The General Assembly of the UN has a new president and is a Latin American woman

The Ecuadorian chancellor was named in the post and despite the rejoicing that this implies for the region there is controversy

The General Assembly of the UN has a new president and is a Latin American woman

On Tuesday, June 5, the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, María Fernanda Espinosa, became the first Latin American woman to be elected president of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). Her candidacy sparked a diplomatic row with Honduras, whose ambassador to the UN, Mary Elizabeth Flores, was also applaying for the job.

Leer en español: La Asamblea General de la ONU tiene nueva presidenta y es latinoamericana

The presidency of the General Assembly is occupied by representatives of the different regions, and this year it was the turn of Latin America and the Caribbean. In general, the region proposes a single candidate but this year divisions among Latin American countries broke with the tradition and did not bet on a single candidacy, which provoked a confrontation between Honduras and Ecuador.

Critics in Ecuador

The diplomat has received harsh criticism in her own country for her management of violence on the country's northern border or her position on the situation in Venezuela or Nicaragua. For the opposition parties, the appointment of Espinosa involves expenses to the country, because the UN regulation mentions that the president of the General Assembly is an honorary title and it is the country of the national who must pay all expenses.

From the opposition, it was questioned that Espinosa had put above the national interests her "caprices and vanities" in the candidacy for the presidency of the UN that "little interests the country, because the urgencies are the handling of foreign policy, fight against terrorism and drug trafficking ", published El Universo.

Also read: "Venezuela's isolation does not harm the government, it harms the people": National Assembly chief

Latin American women who walk the path of success

"I would like to pay a special tribute to women who struggle every day to access jobs on an equal footing, to women and girls who are victims of violence, to girls and adolescents who demand access to quality information and education," indicated the chancellor when elected.

Although the recent resignation of the president of Paraguay Horacio Cartes was rejected by the Senate due to lack of quorum for the vote, it is worth highlighting the fact that a woman, Alicia Pucheta, was the person who was going to replace Cartes. Pucheta is the current vice-president of the country, and before the refusal of the Senate she was already practically recognized as the successor. This situation clearly represents the role that women have obtained in Latin American politics in recent years, demonstrating that their empowerment has not been in vain.

However, it is not the only recent case. For the second round of the presidential elections in Colombia, which will take place on June 17, two women will compete for the vice presidency. An extraordinary event because it will be the first time that a woman will hold the position. Marta Lucia Ramírez, formula of the right-wing candidate Iván Duque, and Ángela María Robledo, candidate of the left along with Gustavo Petro, will surely be a milestone in a country that is gradually advancing towards the empowerment of women.

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Women in the General Assembly

Espinosa Garcés is only the fourth woman in seventy-three years of United Nations history to be elected president of the General Assembly. The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, recalled that it has been more than a decade since a woman was president of the General Assembly, a post held by Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, in session 61 of this organization.


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from “La Asamblea General de la ONU tiene nueva presidenta y es latinoamericana”

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