As is tradition during each session of the General Assembly, Secretary-General António Guterres will draw lots to see which member state would take the helm at the first seat in the General Assembly Chamber, with the other member states following according to the English translation of their name, the same order would be followed in the six main committees. For this session, Mali was chosen to take the first seat of the General Assembly Chamber.
Most states will have a representative speaking about issues concerning their country and the hopes for the coming year as to what the UNGA will do. This is an opportunity for the member states to opine on international issues of their concern. The General Debate will occur from 25 September to 1 October 2018, with the exception of the intervening Sunday. The theme for this year's debate was chosen by PresidentMaría Fernanda Espinosa as “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”.
The order of speakers is given first to member states, then observer states and supranational bodies. Any other observers entities will have a chance to speak at the end of the debate, if they so choose. Speakers will be put on the list in the order of their request, with special consideration for ministers and other government officials of similar or higher rank. According to the rules in place for the General Debate, the statements should be in one of the United Nations official languages of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish, and will be translated by the United Nations translators. Each speaker is requested to provide 20 advance copies of their statements to the conference officers to facilitate translation and to be presented at the podium. Speeches are requested to be limited to five minutes, with seven minutes for supranational bodies.
Foreign ministers and high representatives participating in the General Debate signed the Code of Conduct Towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism. The Code of Conduct was the brainchild of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The main goal of the document is implementation of a wide range of international commitments to counter terrorism and establishing a broad global coalition towards achieving a world free of terrorism by 2045.