Antigua and Barbuda elected Ambassador President of the UN General Assembly

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John William Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda, President-elect of the General Assembly’s 68th session.

The General Assembly on Friday elected Ambassador John William Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda President of its 68th session which starts in September this year.

Ambassador Ashe, who holds a Ph.D in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, was elected by acclamation.

Addressing the General Assembly following his election, Ambassador Ashe said the United Nations must reflect on the new and emerging development challenges with attention to two main goals.

He identified the goals as overcoming poverty and insecurity and ensuring sustainable development.

“A mere eighteen (18) months from now, the United Nations will launch an agenda for articulating the relationship between humanity and our physical environment. That agenda must be wholly universal; it must be a development agenda that is relevant to all people and all societies; and it

must bring about global transformation for everyone, with shared but differentiated responsibilities. Implementing such an agenda will be a complex task: politically, socially, economically, environmentally, culturally and technically. Arguably, this may be the boldest and most ambitious project that the United Nations has ever had to accomplish and we, this Assembly, will need to be equally bold, ambitious and collaborative if we are to rise to the task we are about to undertake, and ensure its completion.”

Ambassador Ashe said this agenda, which is formally known as, “The Post-2015 Development Agenda,” must represent a significant evolution in the thinking of the international community, and it must envision an interdependent, planetary community regardless of development levels.

Ambassador Ashe also pointed to three High-level events he will host during his presidency of the General Assembly.

“1. Contributions of women, the young and civil society to the Post-2015 Development Agenda;

2. Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Post-2015 Development Agenda; and

3. Contributions of South-South, Triangular Cooperation, and ICT for Development to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In addition to the above High-Level Events, my team and I will work closely with member States to convene three (3) thematic debates. Each debate will be geared towards further elaboration of the chosen theme.

We will seek to provide “results-oriented outcomes” on the following issues:

1. The Role of Partnerships;

2. Ensuring stable and peaceful societies; and

3. Water, sanitation and sustainable energy in the post-2015 Development Agenda.”

Ambassador Ashe noted that in the course of the long lead-up to this day, he has been deeply touched by all the advice from colleagues about what to highlight during the 68tu Session.

“To no one’s surprise – in an Assembly as diverse as ours – the ideas often differ. Nonetheless, I have identified the following

common elements:

1. The need for an open, transparent and collaborative Presidency;

2. Greater involvement of the established organs of the General Assembly; and

3. Re-invigorating the reform agenda of the General Assembly.

Firstly, in response to the almost universal call for an open, transparent and collaborative Presidency, let me provide a very clear answer: Yes!”

President–elect of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador John Ashe.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated the Antigua and Barbuda diplomat on his on his election as President of the 68th General Assembly.

“I would like to once again congratulate Ambassador John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda on his election as the next President of the General Assembly. In the Assembly just now I pledged to him my full support as he fulfills this important role. His time as Assembly President will be a period of hugely important undertakings for the United Nations. We are seeking to accelerate our work for the Millennium Development Goals. Wide-ranging consultations are under way on the post-2015 development agenda. The September general debate period will be very busy as usual.

I look forward to working closely with Ambassador Ashe on these and other critical challenges.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 4’53″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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