The New Secretary-General

On 17 December 1996, Mr. Kofi Annan of Ghana was sworn in by the President of the General Assembly as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations and he effectively assumed his new responsibilities on the 1st of January 1997.

The proceedings of the General Assembly meeting, during which Dr. Boutros-Ghali made his last statement as Secretary-General and Mr. Annan was elected, accurately reflected the mood and positions prevailing at the United Nations. The Assembly adopted an unprecedented resolution expressing appreciation for Dr. Boutros-Ghali, who received a lengthy farewell standing ovation from the delegates in the General Assembly. That was followed by an enthusiastic reception of the new Secretary-General.

For us, at the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine, it is a good opportunity to once more express our deep appreciation to Dr. Boutros-Ghali for the work done by him during his tenure and, at the same time, to warmly congratulate Mr. Annan and wish him all success in his new post in leading the organization.

We welcome Mr. Annan as a son of Africa, who was elected as a result of the success of the African states in maintaining their right to a second term to the post, and we also welcome him as the first Secretary-General to rise through the ranks of the Secretariat after more than thirty years of hard and productive work. Finally, we welcome him as a decent, fair man and an efficient leader.

Mr. Annan is expected to do a lot for a better United Nations, especially in the fields of maintenance of peace, development and reform. Further, in our view as Palestinians, he is expected to continue pursuing the same path as his predecessors in support for the just cause of Palestine, a path which entails the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is solved in all its aspects and a lasting and comprehensive peace is achieved in the Middle East.

Palestine & The UN