Browne confident as UN General Assembly campaign intensifies

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne. File photo/Roger Jacob

FOREIGN and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne remains confident that TT will be elected to the presidency of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) when the next session convenes at UN headquarters in New York in September.

On Tuesday, Browne gave an update on TT’s campaign for the UNGA presidency, as it draws to an end later this month.

TT’s Permanent Mission to the UN is continuing to engage in comprehensive meetings and discussions with all regional groupings across the UN system. These engagements are on target to be completed well before the end of this month.”

Browne said TT already has the written endorsement of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States for its bid for the presidency.

“Our team also continues to engage in direct interactions with individual member states and subgroups and other bodies (such as AOSIS and the G77) and the process is proceeding in an exemplary manner.”

The G77 is a loose alliance of developing countries established on June 15, 1964. Its members include Argentina, Barbados, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Algeria and Brazil.

Established in 1990, AOSIS is the Alliance of Small Island States. Among its members are Grenada, Dominica, Belize and Cuba.

Browne said the campaign will end with a closing reception for diplomats in New York on May 31.

The UNGA election takes place on June 1.

TT began its campaign for the UNGA presidency at UN headquarters in New York with a reception that treated diplomats to this country’s most popular street food, doubles.

Browne said, “This campaign has been efficient and well-managed.”

He was confident that Ambassador to the UN Dennis Francis, TT’s candidate for the UNGA presidency, will be elected.

Browne has reportedly been keeping the Prime Minister and the rest of the Cabinet regularly updated on the campaign. He has also been speaking with other foreign ministers, ambassadors and honorary consuls across the UN’s membership to get support for it.

“This is the first time that our small nation would hold this most prominent position, and this can and should be a matter of national pride for all right-thinking citizens of the Republic of TT.”

The UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the UN.

Its responsibilities include setting the UN’s budget, appointing non-permanent members to the UN Security Council and appointing the UN secretary-general.

It is the only UN organ where all member states have equal representation.

Its president is the chair and presiding officer of the assembly, presiding over all regular, special and emergency meetings of the assembly during a particular session.

The presidency rotates annually between five geographic groups – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean and Western European and other states.

Owing to their powerful global stature, countries such as China, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US have never held the presidency.

These countries are all members of the UN Security Council. Under UN convention, it is customary that none of them presides over the general assembly.

Caricom countries have held the General Assembly presidency on two occasions to date. Those were Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda, in 1993 and 2014 respectively.