23 February 2018: UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Miroslav Lajcak launched a webpage on the process leading to the election of the next President. For the first time, the UNGA will hold informal interactive dialogues with candidates for the position of UNGA President, in order to increase the transparency and inclusivity of the process.
In UNGA Resolution 71/323 on ‘Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly’ of September 2017, the UNGA decided to, for the presidency of the 73rd UNGA session: conduct informal interactive dialogues with candidates for the position of UNGA President; call upon candidates to present their vision statements; and invite UN Member States to consider presenting women as candidates to promote and ensure gender balance throughout the UN system. Per the principle of geographical rotation, the President of UNGA 73 is to be elected from the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC).
The webpage on the ‘Election of the Next President of the General Assembly,’ launched on 23 February 2018, includes information on the election process and candidates, including their vision statements for the presidency. The webpage provides the vision statements of two candidates: Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake, Permanent Representative of Honduras, and María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador.
Flores Flake indicates she will focus on the theme ‘Time for global actions to consolidate transgenerational peace and security: building bridges to connect a UN Agenda in benefit of children.’ She says her priorities will include: sharing and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; peace and international cooperation; supporting the work of UN Member States and UN Secretary-General in the ongoing process of UN reforms; and “attending to children, Millennials and Sustainable Development Generation (SDGeneration)” such as through the organization of a High Level Event on Children and the SDGs.
Espinosa Garcés reports that she will consider ‘Dialogue and strengthening of multilateralism as a catalyst for the well-being of all persons and a sustainable planet’ as a theme. She notes that she will focus on, inter alia: bringing the UN closer to the people; facilitating “quick and effective responses” of the UNGA to emergency situations; calling for high-level meetings on issues that are important to the international community, with special attention to persons in situation of greater vulnerability; and continuing to improve synergies in the UN System in support of social and sustainable development, human rights, humanitarian aid, disarmament, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and financing for the effective work of the UN.
In letters of 12 January and 22 February 2018, respectively, Lajcak announced that the interactive dialogues with the candidates are scheduled for early May 2018, and the election of the UNGA 73 President will take place on 5 June 2018. [UNGA 73 Election Webpage] [UNGA Resolution 71/323] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Election Process]
References: International Institute for Sustainable Development. 2018. Retrieved from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/candidates-provide-vision-statements-for-unga-73-presidency/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2018-02-27%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE&utm_content=2018-02-27%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE+CID_819bf7c2cba6911ea4f0a8264bd3cdfd&utm_source=cm&utm_term=Candidates%20Provide%20Vision%20Statements%20for%20UNGA%2073%20Presidency