Abdulla Shahid of Maldives assumes office as the 76th UNGA President

Volkan Bozkir (right), President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, hands the gavel over to Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly | Photo: UN/Evan Schneider

United Nations – The Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid was sworn in as the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) early Wednesday during the closing of the 75th session.

Newly sworn in General Assembly President, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, then opened the new 76th session, noting that his country’s flag is “flying at the highest peak today”.

A Presidency of Hope: 76th UNGA President Abdulla Shahid | Video: United Nations

Newly sworn in UNGA President opened the 76th session stating that the Maldives flag is flying at the highest peak at the historic moment. Shaud is the first candidate to hold the UNGA president from the Maldives and the sixth from a Small Island Developing State (SIDS).

In his address, Shahid who ran on the platform of “Presidency of hope” spoke of the near-universal collective anxiety and hopelessness, not all of which is pandemic-related, and stated the narrative must change, and that the General Assembly must play a part in this.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres congratulated the new UNGA President and said that coming from the Maldives, Shahid brings a fresh perspective on the unique experience of small island States.

The UN Chief also said that he looks forward to working closely together during this extraordinary moment in time, so we can live up to the great promise and potential of the United Nations.