ROME, Oct 1 2012 (IPS) — H. E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, president of the 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly, was unanimously elected chairman of the Board of Directors of Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.
President al-Nasser replaces the former director general of UNESCO, Mr. Federico Mayor, who held the IPS Presidency between 2008 and 2012.
Former permanent representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, president al-Nasser has held key positions in the world body, including president of the Security Council, chairman of the Group of 77, president of the High Level Committee on South-South Cooperation and chairman of the U.N.’s Fourth Committee (Special Political Issues and Decolonization).
Addressing the General Assembly, the highest policy-making body at the United Nations, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon paid a glowing tribute to Ambassador al-Nasser: “You have dealt with critical challenges, from war and instability to sustainable development and South-South cooperation.”
When he accepted the presidency by acclamation on 22 June 2011, president al-Nasser said he would be presiding over the General Assembly, “at a time when the world is facing enormous political, social, economic and environmental challenges.”
During his longstanding diplomatic career, president al-Nasser has served in several overseas embassies, including Lebanon, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and the United Nations.
Educated in Doha and Beirut, and holding 3 honorary doctorates, in international affairs from the government of China through Chongqing University, from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in recognition of his efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding and strengthen the work of the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative and Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Fordham University in the United States, he is a member of the Board of Advisors of the New York University Centre for Dialogues and Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association in New York.
Currently, president al-Nasser holds the rank of minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar.
During its almost 50 years of life, the IPS presidency was held, among other leading figures, by the former president of Portugal, Mário Soares, and of Costa Rica, Óscar Arias; by the former Tanzanian finance minister Amir Jamal, and the former oil minister of Venezuela, Manuel Perez Guerrero; and the former director general of UNESCO, Federico Mayor.
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