Transparency commitment made by new General Assembly President

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Outgoing General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft (2nd left) hands over gavel to incoming President Peter Thomson of the Republic of Fiji. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) looks on. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The new President of the UN General Assembly has said he will continue to build on the transparency introduced into the work of the United Nations by the outgoing president.

Peter Thomson of Fiji became the President of the 71st session on Tuesday replacing Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark.

Daniel Dickinson reports from UN Headquarters in New York.

In a historic first for the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thomson took an oath of office as the 71st President.

In a wide-ranging speech to the 193 Member States of the GA, as it's sometimes known, Mr Thomson set out his objectives for the coming 12 months.

He paid particular attention to the progress his predecessor Mogens Lykketoft had made in making the UN more transparent to the outside world.

"Transparency calls upon the exercise of our most worthy qualities of honesty, equity and ethical behavior. Under its wide purview, we are required to hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards expected of us as the selected representatives of humankind congregated here at the United Nations. Thus the Lykketoft legacy is a demanding one, but I’m confident it will be enduring one. I for one will commit to build on it over the coming session."

The General Assembly is the main decision making body of the United Nations where all 193 Member States have an equal vote, unlike the 15-member Security Council where five permanent members have a power of veto over all decisions.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’29″

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