|Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, permanent representative of the state of Qatar, who is elected as president of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, speaks at the UN headquarters in New York, June 22, 2011. The UN General Assembly on Wednesday elected Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser as the president of its 66th Session, which is due to open this September. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
UNITED NATIONS, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The UN General Assembly on Wednesday elected Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, permanent representative of the state of Qatar as the president of its 66th Session, which is due to open this September.
Al-Nasser was nominated by the Asian Group as the sole candidate for the annual presidency.
He will assume office at the opening of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 13.
"I pledge to you that I will undertake this important role in a spirit of constructive cooperation and mutual respect," Al-Nasser said in the speech after his election.
The post of General Assembly president rotates between the five UN regional groups. According to the principle of equitable geographical rotation, the president of the 66th session is to be from the Asian Group.
Al-Nasser will succeed Joseph Deiss of Switzerland, who was elected last year after endorsement by the Group of Western European and Other States.
In addition to serving as permanent representative of the state of Qatar, Al-Nasser also held several high-profile and organization-wide elected positions, notably the post of president of the High Level Committee on South-South Cooperation from 2007 to 2009, and chairman of the Fourth Committee (Special Political Issues and Decolonization) of the UN General Assembly during its 64th session, as well as vice-president of the 57th session of the UN General Assembly.
"You have dealt with critical challenges from war and instability, to sustainable development and South-South cooperation. You have personally led the way on an issue that is of great concern to me and to my wife: the world's response to autism," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said acclaiming Al- Nasser as the president of the Assembly.
"Mr. president elect: you have already made a significant contribution and I am sure you will do even more as the leader of this most universal UN body," Ban added.
Al-Nasser highlighted in his speech the focus of his efforts as president of UN General Assembly, which will be on building consensus on major global challenges facing the world today, including armed conflict, the rights of peoples to self- determination, hunger, poverty, terrorism, climate change, etc.
Al-Nasser also asked for endorsement for the theme that he proposed for the high-level debate at the opening of the 66th session, which is "the role of mediation in the settlement of disputes by peaceful means".
"I believe that selection of this theme will enhance debate and deepen cooperation on this important issue, which lies at the heart of the work of the United Nations," he added.
The ambassador vowed to strengthen the role of the General Assembly and improve construction cooperation between the Assembly and the various UN organs, specialized agencies, and other international and regional organizations.