Minister Shahid wins Presidency of 76th UN General Assembly by a landslide

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, Abdullah Shahid | Photo: Ahmed Awshan Ilyas

New York, USA – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid has won the Presidency of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly with 143 votes.

Minister Shahid won the election after competing against Zalmai Rassoul, Afghanistan’s former foreign minister and current permanent representative to the UN who got only 48 votes in todays election.

While Minister Shahid won against the Afghan candidate, he is also the first Maldivian who will be the President of the UN General Assembly.

Following the historical win, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has congratulated Minister Shahid stating that it was a great honor for the country and that Minister Shahid would make Maldives proud.

Minister Shahid announced his vision statement for the position on April 30, 2020, titled, “A President of Hope: Delivering for People, Planet and Prosperity.”

Minister Shahid stated that the decision was taken because of the country’s firm belief in multilateralism and in the United Nations as the ultimate forum for multilateral cooperation. 

The Maldives is a firm believer in the ability, and responsibility of each member of the international community to contribute to global peace, development, and prosperity, no matter its size. 

Abdulla Shahid, Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs

Minister Shahid noted that it is a key priority to ensure that it is an efficient and effective United Nations that responds to the needs and priorities of the membership and that although it is a moment of crisis, it is also an opportunity to restart and do better. 

In his Presidency, Minister Shahid stated that while the United Nations has a robust, wide ranging program of work, he will be paying attention to the following priority themes that he calls “Five Rays of Hope.”

  1. Recovery from Covid-19
  2. Rebuilding sustainably
  3. Responding to the needs of the planet
  4. Respecting the rights of all
  5. Revitalizing the United Nations

Minister Shahid also mentioned that his team will be gender balanced, multi-national with geographical diversity which includes the developed and undeveloped countries as well. 

The Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdullah Said is widely recognized as a well-seasoned diplomat and an exceptional politician with a career spanning over 35 years where he served with distinction in both Executive and Legislature. 

In addition to this, the Maldives has also declared candidacy for membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the term 2023-2025. The UNHRC elections will be held in the year 2022.