The ambassador was unanimously approved by the 33 member states of the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC).
Prime Minister, Dr. W. Baldwin Spencer, in congratulating Ashe, said the endorsement this early in the process indicated the group’s confidence in his ability to lead the UN body in 2013.
“The citizens of this nation can be proud of this singular achievement that has been bestowed on our UN ambassador by the countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region,” he said. “I have no doubt that Ambassador Ashe can, and will, provide the necessary leadership during his tenure as president of the 68th session of the General Assembly.”
In his response to the appointment, Ashe said: “I am indeed humbled and deeply honoured by the confidence you have placed in me by endorsing me to this office. And I will do everything possible to live up to the expectations that accompany this office, bearing in mind the path travelled before me by my fellow CARICOM colleagues, Ambassador Samuel R. Insanally of Guyana, President of the 48th session of the GA in 1993 and Ambassador Julian R. Hunte of St. Lucia, President of the 58th session of the General Assembly in 2003.”
The presidency of the General Assembly, the term of which is for one year, follows a system of regional rotation. Each year one of the five geographic groups (African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American and the Caribbean, and Western Europe and Other States) nominates one or more individuals.
The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. It is composed of representatives of all 193 member states of the United Nations, each of which has one vote.
The GRULAC endorsement represents the final step before the formal election of Ashe as president by the UN General Assembly in June 2013, a process that began with the initial endorsement by CARICOM ambassadors to the UN.
Apart from the support of CARICOM members, Ashe also received the support of every non-CARICOM member state of the GRULAC, which resulted in his unanimous endorsement.