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        General Assembly
14 December 2006

Official Records

General Assembly
Sixty-first session
78th plenary meeting
Thursday, 14 December 2006, 10 a.m.

New York

President:Ms. Al-Khalifa .................................................................................(Bahrain)

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

Agenda item 104 (continued)

Appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations


The President: I give the floor to the representative of Iraq, who will speak on behalf of the Group of Arab States.

Mr. Al Bayati (Iraq) (spoke in Arabic ): ...


The Middle East was one of the hotbeds of tension on which Mr. Kofi Annan focused his attention. He has worked to achieve an honourable and just solution to the question of Palestine — one that would guarantee peace and security in the Middle East region. He has stood side by side with the Palestinian people in their time of crisis, in support of their right to self-determination and to the establishment of their independent State.

Africa can be proud of its illustrious son. We would say to Africa that Kofi Annan, following his honourable record in service of the United Nations and its purposes and principles, is no longer a son of Africa alone; he is the son of all of humanity. It is a great pleasure for us to recognize his dedication in service of the United Nations. His legacy will live on in the annals of the Organization.

I am also pleased and honoured, on this important occasion, to extend, on behalf of the Arab Group, our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea on his election as Secretary-General. He is fully qualified to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. There is no doubt that he will bring to that Office the diversity and human wealth of the Asian continent. Those attributes will also serve well in leading the Organization and in building bridges of understanding and dialogue among cultures. The world’s diversity will therefore become a force for unity and strength, not a cause for conflict and weakness. We are hopeful that his skills will contribute to the achievement of our common objectives of peace, security and development. We hope also that his expertise in international relations will help us to arrive at the peaceful settlement of disputes.

We hope also that, during his tenure at the helm of the Organization, the question of Palestine will receive the attention it deserves and that a Palestinian State will finally be established.


The meeting rose at 11.50 a.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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