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Swede Elected UN Assembly President

14 June 2005 (RFE/RL)-- Sweden's ambassador to the United States has been elected by acclamation as president of the 191-member UN General Assembly.

Jan Eliasson, who held various posts at the United Nations before going to Washington in 2000, replaces Jean Ping of Gabon.

Eliasson takes office in September for the 60th session of the assembly.

The post rotates by regions with the "Western European and others" in line for assembly president this year. The group -- which includes the European countries, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- late last year chose Eliasson, the first Swede to hold the post, making his election uncontested.

In his acceptance speech late yesterday, Eliasson, 65, called UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for UN reform the "most comprehensive and cohesive proposals" to strengthen the world body since its inception in 1945.