Past Presidents

52nd Session: Hennadiy Udovenko

Portrait of Mr. Hennadiy Udovenko, President of the United Nations General Assembly’s 52nd session. UN Photo/Milton Grant

Hennadiy Udovenko was elected President of the United Nations General Assembly’s 52nd session on 16 September 1997. At the time of his election, he was serving as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Hennadiy Udovenko presided the General Assembly’s 52nd session from 16 September 1997 to 8 September 1998.

Also on 16 September 1997, the General Assembly elected 21 Vice-Presidents for the 52nd session:


The fifty-second General Assembly could be "a watershed session" in which Member States would have the chance to revitalize the United Nations and enable it to address the mounting challenges it faced, its newly-elected President, Hennadiy Udovenko (Ukraine), said at the opening meeting this afternoon.

Mr. Udovenko said the Secretary-General's programme for reform would be at the centre of the session. It was a sound basis for further deliberations by the Assembly. As President, he would encourage action-oriented discussion on the measures and proposals for United Nations reform. Calling on all Member States to facilitate the reform process and to building a broad consensus, he said the success of reform depended on their political wisdom and their will to act promptly, constructively and decisively.

Noting that, recently, the Organization had come under heavy criticism, he said not all of it was unjustified. Despite all its shortcomings, the United Nations remained a unique and indispensable mechanism for addressing new challenges, including those related to international peace and security and to promoting sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

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