Dennis Francis Elected 78th UNGA President

Dennis Francis Elected 78th UNGA President

Ambassador Dennis Francis, a distinguished diplomat from Trinidad and Tobago, has been appointed as the President of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). With an impressive career spanning nearly 40 years, Ambassador Dennis Francis will assume leadership of the UN’s principal policymaking body, commencing his term in September. His appointment was unanimously supported and celebrated during a ceremony held at the iconic General Assembly Hall at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Promoting Meaningful Dialogue

  • As the newly appointed President of the 78th session of the UNGA, Ambassador Dennis Francis recognizes the crucial role of the General Assembly, which comprises all 193 UN Member States with equal voting rights.
  • Among its responsibilities are the appointment of the Secretary-General, based on the Security Council’s recommendation, and the approval of the UN’s annual budget.
  • Ambassador Francis has expressed his commitment to fostering meaningful dialogue and collaboration during his tenure.
  • He aims to create an atmosphere of conciliation, cooperation, and shared dedication in addressing the diverse challenges and opportunities before the General Assembly.
  • By exploring innovative approaches and seeking probable solutions, he intends to advance the pursuit of peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability.
  • Acknowledging the significant role of education in his personal and professional journey, Ambassador Francis emphasized the importance of ensuring inclusive access to education for all individuals, aligning with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs aim to eradicate extreme poverty and other forms of deprivation by 2030.
  • Ambassador Dennis Francis’s presidency offers a platform for promoting global cooperation, fostering dialogue, and advancing the UN’s goals for the betterment of humanity.

Rebuilding Trust

  • The current President of the UNGA, Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary, commended Ambassador Dennis Francis as his successor, highlighting his extensive knowledge and experience in the field.
  • Mr. Kőrösi acknowledged Mr. Francis’s vision for the 78th session, which focuses on “Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability.”
  • This comprehensive approach aligns with the UNGA’s efforts to rebuild trust, address climate change, and revitalize the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • With 100 days remaining in his term, Mr. Kőrösi expressed his commitment to promoting the use of science for achieving sustainability objectives. He emphasized the importance of scientific input and preparations for the SDG Summit, which will take place during the High-Level Week of the General Assembly in September.
  • By emphasizing the role of science, Mr. Kőrösi aims to contribute to the advancement of sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs.
  • The collaboration and transition between the current President and the incoming President reflect the shared commitment of the General Assembly to address global challenges, promote sustainable development, and foster international cooperation.

Critical Perspective

  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres acknowledged the significant challenges facing the international community during Ambassador Dennis Francis’s tenure as President of the UNGA.
  • He highlighted the presence of conflicts, climate change impacts, and growing poverty, hunger, and inequality, all while the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are becoming more difficult to achieve.
  • Secretary-General Guterres noted that Mr. Francis’s perspective as a representative of Trinidad and Tobago is particularly valuable, given the unique challenges faced by small island developing States. Issues such as climate change and an inequitable global financial system disproportionately affect these countries.
  • The Secretary-General expressed his confidence in the President-elect’s ability to address these critical issues and carry forward the theme of his presidency, focusing on “Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability.” He emphasized the importance of unity and global cooperation in the face of the current difficulties.
  • The remarks by the Secretary-General highlight the urgency and importance of addressing global challenges, promoting sustainable development, and strengthening international cooperation under the leadership of the incoming President of the General Assembly.

A Distinguished Career

  • Mr. Dennis Francis, the newly elected President of the 78th session of the UNGA, brings a wealth of diplomatic experience to his role. He currently serves as the Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the UN.
  • With a diplomatic career spanning nearly four decades, he held the rank of Ambassador for an impressive 18 consecutive years, making him the country’s longest-serving Ambassador.
  • Prior to his current position, Mr. Francis held the significant role of Director of Multilateral Relations, where he provided senior-level advice to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on various multilateral issues. This included crucial matters such as climate change and the negotiations for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which encompasses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Mr. Francis’s extensive experience in multilateral affairs, including his involvement in climate change discussions and the formulation of the SDGs, positions him well to address pressing global challenges and promote sustainable development during his tenure as President of the UN General Assembly.


Who was the first Indian to be President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)?

The first Indian to serve as the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit. She held the position during the 8th session of the General Assembly from 1953 to 1954. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was a prominent Indian politician, diplomat, and the sister of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Her tenure as the President of the UNGA marked an important milestone in India’s diplomatic history.

Who is the current secretary general of the UN?

The current Secretary-General of the United Nations is António Guterres. He assumed office on January 1, 2017, serving as the ninth Secretary-General of the UN.


  • Shubham Mittal

    Shubham Mittal is a renowned current affairs writer and expert in government exam preparation, inspiring readers with insightful articles and guiding aspirants with his expertise.

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