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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Maldives overseas minister elected as UN meeting president

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — International Minister Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives defeated Afghanistan’s former overseas minister Zalmai Rassoul in an election Monday for the subsequent president of the United Nations Normal Meeting.

Volkan Bozkir, the present meeting president, introduced the 143-48 results of the key poll vote in favor of Shahid, with two of its 193 member nations not voting. Diplomats from member nations, all sporting masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been known as to the entrance of the meeting chamber one-by-one to deposit their poll in a big wood field.

Bozkir, a Turkish diplomat and politician, mentioned Shahid brings to the job “intensive expertise in multilateral diplomacy,” serving his Indian Ocean island nation twice as overseas minister and for 10 years earlier than that as chief of workers to the president.

Because the pandemic continues to devastate communities around the globe and local weather change threatens individuals’s lives and livelihoods, Bozkir mentioned Shahid has been “a powerful voice in calling consideration to the influence on small island growing states,” and expressed confidence he’ll proceed to be a related voice because the world recovers from the pandemic.

Shahid, who started his profession as a diplomat, mentioned he was “deeply humbled” by the belief of member nations and the consideration to his small nation.

He mentioned he goals to carry “a presidency of hope” when he assumes the one-year submit in September, simply earlier than the annual assembly of world leaders. Final yr, there have been video speeches from leaders due to the COVID-19 pandemic however no announcement has been made but of this yr’s preparations.

Shahid, 59, mentioned the 76th session of the Normal Meeting, which he’ll lead, will happen “in difficult occasions,” pointing to the previous yr’s “illness, despair and devastation” on account of the pandemic, together with growing “inequality, injustice and instability” and the “struggling” of the planet from local weather change.

“However we have to get transferring once more, rebuild communities, rescue the planet, reconnect economies and above all restore hope,” he mentioned. “We have to transfer to a unique regular.”

Shahid mentioned his priorities are to get well from COVID-19, by making certain that vaccines can be found to all individuals all over the place, and rebuilding economies, “constructing again stronger and constructing again greener … and making certain no nation is left behind.”

Whereas the presidency of the Normal Meeting is basically ceremonial, it’s also prestigious.

The world physique controls the U.N. finances, adopts treaties, addresses international points from poverty to local weather change, and passes quite a few resolutions that whereas not legally binding virtually all the time replicate international opinion. It is usually the U.N. organ the place nations giant and small can communicate — and the scene of the one annual gathering of world leaders.

The choice of the meeting president follows a regional rotation mandated by the world physique, and it was the flip of Asia to preside over the subsequent yearlong session.

By custom, the U.N.’s regional teams normally nominate a single candidate who’s then rubber-stamped by the meeting. However this yr the election was contested as a result of Asia nations couldn’t agree on a nominee.

Bozkir and Shahid paid tribute to Rassoul, who served as Afghanistan’s overseas minister from 2010-2013 and was one of many prime three contenders to exchange Hamid Karzai in 2014, shedding out to Ashraf Ghani.

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