The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 13 June 2016 elected Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji, as President of its upcoming 71st session. Thomson was elected in a rare secret ballot vote. He defeated Andreas Mavroyiannis of Cyprus by a secret-ballot vote of 94 to 90, with one abstention.
The Fiji representative will replace current General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft. Thomson willbegin his tenure in September 2016 at the commencement of the 71st General Assembly session.
Who is Peter Thomson?
• Peter Thomson is a Fijian diplomat.
• He has served as Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since February 2010.
• For the year 2014, he 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 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.
• The President of Fiji conferred on Peter Thomson the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji in 2014.
About United Nations General Assembly
• The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
• It is the only organ in which all member nations have equal representation.
• Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the UN and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions.
• The General Assembly meets under its president or Secretary-General in regular yearly sessions.
• The first UNGA session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall in London. It included representatives of 51 nations.