Slovakia's Minister for Foerign Affairs Miroslav Lajcak of Slovakia speaks to the press upon his arrival at the European Council for the Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels on July 17, 2017. (AURORE BELOT / AFP)
UNITED NATIONS - Miroslav Lajcak, a Slovak diplomat, was sworn in on Monday as new president of the UN General Assembly at the close of the current session of the United Nations' decision-making.
Lajcak took over the baton from Peter Thomson of Fiji, who chaired the 71st session of the General Assembly.
In a speech at the closing session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres thanked Thomson for his work.
"Thank you for your vision. Thank you for your energy. Thank you for your unmistakable assertive voice that may have given some of us flashbacks to our grammar school principals! " said Guterres of the charismatic politician. "But most of all thank you for helping to steer the member states to a solid record of achievement over the past year."
"Day in and day out, you brought us together. That spirit of unity has particular meaning today, the 16th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and other targets (in the United States)," said Guterres.
He described the 71st session productive under Thomson's leadership.
Guterres expressed his willingness to work with Lajcak to build on the 71st session and make the new session a great success.
The 72nd session of the UN General Assembly will be officially launched on Tuesday.
Lajcak, born in March 1963, is the current foreign minister of Slovakia. He was a candidate for the 2016 UN secretary-general selection.