The 68th United Nations General Assembly faces crises and deadlines (LIVE VIDEO)


The United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on Sept. 22, 2011 in New York City.


Mario Tama

The United Nations General Assembly, which began Tuesday, faces a host of issues waiting at its door, from the Syrian crisis and Iran's nuclear program to nuclear disarmament.

Amid the dialogue and debate among world leaders in New York City, observers are wondering if US President Barack Obama will meet recently elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss Iran's nuclear program.

Other notable developments include the potential arrival of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who, as Human Rights Watch pointed out, "is wanted by the International Criminal Court for serious crimes committed in Darfur."

US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said Bashir's attempt to join the proceedings was “deplorable, cynical and hugely inappropriate.”

And, of course, there's Syria.

“Syria is without doubt the biggest crisis facing the international community,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a statement at the opening of the General Assembly. “The Assembly has a role and a voice in our efforts to resolve it and respond to the suffering."

In 2000, world leaders identified eight anti-poverty goals that included, "poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a global partnership for development," according to the UN.

The 2015 deadline for achieving those Millennium Development Goals looms.

“The upcoming year will be pivotal for this Assembly as we seek to identify the parameters of the post-2015 development agenda,” said General Assembly President John W. Ashe

Here's live video from Al Jazeera of the United Nations General Assembly: