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General Assembly President lauds Switzerland's decision to join UN

General Assembly President lauds Switzerland's decision to join UN

The President of the United Nations General Assembly today congratulated Switzerland on the results of Sunday's referendum in favour of joining the United Nations.

"I am pleased to learn that the people and cantons of Switzerland authorized the accession of the Swiss Confederation to the United Nations," Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea said in a statement. "I believe that Switzerland's decision to become a full Member of the UN reflects the will and aspiration of the people of Switzerland to enhance cooperation with the world body in addressing the global challenges that lie ahead."

Expressing hope that Switzerland would soon join the UN, the President said he looked forward to working closely with the country. "I will render my full support as Switzerland discharges her due responsibilities as Member of the UN in the promotion of the ideals of the Organization," he said.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who issued a formal statement yesterday to welcome the results of the referendum, told reporters today he was "extremely happy" with Sunday's vote.

"I trust all 189 Member States welcome Switzerland with open arms," he said in response to questions as he entered the UN complex. "I would hope that once [Switzerland has] joined the UN, they would continue to play the very constructive role they have played in humanitarian, developmental and peace efforts with UN agencies and with the UN."