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    Ecuador's Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa at the U.N. Headquarters shortly after being elected in New York, June 5, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 June 2018

Maria Fernanda Espinosa said her top priority is to ensure that "the role of women, gender equity, and parity cut through all issues."

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Ecuador's foreign minister and now the fourth woman to preside over the United Nations General Assembly, says her presidency will be "inclusive" and welcomes the "full participation" of all 193 members of the United Nations.

Ecuador's Espinosa Reveals Plans as UN General Assembly President

In an exclusive interview with teleSUR, the 74th president of the United Nations said her top priority is to ensure that "the role of women, gender equity, and parity cut through all issues" during her term.

The next session, beginning September, will discuss critical issues such as climate change, education and immigration, Espinosa said. She vowed to ensure women's political, economic and social rights are taken into account in U.N. resolutions.

Espinosa also congratulated former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet for making women's rights a priority within the U.N. council and said she's committed to doing the same during her own tenure.

Ecuador's Espinosa won in a landslide for the seat on Tuesday against Honduran ambassador, Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake, 128 votes to 62, with two abstentions. 

Asked how she will manage the Israeli and Palestine conflict, having previously supported Palestine against Israeli occupation, she said that as U.N. president she will be "objective and impartial" and listen to the "majority of the U.N. members."

"It's time to implement the multiple accords crafted over the past 40 years," Espinosa said, noting that the United Nations needs to put all of its "strength toward resolving this topic that has lasted several decades." 

Finally, Espinosa told teleSUR that the United Nations "is a privileged space... the assembly of humanity," and that she is honored to be able to help execute future resolutions.

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