14 Jun 2016

Thomson's election "momentous" for Pacific

6:21 pm on 14 June 2016

The Pacific Community says the election of Fiji's Peter Thomson to the UN General Assembly presidency is momentous for the Pacific.

Mr Thomson who has served as Fiji's permanent UN representative since 2010 was elected by 94 votes to 90 on Tuesday.

The Pacific Community's Director-General Colin Tukuitonga says the SPC is proud and delighted by Mr Thomson's election which reflects the international community's confidence in him.

Dr Tukuitonga says his election acknowledges the contribution of the Small Island Developing States group of countries to the UN.

Mr Thomson begins his one-year term in September and it will involve overseeing the process of searching for a new UN secretary-general.

Peter Thomson, president elect of the UN General Assembly

Peter Thomson, president elect of the UN General Assembly Photo: Supplied

Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama says Mr Thomson's election has given Fiji and the other island nations a new and stronger voice in New York.

"Mr Thomson's selection provides us with a unique platform to highlight those issues of critical concern to Fiji and the vulnerable economies, such as building our resilience to climate change and ensuring the sustainable development of our natural resources on land and at sea," he said.

"It is a measure of Fiji's standing in the world that the majority of nations supported our candidacy."

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Mr Thomson brought a broad perspective to his new post, having years of experience in the international arena.

"I am confident that he will seek the views of others to forge consensus.," he said.

"In addition to his staunch commitment to development, the new President-elect brings the very valuable perspective of a small island developing State to this post. He is a staunch advocate of both sustainable

development and climate action. I count on him to help us carry out both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change," said Mr Ban.