Guterres applauds outgoing UNGA President, as 77th session opens in New York

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United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, has applauded the outgoing President of 76th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Abdulla Shahid for his skills and dedication in leading the Assembly.

Guterres made the recommendation at the closing ceremony of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session on Monday at UN headquarters in New York.

“The accomplishments of the last year would not have been possible without…Abdulla Shahid.

“In spite of the unprecedented times, he gathered member states together in common cause,” he said.

Shahid

Like the previous one, this session was marked by a series of deepening challenges, he told the participants, citing rising prices, growing food insecurity and “the gathering shadows of a global recession”.

The UN chief continued, citing “a global pandemic that refused to be defeated – and the emergence of another health emergency in monkeypox – and deadly heatwaves, storms, floods and other natural disasters”.

Meanwhile, every day ferocious conflicts continue to put millions of lives in jeopardy.

He gave examples of deepening poverty, inequality that continues to impede recovery and development, and “a morally bankrupt global financial system” that penalises developing countries and blocks their path to sustainable recovery.

As the Assembly worked over last year to address these challenges, the top UN official acknowledged Shahid’s steady hand and “enormous skill”.

During unprecedented times, he brought “fresh vision to issues like gender equality, climate action and the unique perspective of small island States”.

Moreover, Guterres praised the outgoing President as being “invaluable” during the first year of the Our Common Agenda report – a blueprint for global cooperation and reinvigorated multilateralism – by facilitating Member State consultations, which “paved the path to progress”.

“His ‘presidency of hope’ delivered exactly that – hope that we can come together and face the challenges before us, in solidarity,” the UN chief said, thanking Shahid for his “strong stewardship”.

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