By John Odyek
Sam K. Kutesa, Uganda’s minister for foreign affairs has been unanimously elected by acclamation as President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Kutesa was elected at 3.00pm New York time, which was 10.00pm in Uganda on Wednesday.
As president, he will preside over the General Assembly for a one-year period, starting 16th September, 2014 for which he has chosen the theme: “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”.
In his acceptance speech, Kutesa thanked all member states, in particular Africa, for the trust and confidence bestowed upon him and Uganda.
A statement sent by Fred Opolot, the ministry of foreign affairs spokesman said Kutesa underlined that his election reflected the international community’s recognition of Uganda’s positive role and contribution, throughout its fifty two-year membership, to the work of the United Nations.
Kutesa undertook to closely work with the United Nations in finding solutions to different global challenges confronting humanity, including: poverty and hunger; climate change and rising sea-levels; inadequate and expensive energy; armed conflicts; and emerging threats to peace and security, such as terrorism, piracy and human trafficking.
He outlined his priorities during the presidency, namely; formulation of a transformative post-2015 development agenda, climate change; revitalization of the General Assembly and reform of the Security Council.
Others are enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations; promotion of peaceful settlement of disputes and peace-building; enhancement of the Alliance of Civilisations; and advancement of gender equality and empowerment of women.
The President of the current session of the General Assembly, John W Ashe, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon thanked him on his election. They expressed their commitment to support him in discharging his responsibilities.
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