HISTORY was made last month when Fiji’s ambassador to the United Nations Peter Thomson won the votes to become President of the upcoming 71st session of the UN General Assembly.
He beat leading diplomat of Cyprus, Ambassador Andreas Mayroyiannis by a mere four votes to take over the presidency from Ambassodor Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark who will complete his one year term on 31 August this year.
“The election of Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Peter Thomson, to be President of the UN General Assembly is a great honour for Fiji,” Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said in a congratulatory message his office released moments after the win.
“It is the first time a representative of one of the Pacific Small Island Developing States has been chosen to lead the United Nations General Assembly and it has given Fiji and the other island nations a new and stronger voice in New York.” Both from Bainimarama’s remarks and Ambassador Thomson’s own victory address at the floor of the General Assembly, it was clear that his election was done through a long and very strategic campaign involving all of Fiji’s foreign missions and allies.
Thomson’s leading role among Pacific members of the UN, who belong to the Pacific SIDS (Small Island Developing States) bloc clearly won him extra votes, as well as Fiji’s leadership at the Group of 77 plus China nations.
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