The UN General Assembly opened its 67th annual session Tuesday with its new president, Vuk Jeremic of Serbia, saying that the United Nations cannot solve all the world's problems overnight, dpa reported.
"Yet for all its imperfections, I am strongly convinced that this organization remains critical to addressing the growing needs of mankind," said Jeremic, a former foreign minister.
Jeremic said he would seek peaceful means to try to settle international disputes. As a Serb minister, Jeremic had been involved unsuccessfully in trying to stop the secession of Kosovo from the rest of Serbia in 2009. Kosovo is now recognized by more than 90 countries, but not yet by the UN.
The 193-nation General Assembly will spend the rest of the week to prepare for the week-long general debate beginning September 25, with addresses by scores of presidents and prime ministers in attendance.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the assembly, which acts like a legislature for the world organization, to work to uphold the rule of law, both on the national and international level. Ban supports a debate on solving disputes through peaceful means, which he said is an area not yet fully explored.
"We are living through a period of unease. We have seen incidences of intolerance and hatred," Ban said, calling on governments to exercise moderation and calm to deal with unrest around the world.