UNITED NATIONS, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Trinidad and Tobago's permanent representative to the United Nations, Dennis Francis, was elected the president of the upcoming 78th session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday.
Francis was elected by acclamation at a General Assembly plenary session, as his candidacy was not contended.
He will take up the new post in September 2023, to succeed current General Assembly President Csaba Korosi, a Hungarian diplomat.
"I commit to discharge the responsibilities of the office with transparency, accountability, vigor, and dedication, bearing in mind that all members have equal rights," Francis told the General Assembly after his election.
Francis said he will prioritize encouraging and facilitating meaningful dialogue in various formats in order to ensure that there is clarity of priorities and the strengthening of common purpose in the interests of coherence.
"It is my hope to bring forward, with your help and support, a renewed atmosphere of conciliation, cooperation and shared commitment in addressing the many challenges and seizing every opportunity, however nascent, before the General Assembly. I will seek to enhance current approaches and adopt new ones with probable solutions as we endeavor to deliver, or at least to strengthen, the basis for delivering peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability," he said.
Francis asked for the support and engagement of the member states in efforts to accelerate action toward the achievement of sustainable development.
Francis has had a career spanning 40 years in the diplomatic service of Trinidad and Tobago. He was the longest-serving ambassador of his country by 2016.
He became the permanent representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations in September 2021.
Between 2006 and 2011, Francis was ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, the World Health Organization and the Human Rights Council. During that period, he was also his country's permanent representative to the World Trade Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development, while serving concurrently as his country's non-resident ambassador to Austria and Italy, from 2007.
Francis holds a Bachelor's degree in geography from the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. He received a Master's degree in international affairs from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and also holds a post-graduate diploma in international relations from the University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. ■