Lajčák takes over top UN post

The UN General Assembly president has several important tasks.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lajčák Foreign Affairs Minister Lajčák (Source: TASR)

The Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister, Miroslav Lajčák, officially assumed the post of the 72nd UN General Assembly president on September 12.

“The General Assembly president is the person who takes the helm of the body for one year,” Lajčák told the TASR newswire. “It’s the top post in the UN network in terms of protocol.”

He, among other things, sets the theme of the General Assembly, which in Lajčák’s case is “'Focusing on People – Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”.

The UN General Assembly president also opens the sessions and leads them. Some 170 documents that need to be discussed are adopted in a year. Lajčák views the UN General Assembly as the most representative body on the planet, as it is the only one to which 193 member states with equal votes belong.

“The UN is already working continuously today,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR. “I’ve inherited over 100 events. I’ll try to put my own accents and priorities on them, but my job, naturally, is to move the work forward.”

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The General Assembly president also represents member states in regular communication with the UN secretary-general and the chair of the Economic and Social Council. He also represents them in external relations, by participating in international events.

“The most visible peak, a top-level general discussion, will start in exactly a week, on September 19, and it will be attended by up to 100 heads of state, as well as prime ministers and foreign affairs ministers,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR.

Lajcak was elected to the post by representatives of the UN-member states on May 31, 2017. This is the first time that a Slovak representative has held such a senior post in the UN.

During his absence, his duties will be taken over by the State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ivan Korčok. The important financial, personal and political decisions, however, will still be made by Lajčák, the SITA newswire reported.

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