Zambia has been elected as Vice President of the 78th Session of the United Nations of the General Assembly by acclamation, together with twenty other Vice Presidents, representing the five geographical regions and the Permanent Members of the Security Council.
The General Assembly every year appoints 21 Vice Presidents of the General Assembly to represent different geographical regions.
The Vice Presidents were all appointed by acclamation. Zambia and five other countries namely, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Morocco, Senegal and Uganda were endorsed for election in the African States category.
Other regions to serve as Vice President’s are five from the Asia and Pacific States, two from the Western European and other States, two from the Latin America and Caribbean, Eastern European States one (1) and five representing the Permanent Members of the Security Council (P-5). The term of office runs from September 2023 to September 2024.
Zambia’s election comes with important benefits such as presiding over General Assembly matters as well as being an automatic member of the General Committee of the General Assembly comprising 22 Vice Presidents of the General Assembly and chairs of six main Committees of the General Assembly, which among others, considers the provisional agenda and supplementary list as well as making recommendations to the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, His Excellency, Mr Dennis Francis, the Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago, will serve as President of the General Assembly for the 78th Session.
This followed his election by acclamation by the General Assembly. Ambassador Francis was endorsed by the Latin American and Caribbean States and was unopposed for the position.
Ambassador Francis brings to the General Assembly a wealth of knowledge and experience from his almost 40 years in Diplomatic Service in his country. His vision for the 78th session is peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability.
Addressing the General Assembly, the President-elect committed to discharge the responsibilities of the office with transparency, accountability, vigor and dedication, bearing in mind that all members have the same rights.
Mr Francis takes over from His Excellency Csaba Korösi, the Permanent Representative of Hungary, whose tenure of office comes to an end in September this year.
Mr Korösi congratulated Ambassador Francis on his election, noting however that much work remains to be done.
“The cascading crises that shepherded the start of my term still require the General Assembly to identify and adopt solution-oriented approaches. Crisis management and transformation remain the dual approach to guide our vision and actions in the GA,” Mr Korösi said.
He said he will continue to promote the use of science for a sustainability transformation, namely in the preparations for the SDG Summit during the High-Level Week in September as he works with the President-elect.
“Credibility of the renewed political commitment to the implementation of our goals will be a key to the success of the Summit. We must also urgently put into action the gamechangers elaborated by the UN Water Conference to give answers and solutions to the unfolding water crisis. We cannot let the momentum stop,” Mr Korösi said.
He assured Ambassador Francis of his full support as they advance the revitalization of the General Assembly, using methods that are bearing results.
And UN Secretary General António Guterres said President-elect Francis brings a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge to this essential task.
“In addition to his years working closely with multilateral agencies, he is also a respected negotiator and long-serving diplomat – including as his country’s longest-serving Ambassador ever,” he said.
“Coming from Trinidad and Tobago, he brings a critical perspective to this Assembly. So many of the issues we address here hit small island developing states like his the hardest,”
The Secretary General added that other issues include the disastrous impacts of climate change, and the effects of a deeply unjust global financial system that routinely denies developing countries the debt relief and restructuring as well as financing they need to invest in their people. “We look forward to the President-elect carrying forward the theme of his presidency – Peace, Prosperity, Progress and Sustainability – in the year ahead, and to bringing this Assembly together to strengthen global cooperation at this difficult moment,” said Mr Guterres.