Why Brazil always opens the general UN debate and how the order of interventions is decided


The general debate of the United Nations General Assembly is usually the highlight of each annual session.

It is an opportunity for the heads of state present to express their position on the most pressing issues, but their speeches tend to continue indefinitely, while the audience loses concentration. That's why every country prefer to speak at the beginning of the long session. However it was not always so.
Since the 10th General Assembly of the United Nations in 1955, Brazil has spoken first. This is because in the first General Assemblies no country wanted the first turn of speech, with the exception of Brazil. Since then, the South American giant has had the privilege of opening the sessions.
As a host country, United States is the second country in having the turn of speech. Then, the order of the speakers becomes a little more political. It is based on the level of representation – the importance of the speaker sent by the country in particular – individual preferences and other factors, such as the uniform distribution of geographical balance.

This means that if a country sends a head of state to the debate, it is likely to speak before another that sends a representative of lower rank. The discussion is also planned for avoid clashes potentially uncomfortable, for example between the two Koreas. Therefore, their representatives do not speak on the same day.

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