Leads Committee to a Successful Start of its Main Session
The main session of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) commonly known as the Fourth Committee, got off to a successful start on Thursday, October 4, with the election of Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations as chair.
Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. was elected by acclamation at the first plenary meeting of the Fourth Committee for the 73rd session of the UNGA. The Fourth Committee is one of six main Committees of the UNGA and comprises one hundred ninety-three Member States of the United Nations with equal representation.
In his opening remarks following his election, Ambassador Kemayah thanked the African Group of Ambassadors to the United Nations and all UN Member States for the distinction bestowed on Liberia and the confidence reposed in him to lead such an important Committee.
“I should also like to avail myself of this opportunity, and on behalf of the President of Liberia George Manneh Weah, the Government and people of Liberia, my family, and in my own name express my deepest appreciation to all Member States for the privilege and distinction you have bestowed upon my country, and on me personally, through my election as Chair of this very important Committee of the General Assembly; particularly so, to the African Group, which considered our expression of interest made upon arrival here at the United Nations, before and after the presentation of my Letters of Credence, and endorsed me as the African candidate to serve in said capacity. I am indeed honored and deeply indebted to all of you for the trust and confidence you have reposed in me by my elections,” he said.
A dispatch from Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations quoted Ambassador Kemayah as saying that “Liberia relishes and cherishes the preferment and described it as a step forward in regaining our place in the comity of nations and an increasing aspiration to contribute to global initiatives geared toward the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security, as well as development.”
Ambassador Kemayah congratulated Ambassador Rafael Darío Ramirez Carreño of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and members of the Bureau for the skillful and effective manner in which they conducted the proceedings of the Fourth Committee at the seventy-second (72nd) session, and assured that he would do his utmost to ensure that the Committee succeeds in its work.
“I wish to assure all delegations that I shall do my utmost to discharge my duties and responsibilities in order to ensure that our work as the Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee of the Seventy-Third (73rd) session of the UNGA is carried out efficiently and that our endeavors yield success. It is my fervent hope that our deliberations can be guided by the spirit of consensus, respect, and understanding,” he emphasized.
Taking over the gavel of authority, Ambassador Kemayah chaired the first plenary session and led the committee in approving its program of work and time limits for statements, as well as the establishment of the Working Group of the Whole on Outer Space among others.
The Fourth Committee during its seventy-third Session which runs from October 4 to November 16, 2018, will consider a broad range of global issues including decolonization, review of peacekeeping operations and special political missions, relief for Palestinian refugees, atomic radiation, assistance in mine action, as well as the peaceful uses of outer space; which have been captured under sixty three (63) agenda items.
Following the adjournment of the first plenary session, several Permanent Representatives of UN Member States congratulated Ambassador Kemayah on his election and splendid performance and wished him and Liberia a successful chairmanship.
The Chairmanship of the Fourth Committee is the first for Ambassador Kemayah since assuming his duties at the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations three weeks ago, and a long wait for Liberia; coming fifty-seven (57) years after the late Ambassador and former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Her Excellency Angie Brooks Randolph, chaired the Fourth Committee during the 1961 Session of the General Assembly.
Ambassador Kemayah will be assisted by Saudi Arabia, Hungary, and Ireland as Vice Chairs, whilst the Plurinational State of Bolivia will serve as Rapporteur.