Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Election of Sam Kutesa as President of the United Nations General Assembly

Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
New York, NY
June 11, 2014


It is fitting that it is Africa’s turn to nominate a President for the upcoming 69th General Assembly session in a year in which the Assembly will make important decisions on such critical issues to the region -- and the world -- as crafting a transformative new development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.

The Africa Group nominated Ugandan Foreign Minister Mr. Sam Kutesa as its candidate in May 2013, and today the General Assembly elected Mr. Kutesa to take up the presidency when the 69th General Assembly gets underway in September.

The UN Charter places respect for human rights and dignity at its core, and it is the job of the General Assembly -- and its President -- to uphold these principles. At a time when girls are attacked by radical extremists for asserting their right to an education; representatives of civil society are harassed and even imprisoned for their work; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are endangered for who they are, including by discriminatory laws, the work of the United Nations to advance equality, justice, and dignity for all could not be more urgent. In the face of these challenges, all of us working in and at the United Nations should recommit to vigorously defending these core principles.


PRN: 2014/132