17th September 07:18 PM
Thomson the first Fijian to assume the Presidency of UN General Assembly
By Swastika Singh
Tuesday 20/09/2016
Peter Thomson (left) with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Fiji's former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson has assumed his new role as President of the United Nations 71st General Assembly.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama who hosted a reception to farewell Thomson says it is a proud moment for Fiji as we honour the first Fijian to assume the Presidency of the UN General Assembly.

He says never before has a Pacific Island country attained such a lofty position in the UN system.

Bainimarama says speaking with one voice, we get the world to pay attention to the great challenges that face us all which includes climate change, sustainable development, the health of our oceans and the position of our women.

He says all those issues deserve a greater place on the global agenda.

Bainimarama says as Fiji assumes the Presidency of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, we have never been in a better position to put our collective agenda forward.

He says we had to convince the nations of the world that we are worthy and we had to patiently secure the votes of 192 other nations in a campaign over many months to win their confidence.

Bainimarama says he also knows that Peter Thomson will be the first to say that this was a team effort – Team Fiji coming together to get our man across the line.

Bainimarama says he will never forget being in Port Moresby the week before the vote and being told that Fiji may not make it.

He says he realised that there were some very important potential votes all around him in the form of his fellow leaders at the EU-ACP summit and he systematically set out to lobby them by turning on the famous Bainimarama charm.

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