53rd United Nations General Assembly Opens
NEW YORK, 10 September 1998: The Fifty third (53rd) Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was declared opened at around 3 o'clock on 9 September 1998 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The temporary President, H.E. Hennady Udovenko of Ukraine, presided over the earlier part of the Assembly's first plenary meeting of the 53rd UNGA. In a brief opening remark Mr. Udovenka invited the General Assembly to observe the International Day of Peace with a moment of meditation.
On a proposal by the temporary President, the General Assembly appointed nine (9) members of the Credentials Committee as follows: China; Fiji; Jamaica; Mali; New Zealand; Russia; the United States of America; Venezuela and Zimbabwe. The Committee will examine and report on credentials of representatives to the 53rd UNGA. The Assembly later proceeded to elect H.E. Didier Opertti of Uruguay by acclamation as the President for the 53rd UNGA.
The Assembly also elected on the opening day the Chairmanship of its six (6) Main Committees and are as folows: First Committee (Disarmament and International Security): H.E. Andre Mernier of Belgium; Second Committee (Economic and Financial): H.E. Ambassador Bager Asadi of Iran; Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural): H.E. Ambassador/Permanent Representative M. Ali Hachani of Tunisia; Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolinization): Mr. Pablo Macedo of Mexico; Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary): H.E. Ambassador/Permanent Representative Dr. Movses Abelian of Armenia; and Sixth Committee (Legal): H.E. Ambassador/Permanent Representative Jagalsaikhany Enkhasikhan of Mongolia. The chairmanships of the Main Committees were elected based on an equitable geographical distribution as well as on expertise and experiences. Twenty one Vice Presidents for the Assembly were also appointed.
While the opening of the 53rd UNGA is earlier than normal during this year, the General debate in the Plenary will begin on 21 September until 2 October 1998. The President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Jacob Nena, is set to address the Assembly on the morning of 24 September 1998, as the first speaker on the day's first session. President Nena will deliver a national statement on behalf of the FSM, and in his capacity as the current Chairman of the South Pacific Forum, will also take up important issues of regional concern in his address.
A reception to be hosted by FSM Ambassador and Permanent Representative Masao Nakayama in honor of President Nena's visit to New York on the occassion of the 53rd UNGA will be held in the evening of 21 September 1998 at the United Nations Plaza.