By: Brittany Somerset
New York – The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) drew lots yesterday that elected Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador John W. Ashe, as President of its upcoming 68th session.
UNGA – which is comprised of 193 participating “Member States” of the United Nations – (and non-active members with “observer status”, such as Palestine and the Holy See) provides a platform for discussion of a broad range of topics concerning international issues covered by the UN Charter. UNGA meets frequently from September to December, and as necessary thereafter throughout the year.
John William Ashe
Mr. Ashe said that, in 18 months, the UN would launch a plan for sustainable development for all, which he boasted, “may very well be the boldest and most ambitious project that the United Nations has ever had to accomplish.”
“In order to succeed, the General Assembly needs to be equally bold, ambitious, and collaborative, if we are to rise to the task we are about to undertake, and ensure its completion,” he said, adding “failure is not an option. Let us show the world…we can be bold and decisive in our actions.”
He also said it will, “be important to reflect on new and emerging development challenges, with attention to two main goals: overcoming poverty and ensuring sustainable development.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered his congratulations to Mr. Ashe on his appointment, and cited his “impressive experience”.
“[Mr. Ashe] shares my passion for sustainable development – and my concern about the problem of climate change,” Mr. Ban said.
Mr. Ashe said he was “honored” to assume his new position, and called on the 193 Member States to work together to make the 68th session a productive one.