The UNGA presidency — A Maldivian first

Presidency was won with a three-fourth majority of votes secured in Shahid's favour.

@abdulla_shahid / Twitter

@abdulla_shahid / Twitter

On 7 June 20201, Abdulla Shahid, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, was appointed the President of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). His decades long work in diplomacy and his continuous, and consistent, representation of the country at every world stage has clearly earned him recognition. Minister Shahid won the election with 143 votes against 48 for the Afghan nominee and secured the position as the President.

The basic duties of the President of the UNGA is to chair, and be the presiding officer of the UNGA. Shahid will also be tasked with organising special meetings of the UNGA, meetings that have the potential of changing the world, so to speak. 

While this is not a salaried position, the Maldivian people may also find it a relief to know that Shahid remains the Foreign Minister during his one year tenure. While his duties will now be two-fold, he is set to be mostly stationed in the Maldives — the government yet to receive further scheduling from the UN. 

Having become only the sixth President from a Small Island Developing State, Shahid has done more than secure a notable position. This is the first time in 55 years of its UN membership that the Maldives has contested for the position, and it goes a long way in illustrating how strong the nation’s diplomatic ties are with the rest of the world. The amount of work done to lobby and  to gather strength in connections, also indicates to an extent that the world has placed aspirations on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s nominee for the UN GA Presidency, as well as for his government and manifesto. This could prove a strong step in boosting the name and brand of the Maldives across the globe and elevate the nation's reputation as a safe and secure sovereign destination with  the added possibility of ushering in future economic investments. 

The Maldive Financial Review congratulates Abdulla Shahid, the President-elect of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, and extends the publications best wishes for his #PresidencyOfHope. 

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