdom’s delegation to the 71st annual session of the UN General Assembly.

The official delegation accompanying the Crown Prince included Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif, adviser to minister of interior; Minister of State and Cabinet’s Member Musaed Al-Aiban; Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf; Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi; Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Turaifi; and Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir.

World leaders meeting at the United Nations starting Monday will be trying to make progress on two intractable problems at the top of the global agenda — the biggest refugee crisis since World War II and the Syrian conflict now in its sixth year which has claimed over 300,000 lives.

There are plenty of other issues for the 135 heads of state and government and more than 50 ministers expected to attend to try to tackle.

But Syria, where a tense ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Washington went into effect last Monday, remains at the top of the agenda at the UN General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who steps down on Dec. 31, and US President Barack Obama who will leave office in January, will be addressing the 193-member world body for the last time. And British Prime Minister Theresa May will be making her debut on the world stage less than three months after the vote to leave the European Union.

In UN corridors and at private meetings, the question of Ban’s successor will be a hot topic. Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres has topped all four informal polls in the Security Council but he could be vetoed, possibly by Russia, and there are constant rumors of new candidates throwing their hats in the ring.

In one of the week’s highlights, the secretary-general has invited leaders to a first-ever UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants on Monday.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an “unprecedented” 65.3 million people were displaced at the end of 2015, an increase of more than 5 million from a year earlier and the highest number since World War II. They include 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers, and 40.8 million people internally displaced within their own countries.

According to the United Nations, 545 meetings have been requested and Ban will take part in 62 events.


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