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Congratulations Peter Thomson; Fiji Is Proud Of You

We congratulate Peter Thomson, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, for his election as the president of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He narrowly
15 Jun 2016 10:27
Congratulations Peter Thomson; Fiji Is Proud Of You
Editorial

We congratulate Peter Thomson, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, for his election as the president of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

He narrowly defeated Cypriot diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis. In a rare contested election, the UN General Assembly voted for Fijian ambassador Peter Thomson by the narrow margin of 94 to 90.

The post is largely ceremonial, but has a high profile.

The timing of Mr Thomson’s election means he will oversee the process of searching for a new UN Secretary-General to replace Ban Ki-moon, who is set to finish his second five-year term at the end of the year.

The vote for Mr Thomson is a vote for Fiji. Not only does it reflect the confidence of the international community on Mr Thomson’s ability, it is also in recognition of Fijian contribution to the world ideals that the UN stands for. Fiji’s good leadership and international commitments in climate change and  peacekeeping missions have not gone unnoticed. We have shown courage by speaking out on issues at forums that matter.

Solid foundations were built during Fiji’s chairmanship of the Group of 77 at the UN in 2013.

 “It’s what made the difference today, “ Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thomson is the first UNGA president to come from the Pacific island states. This is a great moment for them. 

“It’s a great moment for the Pacific islands,” Mr Thomson told the General Assembly.

“We bring special perspectives on climate change and on oceans issues. You can expect me to be vocal on these issues.”

 Addressing the 70th UNGA in New York last year Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said he believed the time had come for the Pacific Islands to provide the Assembly’s president, and he put forward Mr Thomson’s name as a candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group.

In 2014, Mr Thomson was elected president of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He presided over Fiji’s election to the 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China – the UN’s largest negotiating group with 133 Member States.

Mr Thomson was the architect of the name-change of the UN’s Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group, effective 2011.

 He was conferred the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji in 2014 by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

 Mr Thomson is a seasoned diplomat who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in his service to the UN.  He has done us proud.

 

 

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