Lajcak Nominated for Post of President of UN General Assembly

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Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 30 (TASR) – Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak is probably on track to become the president of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, TASR learnt on Wednesday.

Lajcak announced his nomination for the UN post after the Government session on the same day.

Slovakia has submitted the only candidate within the UN Eastern European Regional Group (EERG), to which the post will belong as of September 2017 under the principle of regional rotation. The EERG confirmed Lajcak’s nomination in the small hours of Wednesday, and a definitive vote in the UN General Assembly is scheduled for June 2017.

“The Slovak Republic expressed interest in the post in 2003. Back then we submitted an official application, and to this day we’ve remained the only country registered for the position,” said Lajcak, adding that there is no competition for this post.

It falls under the remit of the foreign affairs minister to decide who should take up the presidency on behalf of Slovakia. “I consulted this with the prime minister [Robert Fico] and president [Andrej Kiska]. Both asked me to assume this position for the duration of one year – from September 2017 until the beginning of September 2018,” said the chief of Slovak diplomacy.

Lajcak won’t resign from the Government and plans to serve both as the president of the UN General Assembly and as foreign affairs minister simultaneously. “I think that this will mean a lot of work because carrying out the job and serving as foreign affairs minister at the same time will be challenging, of course. I’ll try to do my best, though,” he said.

Lajcak’s responsibility at the UN will be to represent 193 member states. “The president chairs General Assembly sessions, gives the floor to heads of state and, of course, represents member states,” he said, adding that the president represents the UN General Assembly vis-a-vis other UN bodies and the international community and serves as a neutral mediator between 193 members with an eye towards ensuring that the General Assembly functions efficiently.

Recently, Lajcak ran for the post of UN secretary-general, but this job ultimately went to former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres.

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