By KABS KANU :
SIERRA LEONE was among many nations represented at the official opening of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly at the UN Headquarters on Wednesday May 31, 2017.
The Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN was represented by the Chargés d’affaires , Deputy Permanent Representative for Political Affairs, Ambassador Amadu Koroma, the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs , Ambassador. Felix Koroma, Counselors Alan George, Mr. Mohamed L. Khan and Saifu George and the Military Adviser, Col. Muana Massaquoi.
THE SIERRA LEONE DELEGATION : FROM ROW FROM RIGHT ; AMBASSADORS A. KOROMA AND F.KOROMA AND BACK ROW FROM RIGHT : COL. MASSAQUOI AND COUNSELOR GEORGE
The occasion was also used to elect the President of the General Assembly for the session as well as the Chair’s, Vice Chair’s and other officials of the six main committees of the United Nations.
The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajcak , was unanimously elected as President of the UNGA for the 72nd Session. Mr. Lajcak was Slovak Ambassador to Japan from 1994 to 1998 and he also contested for the position of UN Secretary-General in 2016. He will replace the current president, Peter Thomson of Fiji when the next assembly session convenes in September this year.
The Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. Antonio Guterres, congratulated Lajcak on his election and promised to collaborate with him to chart a new course for lasting peace, justice, human rights and human dignity.
The outgoing President, Mr. Thomson, said this is the first time in history that one of the Pacific small island developing countries has put up a candidate that succeeded in being elected president of the General Assembly.
In his acceptance speech, the President-elect said he will pay equal attention to all three UN pillars and will focus his energies and that of his staff to six main areas: (1) bringing the UN closer to the people of the world so that their lives could be impacted in a positive way. (2) conflict prevention and mediation to bring sustainable peace in global conflicts (3) in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on the area of climate change. (4) pay particular attention to the challenges of Small States and Small Island States (5) on human rights, with particular emphasis on gender parity in positions in the Assembly.(6) Equity at the UN.
Also, the new President of the UN General Assembly stated that he will bring the UN closer to the world citizens and guarantee peace and decent lives for ordinary people on a sustainable planet.