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Next UNGA President to Prioritize Post-2015 Development Agenda, Sustainable Development

UNGA14 June 2013: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has elected by acclaimation John W. Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) as President of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly. 

Following his election, Ashe announced that the 68th session of the UNGA would adopt the theme of 'Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!' Ashe said that three high-level events would convene to discuss: the contributions of women, youth, and civil society; human rights and the rule of law; and South-South and Triangular Cooperation. And three thematic debates will also take place, on the role of partnerships, ensuring stable and peaceful societies, and water, sanitation and sustainable energy in the development agenda. Ashe emphasized that “The post-2015 development agenda must represent the evolution in the thinking of the international community,” and “development in general and sustainable development in particular is the work of the General Assembly…it is our reason for being.”

Following Ashe's election, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remarked that Ashe "shares my passion for sustainable development — and my concern about the problem of climate change. He demonstrated his commitment by serving on the governing bodies of major UN environmental agreements. I am especially grateful for his service as Co-chair of the Bureau for the Preparatory Process of the Rio+20 Conference held one year ago." Ban noted that Ashe "is known as the go-to person when discussions break down. This happened in 2002 when he led negotiations on contentious issues at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and, more recently, when he co-chaired Rio+20 negotiations." [UN General Assembly News Release] [UN Secretary-General's remarks] [UN News Release]