The General Assembly, acting by acclamation today, elected Tijjani Muhammad Bande (Nigeria) today as President of its seventy-fourth session, as well as 20 Vice-Presidents.
Mr. Bande, a professor and diplomat who has been Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations since 2017, also served as a Vice-President of the Assembly’s seventy-first session.
In accordance with tradition, the Assembly President’s election follows the system of geographical rotation whereby regional groups — the African Group in the present case — put forward one or more candidates every year.
Mr. Bande, taking the podium after his election, pledged to make the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other existing mandates a priority of his presidency. “If we are to achieve the vision of our founding fathers, we must ensure that indifference and cynicism does not creep into our Organization,” he said, adding that: “We have to assume collective responsibility to make the world better, safer and more peaceful.” Pointing out that the United Nations will mark its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2020, he declared: “This presents a unique opportunity for us to reduce the trust deficit between nations, as we all share the same aspirations and we have no choice but to work together.”
Noting that, during the Assembly’s seventy-fourth session the United Nations will host a range of high-level summits on such issues as climate change, universal health coverage, financing for development and the health of the planet’s oceans, he called on the Assembly to play its role in bridging gaps and promoting collective action on issues requiring international attention. Among other things, he pledged to explore his Office’s robust convening potential, use its advocacy tools to promote multilateral approaches and feasible solutions, and work with Member States to streamline and improve the way business is done at the United Nations.
Outgoing Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (Ecuador), congratulating Mr. Bande on his election, said his various skills and experiences will serve the Assembly well at a time of great challenges for multilateralism. Recalling that he served as Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria’s Usman Danfodio University, Director-General of the country’s National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, she expressed confidence that Mr. Bande will bring the strong and creative leadership that the Organization requires as it works to become more relevant at a time of rapid global change.
Secretary-General António Guterres, also welcoming Mr. Bande’s election, agreed that Mr. Bande brings many crucial skills and insights to the Assembly’s helm. As a diplomat and an African, he said, the new President brings a special knowledge of the situations on the continent — including those in the Sahel region and the Lake Chad Basin — as well as broader issues of peace, security and human rights.
Also congratulating Mr. Bande on behalf of regional groups were representatives of South Sudan (African States), Tuvalu (Asia-Pacific States), Russian Federation (Eastern European States), Dominican Republic (Latin American and Caribbean States), Turkey (Western European and Other States) and the United States (as host country).
Per tradition, the Secretary-General then drew lots to determine which delegation would occupy the first seat in the General Assembly Hall during the seventy-fourth session. Ghana was selected for the first seat, to be followed in English alphabetical order by all the other countries, including in the Assembly’s Main Committees.
The Assembly also elected, by acclamation, the following 15 Vice-Presidents of its plenary bureau: Argentina, Cabo Verde, Congo, Croatia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Malta, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe. One seat from the Latin American and Caribbean States Group remained to be filled. Also joining the newly elected members as Vice-Presidents are the five permanent members of the Security Council — China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.
In consecutive meetings of its six Main Committees, the Assembly then elected members of their respective bureaux, all by acclamation. The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) elected Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia) as Chair; Amal Mudallali (Lebanon) and Peter Horne (Australia) as Vice-Chairs; and Szilvia Balázs (Hungary) as Rapporteur. The election to fill one Vice-Chair position from among the Group of African States was postponed pending the nomination of a candidate from that region.
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) elected Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom (Iraq) as Chair; and Ahmadou Ahidjo (Cameroon), Peter Pindjál (Slovakia) and Andrea Bacher (Austria) as Vice-Chairs. The election of Rapporteur of the Fourth Committee will be held at a later date.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) elected Cheikh Niang (Senegal) as Chair; Ahmad Saif al-Kuwari (Qatar), Yuliana Zhivkova Angelova (Bulgaria) and Anat Fisher-Tsin (Israel) as Vice-Chairs; and David Mulet (Guatemala) as Rapporteur.
The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) elected Christian Braun (Luxembourg) as Chair; Ihor Yaremenko (Ukraine) and María Emilia Eyheralde Geymonat (Uruguay) as Vice-Chairs; and Firas Hassan Jabbara-Khaqani (Iraq) as Rapporteur. Election of a third Vice-Chair, to be nominated by the Group of African States, was postponed to a later date.
The Sixth Committee (Legal) elected Michal Mlnár (Slovakia) as Chair; Amadou Jaiteh (Gambia), Pablo Arrocha (Mexico) and Cecilia Anderberg (Sweden) as Vice‑Chairs; and Mohamed Hamad S. J. al-Thani (Qatar) as Rapporteur.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) will hold its elections at a later date to be announced.
The Assembly will reconvene at 3 p.m. to consider various protracted conflicts and their implications for international peace, security and development.