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About the Author

Andrew Burgess
Journalist and EU Blogger (Exmouth, United Kingdom)

European citizen with a well-used UK passport.

A graduate in French, Journalism and European Politics from universities in both France and the UK, I have spent time as an active member of the press corps in Brussels and Strasbourg at the European Parliament.

During what was a historic time for the EU with the introduction of the Lisbon Treaty, the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen and the financial troubles in the Eurozone, to name just a few, I attended the twice-monthly plenary sessions in Brussels and Strasbourg, as well as hearings on diverse subjects of interest, press conferences and numerous high-profile press points.

I regard meeting former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, UEFA President Michel Platini, President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs Baroness Ashton as particular highlights to date.

It would be an honour and an amazing opportunity to extend my reporter's portfolio from the UN summit in September.

I write a regular blog on European Union business, La Treizième Étoile, and can be found on Twitter at @andrewjburgess.

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Joseph Deiss elected next president of UN General Assembly‎

Published 15th June 2010 - 0 comments - 9613 views -

Joseph Deiss (file photo)Joseph Deiss, the former leader of Switzerland who was instrumental in his country joining the United Nations eight years ago, has been elected by the body’s 192 Member States to serve as the next President of the General Assembly.

Mr Deiss, 64, pictured right, was unanimously elected on Friday morning by acclamation and will take office onSeptember 14th succeeding the Libyan Ali Abdussalam Treki as the General Assembly’s 65th session begins.

Due to begin just six days later, Mr Deiss’ first major event as President will be the important Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit in September, where world leaders will be asked to accelerate progress to reach the anti-poverty goals by their target date of 2015.

As a former economics professor, President-elect Mr Deiss has already declared he would focus the Assembly’s agenda in 2010-11 on global economic governance while also identifying reform of the Security Council, tackling climate change and biodiversity as well as food security as priorities.

Mr Deiss served as Swiss foreign minister between 1999 and 2002, and in 2004 he served as president of the Swiss Confederation for a year.

UN General Assembly, New York (Photo: tripadvisor)Accepting the post “with great hope and solid conviction”, Mr Deiss told the Assembly that the world has entered an era of increasing interdependence.

Everything is moving faster and coming closer. New global challenges have also emerged – climate change, economic and financial crises, terrorism and global crime, extremism of all kinds – in addition to the perennial problems of war and poverty.

They all require collective and urgent responses. More than ever before, we need to act together to be effective,” he said.

Despite hosting a United Nations office in the grand Palais des Nations to the north of Geneva city centre, Switzerland as a country did not actually sign on as a UN Member State until 2002 as it feared joining would tarnish its long-standing neutrality on the international stage.


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