[Watch the video on webtv.un.org]
It is my pleasure to congratulate Professor Tijjani Mohammad Bande as President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Professor Bande, you bring many important and admirable qualifications to the job.
From your years as Permanent Representative of Nigeria, you know the United Nations well.
From your wide-ranging academic pursuits, you are an expert in political science and public administration.
And as a Nigerian and an African, you have invaluable insights into the continent’s challenges – such as the Sahel and Lake Chad basin – and more broadly into the challenges our world faces across the three pillars of our work, peace, sustainable development and human rights.
We wish you well in your preparations for this role in the months ahead.
You will have a full agenda.
September will see a crucially important series of meetings, including the Climate Action Summit and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, and the high-level meetings on universal health coverage, small island developing states and financing for sustainable development.
You will be in office as we gear up to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations – an occasion that I hope we can use to reaffirm the value of international cooperation and the vision of the Charter.
Let me also take this opportunity to commend Her Excellency María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, for her outstanding work as President of the 73rd session. There will be ample time to express appreciation for her achievements, but already I can say that I am most grateful for her support, especially for her support, of the United Nations reform and her overall stewardship of this body.
Mr. President-elect, we all look forward to working with you.
You can count on my full support as we strive to reach our shared goals and uphold universal values.