Europe

UN elects Fiji ambassador to top General Assembly post

  • Fiji U.N. Ambassador Peter Thomson speaks after his election as the new president of the U.N. General Assembly, Monday June 13, 2016, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Fiji U.N. Ambassador Peter Thomson speaks after his election as the new president of the U.N. General Assembly, Monday June 13, 2016, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Fiji U.N. Ambassador Peter Thomson, left, receives congratulations from Cyrus Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis after being elected the new president of the U.N. General Assembly, Monday June 13, 2016, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Fiji U.N. Ambassador Peter Thomson, left, receives congratulations from Cyrus Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis after being elected the new president of the U.N. General Assembly, Monday June 13, 2016, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Fiji U.N. Ambassador Peter Thomson casts his ballot during the vote for the new president of the U.N. General Assembly, Monday June 13, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. The United Nations General Assemblyelected Fiji’s U.N. Ambassador Thomson on Monday as president of its 71th anniversary session beginning in September. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Fiji U.N. Ambassador Peter Thomson casts his ballot during the vote for the new president of the U.N. General Assembly, Monday June 13, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. The United Nations General Assemblyelected Fiji’s U.N. Ambassador Thomson on Monday as president of its 71th anniversary session beginning in September. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations General Assembly — in a rare contested election — has elected Fiji's U.N. Ambassador as president of its 71th anniversary session beginning in September.

Ambassador Peter Thomson was one of two nominees for the post along with Cyprus' Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis. He won in a close 94 to 90 vote.

Current assembly President Mogens Lykketoft announced the winner of the secret-ballot election Monday as diplomats from the U.N.'s 193 member states burst into applause.

The UNGA presidency rotates annually between five geographic areas and this year it's the turn for an Asian-Pacific representative to head Assembly meetings, of which both Cyprus and Fiji are members.