Philemon Yang of Cameroon elected as President of the upcoming session of the General Assembly – Global Issues

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President-elect Yang also chaired the African Union’s Panel of Eminent Africans, demonstrating “unwavering commitment” to the principles of peace, sustainable development and human dignity, said General Assembly President Dennis Francis.

His steadfast leadership is also characterized by a consistent commitment to dialogue, collaboration and inclusivity – principles absolutely essential to guiding the work of the General Assembly.”

As the world faces multiple, complex challenges, Mr. Francis emphasized the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation.

He urged all member states to work together – and work harder – to ensure no one is left behind.

“With His Excellency Philemon Yang at the helm, I am confident that the General Assembly will seize the opportunity to meet this challenge with courage and compassion,” he added.

Theme for 79th session

During an informal dialogue with Assembly members in May, then-candidate Yang emphasized his theme for the 79th session as “unity in diversity, for the promotion of peace, sustainable development and human dignity for everyone everywhere”.

In his speech to journalists after the election, he reiterated that diversity “is part of life.”

“I am convinced that through dialogue, through consensus, through talking together and looking to the future together, we we can solve problems,” he said.

The 79th session of the General Assembly will do that convene on September 10, after which the body’s general high-level debate will begin on September 24, 2024.

Secretary-General António Guterres (center) congratulates Philemon Yang of Cameroon, President-elect of the 79th session of the UN General Assembly.

United Nations

Secretary-General António Guterres (center) congratulates Philemon Yang of Cameroon, President-elect of the 79th session of the UN General Assembly.

A challenging time: Guterres

Congratulations to the newly elected President, the UN Secretary General António Guterres noted the challenges facing the global community.

“Conflicts continue to rage. The climate catastrophe is increasing. Poverty and inequality are widespread. Distrust and division drive people apart. The Sustainable Development Goals are dramatically off course. And developing countries are left without the support they need to invest in their people.”

Mr Guterres urged everyone not to lose sight of the collective goal of a more peaceful and sustainable world.

He acknowledged the leadership of Assembly President Francis, adding that newly elected President Yang, like him, will also play an important role.

He brings a vital voice to this room. He has a wealth of experience in representing his country as a diplomat and civil servant… He is also a proud African committed to the future of his continent,” said Mr Guterres, adding that he looks forward to working with Mr Yang.

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