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UNGA elects Shahid, Maldives Foreign Minister as President



UNGA elects Shahid, Maldives Foreign Minister as President

By Cecilia Ologunagba

The United Nations General Assembly voted on Monday for the election of the Maldivesforeign minister , Abdallah Shahid , as president of the 76th session.

In what was a contested election, starring former Afghan foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul, Shahid garnered 143 votes while Rassoul got 48 votes.

On 6 May, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, held informal interactive dialogues in the General Assembly Hall – as provided for in resolution 71/323 – in which candidates responded to the questions previously asked by civil society and other representatives.

“I warmly congratulate the Honorable Abdulla Shahid on his election as the next President of the United Nations General Assembly,” said the outgoing president, recalling that the president-elect had been “a strong voice” for the little ones. Island developing states.

The outgoing president also recognized the “strong candidacy” of Mr. Zalmai Rassoul, saying that his vast experience in multilateral diplomacy and his global vision had won the respect of member states.

“At this important moment in the history of his country, the support of the international community for Afghanistan‘s long journey to democracy is more essential than ever,” he said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the election of Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives , as President-elect of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

Guterres said Shahid’s long diplomatic experience, including in his current role as foreign minister, has given him a deep understanding of the importance of multilateralism in addressing today’s global challenges.

The UN chief congratulated the president-elect for his “selection of hope as the central theme of his vision statement”.

He noted that coming from a small island developing state, Shahid would bring unique information to the assembly as the world prepares for the United Nations climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow in November.

“I would also like to express my deep gratitude to His Excellency Dr Zalmai Rassoul and thank him for contributing to this dynamic process,” said the UN chief.

The senior UN official also expressed his “deep gratitude” to Bozkir for his “exceptional leadership” as President of the Assembly during the 75th anniversary session.

“As the most representative body, the General Assembly is the foundation of all our work at the United Nations and essential to our effectiveness as an organization.

“In 2021, the world needs this efficiency more than ever,” he said.

The UN chief added that millions of people mourn the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in a crisis that has “dealt a blow to communities, societies and economies “.

“Until everyone, everywhere, has access to vaccines, this continues to pose a huge threat,” he said.

The 76th Assembly “will tackle the impact of the pandemic on the three pillars of our work: peace, sustainable development and human rights,” said Guterres, wishing Shahid “every success in his task. “.

The UN chief assured the President-elect of his support and that of the entire Secretariat to achieve common goals and uphold universal values. (NAA)


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