President of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces speaks to the media at the UN headquarters, in New York, Sept. 17, 2018. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said Monday that she will work hard to protect multilateralism and make the UN relevant to all people. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- President of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said Monday that she will work hard to protect multilateralism and make the UN relevant to all people.
"We intend to strengthen multilateralism," she said, shortly after taking oath as the 73rd president of the UNGA, adding that "the only way to solve global problems is through a cooperative approach."
Espinosa Garces said that she felt very happy to become the first woman in Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over the General Assembly.
Talking about the priorities of her work for the coming year, she said that the theme of the 73rd session of the UNGA is "Making the UN relevant to all people. Bringing UN closer to the people and the people closer to the UN -- bringing a people-centered approach to our work."
The UN General Assembly on June 5 picked Espinosa Garces, Ecuador's minister for foreign affairs and human mobility, to be its next president.
The 193-member General Assembly, one of the highest policy-making bodies at the UN, has a woman presiding over it for the fourth time in UN history.
Espinosa Garces beat Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake, permanent representative of Honduras to the UN, by 128-62 votes. She has succeeded Slovakia's Miroslav Lajcak and will preside over the 73rd session starting Sept. 18. The tenure is for a year.