UN General Assembly chief Maria Fernanda Espinosa calls for climate justice

Source: The National Speaking to The National, the Ecuadorian diplomat says a total shift is needed to prevent catastrophic climate change  The world faces catastrophic climate change if governments do not put forward billions of dollars and undertake a complete societal shift, United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa warned on Monday in […]

Maria Fernanda Espinosa: UN must improve to win ‘battle’ with nationalists

Source: The National UN General Assembly President makes passionate case for global co-operation The United Nations must reform to remain relevant in a rapidly-changing world and be more assertive in taking on a rising global tide of nationalism, the president of its General Assembly has said. Maria Fernanda Espinosa used a speech at the World Government […]

Resolving regional instability a priority: UNGA President

Source: Khaleej Times The UNGA President explained that regional instability poses a challenge. The United Nations General Assembly President, Maria Fernanda Espinosa has said that a conducive environment, encompassing peaceful and good neighbourly relations, is necessary for implementing Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in the Middle East. “I think that it is very important for the […]

UN hosts concert to celebrate Lunar New Year for first time

Source: CGTN By Hong Yaobin ‍For the first time, United Nations headquarters has celebrated the Spring Festival or Chunjie in Chinese – the most important holiday for the global Chinese community – by hosting a Lunar New Year concert. Suzhou Symphony Orchestra from east China’s Jiangsu Province staged the concert at the UN General Assembly […]

UNGA president says dialogue important to settle Kashmir dispute

Source: Associated Press of Pakistan By Shumaila Andleeb ISLAMABAD, Jan 20 (APP): As Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) simmers with mass killings, abductions and rapes, the President of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Maria Fernanda Espinosa said Sunday the only way to address a conflict situation between Pakistan and India was “dialogue through peaceful means”. “Dialogue is […]

U.N. General Assembly President on Nationalism, Multilateralism, U.S.-China Spat

January 7th, 2019, 9:26 PM GMT-0500 Source: Bloomberg  United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa talks about nationalism, multilateralism, and the trade dispute between the U.S. and China. She also discusses the top priorities for the UN. She speaks with Shery Ahn on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.”

UN general assembly president rebukes nationalism at World Leaders Forum

BY NOAH PERCY | OCTOBER 9, 2018, 10:39 PM Source: Columbia Spectator United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces defended international cooperation and the relevance of the United Nations in the face of widening economic inequality and climate change in a speech to students in Low Library on Wednesday. Maya Tolstoy, interim executive vice president […]

Interview: UNGA president praises China’s global role, pledges to uphold multilateralism

Source: New China TV UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces has praised China’s role in global governance and displayed a strong will to defend multilateralism and the rules-based global order.

The Heat: UN goals and challenges

Published September 26, 2018 at 5:38 PM Source: America CGTN She’s the fourth woman to be elected president of the United Nations General Assembly – and the first woman from Latin America. CGTN’s Anand Naidoo sat down with Maria Fernanda Espinosa to discuss her priorities for the 73rd General Assembly and how gender plays a […]

GA President María Fernanda Espinosa with Al Arabiya

Source: Talal Alhaj  Diplomatic Full Interview with GA President María Fernanda Espinosa  

Meet María Fernanda Espinosa: UN General Assembly head

A writer, poet and a diplomat, Maria Fernanda Espinosa is the first woman ever from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over the General Assembly. Source: This week, Al Jazeera is going in-depth to cover this year’s UN General Assembly. Presiding over the much-anticipated event is María Fernanda Espinosa. The Ecuadorian is just the […]

María Fernanda Espinosa elected president of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly

United Nations – New York, June 5, 2018.     Today, María Fernanda Espinosa was elected as president of the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), becoming the first woman in Latin America and the fourth worldwide to occupy that appointment in the 73 years of life of the organization. […]

María Fernanda Espinosa offers a presidency of the General Assembly to strengthen the United Nations

New York – 25 may, 2018.   The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador, María Fernanda Espinosa offered a presidency of dialogue, transparency, geographical and gender balance and “open doors” for the General Assembly in order to achieve an Organization of the United Nations (UN) “stronger and more relevant” in search of […]


25 April 2018.   The two candidates to preside over the next session of the UN General Assembly, the Honduran Mary Elizabeth Flores and the Ecuadorian Maria Fernanda Espinosa, will present their priorities and will be submitted to the questions of the member states on May 4, said the organization on Tuesday, April 17. Flores […]

Presidency of the UN for Ecuador, sign of a definitive change?

Miami – 5 April 2018.   On June 5th, the presidency of the UN General Assembly, composed of 193 countries, will be elected for its 73rd session. This is an important job, because it can influence the eyes and even the actions of this organization on political issues that affect millions of people in the […]


United Nations – 25 April 2018.   For the first time in the history of the elections for the presidency of the UN General Assembly, the candidates will hold an interactive dialogue in order to increase the transparency of the process. According to the representative of the president of the General Assembly, Brenden Varma, the […]

Vanuatu supports Ecuador’s candidature for Presidency of UN General Assembly

Vanuatu – 9 April 2018. Vanuatu has officially declared its support for the candidature of Ecuador to become the President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (replacing Slovakia). Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Ralph Regenvanu informed Minister Espinosa of Vanuatu’s support for her candidature in a bilateral meeting […]


Quito – 23 March 2018.   This Thursday, the plenary session of the Andean Parliament resolved in Bogota, Colombia, to support the candidacy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, María Fernanda Espinosa, for the presidency of the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. According to the agency, the support […]


