Past Presidents

55th Session: Harri Holkeri

Portrait of Mr. Harri Holkeri, President of the United Nations General Assembly’s 55th session. UN Photo

Harri Holkeri was elected President of the United Nations General Assembly’s 55th session on 5 September 2000. Before his election, he was serving as Finland's Prime Minister.

Harri Holkeri presided the General Assembly’s 55th session from 5 September 2000 to 10 September 2001.

Also on 5 September 2000, the General Assembly elected 21 Vice-Presidents for the 55th session:


"In order not to become a hermit kingdom, understood only by United Nations experts, the General Assembly must be able to explain why its work is relevant to the outside world", Harri Holkeri (Finland), the newly elected President of the General Assembly, said this afternoon at the opening of the fifty-fifth session.

Stressing the need to work in a transparent and understandable manner, he said that in order to add value and make a difference, the Assembly must address the challenges of rapid change and globalization. In doing so, it must respond to the current priorities of its Member States. That required the courage to look back at the original legislative intent of the General Assembly and determine how that could be best reflected in the practical work of the Organization today.

He also drew attention to the fact that the new Session had been designated as the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations. The stating that the Millennium Summit and its Declaration would provide enormous momentum, reinforcing the implementation of the global agenda and its development targets, as defined in the global conferences of the 1990s.

Priority issues of the 55th Session of the General Assembly

Statements and Messages

September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000


  • H.E. Harri Holkeri, President PDF
  • H.E. Mr. Jarmo Sareva, Chef de Cabinet
  • Ms. Aira Päivöke, Minister Councellor
  • Ms. Raili Lahnalampi, Minister Councellor
  • Ms. Sinikka Koski, Research Assistant
  • Ms. Anja Feodoroff, Personal Assistant to the President
  • Ms. Susan Markham, Spokesperson
  • Ms. Minna Kaihovirta, Assistant to the Spokesperson
  • Mrs. Antoinette F. Schmeelk, Secretary
  • Mr. Marvin Rey Cardenas, Secretary

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