UNGA Elects Sam Kutesa of Uganda as 69th UNGA President

UNGA11 June 2014: The UN General Assembly elected Sam Kahamba Kutesa of Uganda as President of its 69th session. Remarking on his election, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and current UNGA President John Ashe underscored the 69th session as a critical time for the UN in elaborating the post-2015 development agenda.

Kutesa, who is currently Uganda's Minister for Foreign Affairs, proposed as the theme of the 69th session: ‘Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda.' He said this underscores the need to agree on the post-2015 agenda and also ensure its implementation. He emphasized the need “to address the means of implementation, in terms of financial resources, technology development, transfer and capacity-building,” including a strengthened global partnership. Kutesa also expressed commitment to reaching a global agreement on climate change, and advancing gender equality and women's empowerment.

Ashe said his successor has the “mammoth task” of guiding the post-2015 development process throughout the 69th session, to ensure that Member States are positioned to adopt a post-2015 framework at the start of the 70th session. Ashe reaffirmed his commitment to continue ‘setting the stage' for the new agenda over the next three months.

Ban said the role of the 69th Assembly President will be "especially important during the Assembly's upcoming session, when many critical streams of work will converge and reach moments of truth.” Ban highlighted key actions that UNGA 69 will address, including: accelerating achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); agreeing on a concise set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and mobilizing ambition for a new climate change agreement. He added that it will be a period of “great consequence for the well-being and shared fate of people and the planet,” and urged cooperation.

In press briefings, Ban spokesperson addressed questions on Kutesa's election in relation to Uganda's anti-homosexuality laws. He stressed that the UNGA President is selected by Member States, while Ban's position is that LGBT people should enjoy the same human rights and protection of the rule of law as all other people.

Kutesa was elected by acclamation following his nomination by the UN's Group of African States. [UN Meeting Summary] [UN Press Release] [UNGA President Statement] [UN Secretary-General Remarks] [Daily Briefing, 11 June] [Daily Briefing, 10 June]