Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson has been elected as President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
In the secret ballot election for the post, Peter Thomson defeated Andreas Mavroyiannis of Cyprus by 94 to 90 votes, with one abstention.
With this, Peter Thomson becomes the first representative from the Pacific island states to get elected for the largely honorific post in the UN’s 71-year history.
Thomson will begin his tenure in September 2016 at the commencement of the 71st session of UNGA and will replace incumbent President Mogens Lykketoft.
About Peter Thomson
- Peter Thomson is a Fijian diplomat. Since February 2010, he was Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
- For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
- He was the architect of changing name of the UN’s Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group.
- He was conferred with the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji (highest honour of the Fijian honours system) in 2014.
About UNGA President
- President of UNGA presides over the sessions of the General Assembly which is starts begins every year in September.
- The President is elected annually on rotational basis between the five geographic groups namely African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean and Western European and other States.
Interesting fact: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was first and only Indian to serve as President of UNGA in 1953. She was also the first woman President of UNGA.