From Fiji to the General Assembly

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Photo: General Assembly, UNHQ, New York

13 September 2016 — Opening of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The United Nations General Assembly has elected Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji to serve as President of its seventy-first session, which runs from September 2016 to September 2017. Ambassador Thomson previously took office in New York as Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in February 2010 and served concurrently as Fiji’s Ambassador to Cuba, until Thomson assumed his duties as President of the UN General Assembly’s seventy-first session.

He was born in Suva, Fiji in 1948 and was educated at Suva Grammar School and Natabua High School in Fiji. In 1966-1967, he attended the International Centre at Sevenoaks School in the United Kingdom. A graduate in political studies from Auckland University, New Zealand and development studies from Cambridge University, United Kingdom, Ambassador Thomson has had a lifelong involvement in the field of development.

Photo: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) and Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji, President-designate of the General Assembly’s 71st session (March 2010). UN Photo/Evan Schneider

He is a published author; one of his books, Kava in the Blood, won of a Montana Book Award for non-fiction. In 2014, he was made an Officer of the Order of Fiji, an award bestowed by the President of Fiji recognising contributions and achievements by Fijians to the nation. 

To conclude his acceptance speech, Mr. Peter Thomson said, “I pledge to serve the General Assembly of the United Nations at all times in a spirit of fidelity and commitment to the common good, always in accord with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

On 13 September, the closing of the seventieth session of the General Assembly will take place, followed by the first plenary session of the seventy-first session. Immediately after the session, the President of the 71st session of the General Assembly, Mr. Peter Thomson, will hold a media stakeout outside the General Assembly.