PRESS RELEASE: President-elect of the UN General Assembly names top advisors

Press Release


President-elect of the UN General Assembly names top advisors

Continuity and experience signal smooth transition and strong push on SDG implementation



UNITED NATIONS, New York, 3 August 2016 – The President-elect of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji, today announced two key appointments to the office of the President of the General Assembly for the 71st session.

The current Chef de Cabinet, Ambassador Tomas Anker Christensen, will continue for a second term to serve as Chef de Cabinet of the President’s Office. Ambassador Dessima Williams, Grenada’s former Permanent Representative to the UN and former Chair of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) has been appointed as Special Advisor in charge of the Office’s team for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ambassador Thomson said that he had listened to Member States, in particular to the call for the Office of the President to be strengthened by the way of continuity. He said that Tomas Anker Christensen’s appointment, along with the retention of various other members of the current office, will provide continuity of work from the 70th to the 71st session.

The President-elect said the appointment of Ambassador Williams brings well-honed experience and advocacy skills to the leadership of the Office. He said that he had worked extensively with Ambassador Williams in the past during her time as chair of the AOSIS, and knows her to be a highly effective advocate on such issues as climate change and sustainable development.

In announcing the appointments, the President-elect said they reflected a commitment to provide the Office of the President with gender parity, North-South balance, institutional continuity and the requisite skills and experience to drive towards a successful 71st session. Ambassador Thomson said that further announcements will be made on the composition of the President’s Office before the commencement of the 71st session on 13 September and that care was being taken to ensure all five regional groups were represented in the Office.




Dan Thomas, Communications Director & Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly, T: +1 917 225 1913 | E:

Katharina Kandt, Digital Communications Advisor to the President of the General Assembly, T: +917 244 3890, E:



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