– As delivered –

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly

7 June 2021

I wholeheartedly congratulate the Honourable Abdulla Shahid on his election as the next President of the General Assembly. Mr Shahid brings to the position extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy, serving his country as Foreign Minister twice. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate communities around the world, and climate change threatens peoples’ lives and livelihoods, he has been a strong voice in calling attention to the impact on Small Island Developing States. I have no doubt that he will lead the General Assembly in a dedicated, transparent and inclusive manner. With his dynamic personality and extensive experience in the UN Halls for many years, the General Assembly will surely have a great President and leader during the next session. I personally know what a great source of pride his election is for the government and people of the Maldives. A country which has faced political challenges in recent times and overcome them to put forward a candidacy for this august office. Mr. Shahid, your promise to lead a “Presidency of Hope” resonates very well with the member states and the UN family at large, especially in these difficult times we are going through.  

I would also like to recognize the strong candidacy of Dr Zalmai Rassoul of Afghanistan. With his extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy, including as Foreign Minister and a comprehensive vision for his candidacy, Dr Rassoul has earned the respect of member states. At this important time in his country’s history, the international community’s support for Afghanistan’s long journey towards democracy is as essential as ever. I wish Dr. Rassoul all the best for the continuation of his endeavours in London as Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

There is still much to accomplish during the final three months of the seventy-fifth session. I am confident that our efforts to ensure the General Assembly remains relevant and effective as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic will be continued under Mr Shahid. My door will always be open to the President-elect for advice and support as he prepares to take office on 14 September. My team and I stand ready to support a seamless transition for a successful 76th session.

I now invite the Honourable Abdulla Shahid, elected President of the General Assembly at its seventy-sixth session, to take the floor.