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Leopoldo Benites (Ecuador)

Elected President of the twenty-eighth session of the General Assembly

Photo of Leopoldo Benites

Leopoldo Benites of Ecuador, who was today elected President of the General Assembly at its twenty-eighth session, has served as Permanent Representative of his country to the United Nations since October 1960.

He has also been his country's representative to the Security Council October 1960 to December 1961; President of the Security Council in July 1961; Chairman of the Assembly's Special Political Committee during the seventeenth session (1962-1963); Chairman of the Assembly's First Committee during the twenty-first session 1966; Vice-President of the Assembly during its twenty-second session (1967); Chairman of the Legal Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and Ocean Floor beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction (1968), and Vice-President of the Assembly during its twenty-fifth session (1970).

Mr. Benites was Deputy Permanent Representative of his country to the United Nations from January 1953 to June 1954 and in 1953 he was Chairman of the delegation of Ecuador to the second part of the seventh session, of the Assembly. He was also a member of the delegation of Ecuador during the ninth and tenth sessions of the Assembly, in 1954 and 1955.

He has served hid country as Minister to Uruguay from 1947 to 1952; as Ambassador to Bolivia from 14 October 1954 to January 1956; as ambassador to Argentina from 6 January 1956 to November of the same year, and as Ambassador to Uruguay from November 1956 to August 1960, when he was Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Mr. Benites also served his country as delegate to the fourth Conference of American States Members of the International Labour Organisation, in Montevideo in April 1948; the third session of the Economic Commission for Latin American, held in Montevideo in June 1950; the ninth session the United Nations Social Commission in 1953; and the fourth session the Committee of Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, in 1959.

He was also delegate of Ecuador to the fifth and eighth Meetings of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of American States.

Mr. Benites was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on 17 October 1905. He studied at the University of Guayaquil, where he obtained a degree in political and social science. He was also given the title of Doctor Honoris causa by the University of Montevideo. He was a university professor.

As a politician he was a Deputy in the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador (1944-1945). During that time he served on the drafting committee for his country's present Constitution.

Mr. Benites has published several works, including La Mala Hora (short stories); Un Zapador de la Colonia (biographical notes on Eugenio Espejo); Argonautas de la Selva (biography of Captain Francisco de Orellana, discoverer of the Amazon River; the third edition is now being printed in Spain); and Ecuador, Drama y Paradoja (social and economic study of his country ). He was a working journalist during 15 years on the staff of El Universo of Guayaquil.

He has received the following decorations and honours: Great Cross of the National Order "Al Merito" Ecuador; Greet Cross of the Order "Condor de los Andes", Bolivia; Great Cross of the Order of Phoenix, Greece; Great Cross of "Aguila Azteca" Mexico; Great-Cross of "Orden de Mayo", Argentina; Great Cross of "Isabel La Catolica", Spain; and Great Officer of 'the Order of San Lorenzo", Ecuador, which was instituted in 1909 and is the highest honour bestowed by the Government of his country.

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