Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid was elected as the President of 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Monday. Shahid won with an overwhelming majority of three-fourths. He got 143 in favour, 48 against and no abstentions and no invalid votes.
This is a post held on an annual basis. It is rotated amongst various regional groupings. The 76th session (2021-22) will be the turn of the Asia-Pacific group. For the first time, Maldives will be occupying the office of the President of the UNGA.
Earlier, in 2018, Maldives had announced Shahid’s candidature. At that time, no other candidate was in the fray. Maldives’ Shahid has the vast diplomatic experience and strong credentials, especially in the multilateral fora.
But in mid-January 2021, Afghanistan’s foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul had entered the fray.
Moreover, Afghanistan has held this post during the 21st UNGA session in 1966-67. This is for the first time for Maldives though.