22 March 2018.   The plenary of the Andean Parliament supported this Thursday, March 22, 2018 in Bogota the candidacy of the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, María Fernanda Espinosa, for the presidency of the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) that will be held between September of this year and end […]


  22 March 2018.   The entity also assured that this is an opportunity for the South American countries to assume that position of “so important political and diplomatic representation” after 19 years. Today, the plenary of the Andean Parliament today endorsed in Bogota the candidacy of the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, for […]


  Buenos Aires – 19 March 2018.   After Argentina´s failure to name its then Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra as head of the United Nations (UN) in 2017, another woman from a South American country tries to reach one of the peaks of the world body: the Presidency of the Assembly General, who deliberates in […]

The Foreign Minister talks about women’s rights with the well-known African activist Fatoumata Tambajang

New York – 14 March 2018     The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador, María Fernanda Espinosa, held a meeting at the United Nations with the renowned defender of women’s rights and human rights Fatoumata Tambajang, current vice president of Gambia. The dialogue took place on the occasion of the 62nd […]


  Spain – 11 March 2018.   The Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, María Fernanda Espinosa, is the candidate with the most possibilities. Coinciding with this candidacy, and clearly in tune with the times, Ecuador has launched a campaign promoting equality and equity policies to promote women integral development. @jgonzalez | The next session of […]

Foreign minister Espinosa will present her vision of work and commitment to the UN at a United Nations audience

Quito 5 March 2018     Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa will present her work vision and commitment to the UN in a hearing at the United Nations in May. This is a new procedure within the United Nations that seeks to democratize the General Assembly. The statement was made public by the Undersecretary of […]

Making the United Nations Relevant to All

Making the United Nations Relevant to All

on 29/09/2018

Source: Daily Sun
Maria Fernanda Espinosa

As world leaders are convening in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly, I am only the fourth woman to preside over the gathering and the first from Latin America and the Caribbean. During my mandate, I am determined to fight against all forms of discrimination, gender discrimination being one of the key priorities of my tenure.

I was elected by the Member States to serve their interests, and in my year of office I intend to do just that. The General Assembly is the closest that we have to a world Parliament, but even as Heads of State and Government from around the globe gather under its huge dome on Manhattan’s East River to debate the big challenges of our times, we have to face the fact that political differences are deepening. A shared sense of common purpose, needed for finding effective solutions to those challenges, is looking ever more elusive. Indeed, many of the multilateral agreements that the United Nations has painstakingly achieved in recent decades are being seriously questioned.

It is all too often forgotten that the United Nations Charter begins with the words “We the peoples”. This reflected a collective determination and optimism that was outward looking and inclusive following from the privations and horrors of the Second World War. I strongly believe that we have to make the United Nations relevant to all people while encouraging all Member States to recognize the shared responsibilities required to ensure peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies.Part of that process must surely be to better inform the public of the UN’s key role in bringing nations together in order to get agreement on everything from climate change to Middle East peace and from security to migrant rights. We need to remind people of the vital role that a whole panoply of UN agencies play in serving people around the clock.

But an important part of that process is to acknowledge that, in the minds of many people, the international community has lost its way. Indeed, one of the greatest challenges we now face is a widespread lack of trust in the political institutions established to serve all citizens but increasingly seen as favouring the select few.

While the UN can only ever be as effective as Members States want it to be, we also have to act on the reality that some of the architecture of the post- world-war era needs a major overhaul. Terrible conflicts continue inside some countries, with all of the destruction, degradation and misery that the UN was established to prevent.

If we are to restore confidence in multilateralism and reverse the slide into isolationism, extreme forms of nationalism and xenophobia as well as an ever-present threat of violent extremism, we have to acknowledge that none of these forces arise from a vacuum. So while I want to focus much of my efforts on a range of issues from environmental action, particularly around the global scourge of plastic pollution, to ensuring the enjoyment of fundamental rights of persons with disabilities and prioritising the needs of the world’s 68.5 million refugees, we have to recognise the growing inequality and joblessness that is helping to fuel a real sense of frustration in rich and poor countries alike.

I first became an ambassador to the UN for my country, Ecuador, in March 2008. Just six months later the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a devastating financial crisis which recalled the collapse of the 1930s. The catastrophes of that period were largely avoided, but much of the frustration today reflects a decade-long struggle to deal with the aftermath of that crisis in a fair and timely manner.

This lies behind a growing but dangerous view that individual nation states can act more effectively by themselves than in concert with others. We not only need to show that multilateralism can be more effective than unilateral action but ensure that national policy makers have the room to mitigate the forces having a devastating effect over people’s jobs and livelihoods.One of my top priorities this year will be to highlight the best research, analysis and policy recommendations being developed by Member States and a variety of experts in our various UN organisations that are aimed at providing decent and meaningful work for young people, women, those with disabilities and the unemployed.

The better societies we all want to see are predicated to a very large degree on building virtuous circles of economic, social and physical well-being that can lift all boats.  This goal informed the hopes and ambitions of those who helped build the United Nations from the ashes of the Second World War, and it informs my hopes and ambitions as I prepare to take office.  If I can use my office to help focus global opinion and political leadership towards seeking solutions together, then I will have succeeded, I hope, in part in making the United Nations more relevant to those we serve.

The writer is the President of the United Nations General Assembly and a former Foreign Minister of Ecuador