Maldives’ Foreign Minister elected as UNGA President

Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, was elected as new President of UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Key Points

Abdulla Shahid won against Afghanistan’s former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul with three-fourth majority. He fetched 143 votes while Rassoul got 48 votes out of 191 votes polled. Maldives will occupy office of President of UNGA for the first time.

Election to UNGA President

Election to UNGA presidential post is held annually. It is rotated amongst various regional groupings. 76th UNGA session for 2021-22 was the turn of Asia-Pacific group.

Whom did India support?

Both Afghanistan and Maldives are having excellent relation with India. Even though, Afghanistan was first to announce participation, Maldives was first to declare its candidate’s name in December 2018. Afghanistan announced name of Zalmai Rassoul in January 2021. Thus, India had already extended its support to Maldives. India had announced its support for Abdulla during visit of Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla to Maldives in November 2020.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

UNGA is one among six principal organs of United Nations (UN). It serves as main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of UN. Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter empowers the organ and prescribes its composition, functions & procedures. UNGA is responsible for UN budget, and appointing non-permanent members to Security Council. It is the only UN organ where all member states have equal representation.

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