– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Mrs. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

1 August 2019

Esteemed António Guterres, Secretary General,

Distinguished Ambassador Sami Bougacha, Chargé D’affaires of Tunisia to the United Nations,

Distinguished Permanent Representatives,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of the General Assembly and all representatives, I extend the Government of Tunisia my deepest condolences for the passing of President Béji Caïd Essebsi.

President Essebsi was a great statesperson, a man who knew how to lead, in a peaceful manner, the democratic transition of Tunisia, one of the most relevant and complex moments for that country and its future.

The values and ideals he had in favor of the Independence of Tunisia since he was young, led him to choose politics as an instrument to serve his fellow citizens.

In the various political capacities he worked in, he was known for his strength and commitment to his country and region.

He was also a resolute advocate of the purposes and principles of our Organization and of multilateralism.

His legacy to secure democracy, attain sustainable development and promote the human rights of the people of Tunisia must be continued.

I trust that the Tunisian authorities will guide the steps of the Republic responsibly during this interim until the next presidential elections.

I share the pain of the family and friends of Mister Essebsi, and I would thank the Chargé D’affaires of Tunisia if he would be so kind as to convey this message and the sincere tribute that the General Assembly is paying today to such a transcendental figure for his country, his region and the world.

Thank you.