Following his election at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Lajèák outlined as the six priorities for his tenure: people; peace and prevention; migration; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action; and human rights, which would guide his work as an overarching principle.
“Indeed, it is a common goal to create a stronger United Nations able to meet the multitude of expectations placed upon it,” he underscored. “To that end, I will facilitate a constructive, informed and open interaction among Member States and with the Secretary-General.”
Mr. Lajèák called for greater trust between the UN and its Members, stressing that he would do “his utmost to support progress on the United Nations reform agenda, which is vital to improve the efficiency and role of the General Assembly, as well as reform the Security Council into a twenty-first-century body.”
“I've always believed strongly in multilateralism, with the United Nations at the very centre of it, and I want to use my mandate, when I take over from the current president, to strengthen the role of the United Nations. We live in difficult times, and therefore I believe we need the UN more than ever, and we need a strong and efficient United Nations,”
moreIn his remarks to the General Assembly, Secretary-General António Guterres offered his warm congratulations, saying: “Foreign Minister Lajèák has always demonstrated an impressive command of all aspects of UN action and a strong commitment to the principles that govern our work.”
The UN chief highlighted Mr. Lajèák's strong commitment to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate change, adding that his “enthusiastic leadership in relation to the Oceans Conference represent a legacy that will never be forgotten in the United Nations.”
Mr. Guterres also lauded current President, Peter Thomson, saying: “You have guided this Assembly outstandingly well during the transition from one Secretary-General to the next – and you have fully supported my efforts to sharpen our focus on prevention, achieve reform, and better serve the peoples of the world.”
For his part, General Assembly President Thomson offered congratulations, highlighting that his successor brings “a dedicated work ethic, an unwavering commitment to multilateralism, and a wealth of experience to the role,” skills, he added “that will serve him, and the United Nations, well over the coming session.”
Mr. Thomson commented that he had been struck by Mr. Lajèák's “commitment to forging a United Nations fit for the 21st Century, an Organization that serves the people, one that is based on ethics and transparency, and one that promotes human rights and the rule of law.”
Finally, he expressed his confidence “that under Minister Lajèák's leadership, the United Nations will be strongly positioned to advance our global efforts to sustain peace; promote human rights; and stay the course on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”
Having served as a three-term Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, along with the UN and European Union in a number of senior conflict prevention, resolution, and mediation role, Mr. Lajèák will assume the Presidency on 12 September.
Made up of all the 193 Member States of the UN, the General Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter. It meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year, and thereafter as required.
past Caribbean Presidents(Antigua and Barbuda)John W. Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda was elected President of the General Assembly’s sixty-eighth session on 14 June 2013 while serving in the dual capacity as his country’s Permanent Representative to both the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, positions he held since 2004. He died on 22 June 2016.
(Saint Lucia) Mr. Julian Robert Hunte, President of the fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, was Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia, a Senator and Member of Parliament, a Justice of the Peace and a business executive
(Guyana) Samuel Rudolph Insanally, was elected as President of the forty-eighth regular session of the General Assembly. He served as Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations 1987 - 1993. He had an extensive diplomatic career, spanning 27 years, during which time he has contributed to the increased participation of his country in various regional and international forums.