Thursday, June 11, 2009

Libyan diplomat elected UN General Assembly president

UNITED NATIONS, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Libyan diplomat Ali Treky was elected on Wednesday as president of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly (GA).

Treky, who previously served as Libya's foreign minister and later as the country's UN envoy, was elected by acclamation at a plenary meeting of the 192-member body.

He will replace the current GA president, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, when the next assembly session convenes on Sept. 15.

In his acceptance speech, Treky said that under his presidency, the General Assembly will continue to push forward the reform of the United Nations, in particular the reform of the Security Council.

"UN reform, in all its various aspects, especially reforming the Security Council and revitalization of the General Assembly, must continue to be one of our priorities," he told the delegates at the meeting.

"We should make every effort to achieve it as soon as possible," he stressed.

Anti-poverty, climate change, the global financial and economic crisis and the promotion of human right will also top the agenda of the General Assembly, he added.

UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon congratulated Treky, who has served three times as Libya's UN ambassador, mostly recently in 2003.

"His other diplomatic assignments have placed him at the heart of the UN's agenda," Ban said.

Currently serving as Libya's minister for African Union affairs, Treky has been working on "pressing matters of mutual concern to the United Nations and the African Union, including Darfur," the secretary-general said. "This wide-ranging diplomatic experience will be invaluable as he presides over the General Assembly."

D'Escoto, the outgoing president, expressed his belief that Treky's presidency will "continue to press for the revitalization of this body as it seeks to restore its authority and leadership on the world stage during these perilous times."

Since taking office as president last September, the former Nicaraguan foreign minister has made restrengthening the authority and leadership of the General Assembly one of his top priorities.

As part of this effort, D'Escoto is convening a June 24-26 high-level conference which will bring together world leaders to the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss the impact of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis on development.

D'Escoto promised to assist his successor in every way so that "the urgent work before us can proceed seamlessly into the next session."

The GA presidency rotates annually among the five regional groups at the United Nations -- Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Western Europe and Others, and Asia. This year it is Africa's turn to name a president.

Treky's candidacy was supported by the 53-nation African Union, which was currently chaired by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.