|KATHMANDU, June 14 (Nepal Foreign Affairs)–The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday unanimously elected Nepal as one of its four Vice-Presidents from the Asia-Pacific Group of States for the 71st session of the General Assembly.
The session will commence on 13 September 2016 and closes in December 2017. “With this election, Nepal will be a member of the UNGA General Committee (which serves as the bureau of the General Assembly) for three consecutive sessions, for the first time since joining the UN in 1955,” the Nepalese Permanent Mission to the United Nations based in New York said in a press release on Tuesday.
The General Committee comprises President of the General Assembly, 21 Vice-Presidents representing five geographical regions, Chairpersons of the UNGA’s six thematic main committees, and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. All except the last category are elected by the UNGA in June every year.
“Today’s election provides Nepal yet another opportunity to contribute directly to the work of the UN and continue further enhancing the positive visibility of the country in the comity of nations,” the release said.
In addition to the active and effective overall representation of Nepal at the UN system and various treaty bodies in New York, the Permanent Mission represents Nepal as an elected member of the Asia-Pacific Group of countries at the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive board (also as Vice President for 2015), and UNICEF Executive Board (also as Vice-President for 2016).
In both capacities, Nepal seeks to ensure that the organizations receive strategic guidance for them to best cater to the needs of the member states, more specifically of the most vulnerable and neediest among them.
Together, during the 70th session, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Nepal to UN Durga Prasad Bhattarai, is serving as Chair of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee), which is responsible for administrative as well as both regular and peacekeeping budgetary matters of the United Nations.
During the 69th session, Ambassador Bhattarai was elected as Chair of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), dealing with the sensitive matters relating to the UN peacekeeping, decolonization, Palestinian refugees and human rights, and public information, among others. Nepal’s performance in both these high positions has had been publicly lauded from all sides and at the highest levels, for extraordinary efficiency, leadership, delicate balance and diplomatic skills. Earlier on Tuesday, the General Assembly elected Peter Thomson of Fiji as President for its 71st session by a vote. He secured 94 votes against 90 votes of Andreas D. Mavroiannis of Cyprus.
Among the vice presidents elected on Tuesday are: Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Mauritania, Nigeria and Zambia from African Group; Bangladesh, Nepal, Solomon Islands and Turkmenistan from Asia-Pacific; Armenia from East Europe; The Bahamas, Belize and El Salvador from Latin America and Caribbean; and Belgium and Germany from Western Europe and other countries group. Elections were also held in the main committees today to elect respective bureaus.