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Former Cameroonian Prime Minister Elected President of the 79th Session of the UN General Assembly

Philemon Yang
Philemon Yang

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday elected former Cameroonian Prime Minister Philemon Yang as president of the 79th UNGA session.

Yang will succeed Denis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago, president of the 78th UNGA session, when the 79th UNGA session opens on Sept. 10 at the UN headquarters in New York.

“Beyond our differences and our diversity, we should act together to promote peace, ensure that there’s no war, preventing disasters in a spirit of unity,” Yang said after being elected.

“Let’s act for sustainable development, shared prosperity, harmony with nature, an environment where abundant resources could be and should be consumed with moderation and wisdom, taking into account corrective and transitional measures to ensure that the current and future generations could continue benefiting from that, promoting human dignity everywhere and for all in all of our countries, working for greater freedom,” he added.

The president-elect called on the international community to “strengthen multilateralism,” stressing that it is the foundation of the principles and the Charter of the United Nations.

“Throughout my term of office, I commit myself to following in this spirit, abiding by the oaths I took, making myself fully available to all member states and other partners,” said Yang.

Yang, born in June 1947, served as Cameroonian prime minister from 2009 to 2019, and since 2020, he has been serving as the Grand Chancellor of National Orders at the Presidency of the Republic.

He served as Cameroon’s high commissioner to Canada between 1984 and 2004, and has held the position of Chairperson of the Panel of Eminent Africans of the African Union since February 2020.

Following Uganda (2014) and Nigeria (2019), Cameroon becomes the 13th African country to have a representative appointed as president of the UN General Assembly.

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