Despite Armenia’s, Greece’s, and Cyprus’s effort to block his nomination, Turkey’s Volkan Bozkır has been elected president of the UN General Assembly, per the United Nations.
Mr. Bozkir, an AKP parliamentarian, will now preside over the landmark 75th session of the UN General Assembly, which opens in September. He was the sole candidate for the post.
In April 2015, Volkan Bozkir attacked Pope Francis for calling the massacres of the Armenians in 1915 a Genocide. “This statement is extremely controversial and it is not based on any historical documents,” said Volkan Bozkir, the Turkish minister for European Union affairs. ”Turkey will not accept this statement and considers it as null and void.” “There is no period of time in Turkey’s history that it would be ashamed of. Efforts towards constituting an identity based on falsified documents will fail,” he added. Ankara also recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after the Pope’s remarks. In response, Pope Francis said that “concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.”
In June 2015, Volkan Bozkir, Turkey’s then EU Minister and Chief Negotiator threatened the European Parliament about mentioning Armenian Genocide. While speaking to journalists after talks with the European Parliament’s (EP) Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri, said that Ankara would declare the EP’s upcoming progress report for Turkey “null and void” if it mentions anything about the Armenian Genocide, the Daily Sabah reports. Bozkir made the threats while referring to the European Parliament’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in April this year. He also emphasized that this would be the first time that Turkey rejects a progress report by the EP. Bozkir also added that the EP should avoid mentioning Turkey’s Kurdish nationalist PKK party, who have advocated for greater rights and independence for Turkey’s Kurds.
Ambassadors also voted for five new countries to join the UN Security Council as non-permanent members. The Council comprises five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members, who serve for two-year periods.
While three countries vied for two seats allocated to African and Asia-Pacific States, only India was confirmed. Djibouti and Kenya face a second round of voting to be held on Thursday. A similar race occurred for the Western European and other States group, where Canada did not secure the required two-thirds majority, or 128 votes. Norway and Ireland will begin their terms starting in January, as will Mexico, representative for the Latin America and Caribbean region.
Eighteen countries will also occupy vacant seats in the Economic and Social Council, another of the six main organs of the UN. They are: Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, the Solomon Islands, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.