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UNGA President-elect Abdulla Shahid appoints India’s Deputy PR Amb Naidu as Chef de Cabinet

President-elect of the 76th session of the UN General AssemblyThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, serving as the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN Malpian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has appointed India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu as his Chef de Cabinet.

Shahid was overwhelmingly elected on June 7 as President of the next session of the UN General Assembly that will commence in September.

He garnered 143 votes out of the 191 ballots cast in the 193-member General Assembly, winning against former Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Dr Zalmai Rassoul, who got 48 votes.

“Today, I have appointed Ambassador Thilmeeza Hussain as Special Envoy of the PGA, and Ambassador Nagaraj Naidu Kumar as my Chef de Cabinet. They will be instrumental in delivering my vision for the #PresidencyOfHope,” Shahid tweeted.

Hussain is the Permanent Representative of the Malpes to the United Nations and Ambassador to the United States.

Naidu described his appointment as the PGA-elect’s Chef de Cabinet as a “privilege” and said he looks forward to a “presidency of hope”, which Shahid has set as a cornerstone of his upcoming year-long tenure at the world organisation.

“The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Comprising all 193 Member States of the UN, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of international issues including peace and security,” Naidu said.

“Thank you Mr President, for sharing your insights and your experiences with me. We are both committed to a smooth and seamless transition to #UNGA76″

— K Nagaraj Naidu tweeted

“It is indeed a privilege and an opportunity to serve under the leadership of President-elect Abdulla Shahid. We are looking forward to a Presidency of hope,” Naidu said.

Shahid, accompanied by Naidu, met current General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir on Wednesday to thank him for his support during the election and discuss the next steps.

“Thank you Mr President, for sharing your insights and your experiences with me. We are both committed to a smooth and seamless transition to #UNGA76,” he tweeted.

Bozkir tweeted that he was “very pleased” to meet Shahid.

“We spoke about the importance of strengthening the Office of the President of the General Assembly and I reassured him of my full support to ensure a successful transition.”

Shahid has said his “immediate priority” will be recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and working to ensure “vaccine equity” to restore hope from a year characterised by “disease, despair and devastation.”

The President of the General Assembly is elected every year by a secret ballot and requires a simple majority vote of the General Assembly. India had already voiced its strong support for Shahid’s candidacy, saying he was best equipped to preside over the General Assembly of 193 nations of the world.

Congratulating Shahid after his election victory, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had tweeted that “this is a testimony as much to his own stature as to the standing of the Malpes. We look forward to working with him to strengthen multilateralism and its much-needed reforms.”

India, currently serving the 2021-22 term as a non-permanent member of the powerful UN Security Council, will assume the Presidency of the 15-nation UN organ in August.

According to the established rules of regional rotation, the President of the 76th session of the General Assembly was to be elected from the Group of Asia-Pacific States.

The Presidency of the General Assembly rotates among the five regional groups – the Group of Asian States, the Group of Eastern European States, the Group of Latin American and the Caribbean States, the Group of African States, the Western European and other States Group. Turkish diplomat Bozkir is UNGA President for the 75th session that came amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.