The UN General Assembly on September 16 elected Ukrainian foreign minister Hennady Udovenko as its president for the current (52nd) session. East-Central European and former Soviet countries had agreed some time ago to support the Ukrainian minister for the post. Udovenko, 66, has long experience at the UN, having served as Soviet Ukraine’s representative to the world body. Since 1991 his contribution to the development of independent Ukraine’s foreign policy has been widely recognized in the country and internationally. Udovenko said in his acceptance speech that, as a representative of a reforming country, he will actively seek UN reform, including enlargement of the Security Council.
In Kyiv, President Leonid Kuchma’s office announced yesterday that Udovenko will continue as foreign minister of Ukraine during his tenure as UNGA president. Kuchma has prepared a proposal that "East European" countries as a group be allocated one permanent seat on the UN Security Council as part of its enlargement. The proposal would seem to envisage rotation of that permanent seat among the countries of the group. Ukraine has already applied for Security Council membership in the years 1999-2001, Kuchma’s foreign policy aide, Volodymyr Ohryzko, announced yesterday. (Ukrainian and international agencies, September 16-17)
Primakov Chides Karabakh.