This morning, the General Assembly met to elect the President and Vice Presidents for the upcoming 65th session of the General Assembly, scheduled to begin on 14 September, 2010, and to select the Chairs and Rapporteurs for the Main Committees. His Excellency Mr. Joseph Deiss, of Switzerland, was elected to serve as President of the General Assembly.
The Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations was also honored this year, with two positions of leadership in the upcoming Session. His Excellency Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations, will serve as one of the Vice Presidents of the 65th General Assembly. In addition, Afghanistan’s Fourth Committee Delegate was also selected by the General Assembly to serve as Rapporteur for the Fourth Committee and as a member of the Bureau of the Committee.
This is the second time in three years that Ambassador Zahir Tanin has served as Vice President to the General Assembly – Afghanistan was also elected Vice President during the 63rd Session. In addition, this is the second consecutive year that Ambassador Tanin has served as Chair of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform, first appointed during the 63rd General Assembly, and then reappointed in the current session as a result of the trust the membership showed in his impartiality and leadership. That process is now moving into more concrete negotiations on the basis of a widely-acclaimed negotiation text, under Ambassador Tanin’s guidance.
Afghanistan was among the founding members of the United Nations, joining officially in 1946. In the 1960s, Abdul Rahman Pazhwak served as President of the 21st session of the General Assembly, the only Afghan to hold that post. Since then, and as a result of the decades of conflict and violence that rocked the country, Afghanistan’s presence at the UN has waned. However, recently, Afghanistan has begun to reclaim an important role in world affairs, a role that is certainly in evidence today at the United Nations.