11 June 2010

By Acclamation, General Assembly Elects Joseph Deiss of Switzerland as President of Sixty-Fifth Session

11 June 2010
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly


93rd & 94th Meetings (AM)

By Acclamation, General Assembly Elects Joseph Deiss of Switzerland


as President of Sixty-Fifth Session


Also Elects 21 Vice-Presidents, Chairs of Five Main Committees

The General Assembly this morning elected Joseph Deiss, a former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland who led his country’s accession to the United Nations in 2002, as President of its sixty-fifth session.

Elected in separate meetings were the Chairs and other Bureau members of five of the Assembly’s six Main Committees, in addition to the 21 Vice-Presidents of the Assembly plenary, selected from regional groups.  It was announced that elections for the Third Committee (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian) would take place at a later date.

Following his election by acclamation, the incoming President thanked the outgoing President for his leadership and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his tireless advocacy on the United Nations behalf, and he assured the Secretary-General of his full cooperation.

Mr. Deiss, who also served as Minister of the Economy from 2003 to 2006 and as President of the Swiss Confederation in 2004, said the progress of information technology and the increasing flow of people, goods, services and capital had created a global network of interdependence, and subsequently new challenges that would require collective and urgent responses.  “More than ever before, we need to act together to be effective,” he said.

He also listed among his priorities achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable economic growth.  “The commitment of the international community is particularly important at this time,” he said, asking: “How can the progress made just before the economic and financial crisis be consolidated?  How can implementation be accelerated in areas such as maternal health and infant mortality which have been lagging behind?”

The Assembly would also need to address climate change, and work to achieve food security, reconstruction and strengthening of fragile and post-conflict States, human rights, the ideals of the Red Cross, humanitarian aid and disarmament, he said.  “The search for lasting solutions to these challenges will require governance that better reflects the new balances of power in the world, as well as a more efficient work by the United Nations for the benefit of each individual,” he said.

Mr. Deiss pledged to work with and respect all Member States, whose rights were equal, to make the Assembly’s work effective and ensure that “Swiss sobriety” guaranteed that relationships were based on specifics, a positive approach and friendship.

Congratulating Mr. Deiss on behalf of the Secretary-General, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said that Mr. Deiss would be assuming his position at a time of continued economic turmoil, uncertainty and dangerous threats to international peace and security, but also of tremendous opportunity for common progress.  His skill and wisdom would be needed across the agenda throughout the sixty-fifth session.  The upcoming Millennium Development Goals Summit in September would be an early opportunity to galvanize the Assembly’s work.  “We must do our outmost to uphold the commitments we have made to the world’s people,” she said.

Also congratulating the new President-elect, Ali Abdussalam Treki (Libya), President of the sixty-fourth session, said Mr. Deiss’ perspective, having served as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Economy, would certainly guide and benefit discussions on the issues and challenges to peace and security, development and human rights, which were at the heart of the Assembly’s agenda.  The fact that Mr. Deiss had advocated and led his country’s accession campaign to the United Nations was a testament to his support for multilateralism and the Organization, and would hopefully contribute to ongoing efforts to further strengthen the United Nations and promote its purpose and principles.

Also taking the floor to congratulate the President-elect on behalf of their respective regional groups were the representatives of Congo, Bhutan, Azerbaijan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Austria.

Also this morning, the Deputy Secretary-General drew lots, in accordance with tradition, to determine which Member State would occupy the first seat in the General Assembly Hall during the next session.  Guinea was picked to occupy that seat and will be followed in English alphabetical order by all other countries, with the same order being observed in the Main Committees.

Election of Vice-Presidents

The Vice-Presidents for the sixty-fifth session will be Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Mauritania, Senegal and Sudan from the African States; Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan from the Asian States; Belarus from the Eastern European States; Ecuador, Nicaragua and Suriname from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Luxembourg from the Western European and Other States.  The five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States) also serve as Vice-Presidents.

Election of Committee Officers

In separate meetings, five of the six Main Committees of the General Assembly elected Chairs and other officers.

Miloš Koterec (Slovakia) was elected Chair of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) with Hossam Eldeen Aly (Egypt), Enrique Ochoa (Mexico), Herman Schaper (Netherlands) and Carlos Sorreta (Philippines) making up the remainder of the Bureau.  The distribution of the Vice-Chair and Rapporteur posts will be decided at a later date.

Boniface G. Chidyausiku (Zimbabwe) was elected Chair of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), while Andi Xhoi (Albania) and David Windsor (Australia) were elected Vice-Chairs and Mohammad Wali Naeemi (Afghanistan) Rapporteur.  The election of an additional Vice-Chair will take place at a later date.

Enkhtsetseg Ochir (Mongolia) was elected Chair of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial), and Erik Lundbert (Finland) and Csilla Würtz (Hungary) as Vice-Chairs.  An additional Vice-Chair and the Rapporteur will be elected at a later date.

Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala) was elected as Chair of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), and Muhammed Irfan Soomro (Pakistan), Ioana Sanda Stoica (Romania) and Josiel Motumisi Tawana (South Africa) as Vice-Chairs, and Nicole Mannion (Ireland) as Rapporteur.

Isabelle Picco (Monaco) was elected Chair of the Sixth Committee (Legal) with Chull-joo Park (Republic of Korea), Eva Surkova (Slovakia) and Reta Alemu Nega (Ethiopia) as Vice-Chairs.  The election of the Rapporteur will be held at a later date.

The General Assembly will meet again at a date and time to be announced.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.