Seventy-eighth Session,
83rd Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Pays Tribute to Late President of Iran, Hailing His Visionary Leadership, Contributions for Multilateralism, Development

The General Assembly convened today to pay tribute to Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, the late President of Iran, and his entourage, all of whom perished in a tragic helicopter accident on 19 May.

Following the observing of a minute of silence in their memory, Dennis Francis (Trinidad and Tobago), President of the General Assembly, offered “our deepest condolences to the Government and people of Iran”, recalling that President Raisi “led his country’s contribution to shape the tenets of our multilateral system and international cooperation”.  Just 10 months before his demise, President Raisi addressed the General Debate of the seventy-eighth session in September — clearly articulating his country’s priorities.

The General Assembly President also honoured the memory of Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian — “a consummate diplomat who faithfully stood alongside President Raisi in representing Iran on the global stage”.  Recalling a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister on 21 September 2023, he expressed his great appreciation for his diplomatic acumen.  Encouraging “the Iranian people to gather courage and come to terms with their profound loss”, he voiced confidence that “their resilience will guide them to demonstrate remarkable strength in this difficult time of mourning”.

Also extending his condolences to the families, the Government and people of Iran, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, observed that President Raisi “led Iran at a challenging time for the country, the region and globally”.  He recalled that just hours before his death, President Raisi met with his Azerbaijani counterpart to inaugurate the Qiz Qalasi dam, the largest joint water project between the two countries.

“In these difficult times, international and regional cooperation are needed more than ever,” Secretary-General Guterres stated, in order to build confidence, prevent conflict and resolve disputes.  To this end, he assured the Iranian people that the United Nations stands in solidarity with them and in the quest for peace, development and fundamental freedoms.

Echoing those sentiments, the representative of Burundi, speaking for the African Group, noted that President Raisi “was a visionary leader” dedicated to the principles of brotherhood, solidarity and multilateralism. Under his leadership, the relationship between Iran and Africa expanded across various sectors, including trade, education and health — collaborations that “have had a lasting impact on the development and progress” of African nations and people who have been historically left behind.

Pakistan’s representative, speaking for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), took solace in the late President’s historical contributions to the vision and mission of that body — notably its central codes of restoring the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and protecting the sanctity of the holy mosque of Al-Quds.  Thanks to his leadership, wisdom and consensus politics, the OIC has become stronger in promoting global peace, security and prosperity, he noted.

For his part, the representative of Uganda, speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasized that President Raisi and Foreign Minister Abdollahian were instrumental in strengthening cooperation among members of the bloc.  Under their guidance, Iran played a crucial role in enhancing cooperation among developing countries, with vision and leadership.

Other speakers also highlighted the late President and Foreign Minister’s career achievements in promoting Iranian growth, justice and progress, and crucial roles in fostering collaboration among developing countries, including the representative of Haiti, speaking for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (GRULAC), the representative of Qatar, for the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Vanuatu’s representative, for the Group of Asia-Pacific States.

Expressing deep gratitude to President Francis, the Secretary-General and all speakers, the representative of Iran stressed that President Raisi and Minister Abdollahian “were visionary leaders” whose terms were “dedicated to promoting peace, stability, and sustainable security in our region and beyond”.  Under President Raisi’s leadership, the Government of Iran consistently participated in all efforts to preserve peace and security in the Persian Gulf region, building “bridges of brotherhood” while emphasizing development and enhancing ties with other parts of the world, particularly Africa and Latin America.

He also hailed Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian as a distinguished diplomat, whose work on the regional and international stage was characterized by a deep understanding of the complexities of international relations and a relentless pursuit of mutual respect.  Citing both the President and the Foreign Minister as “not just figures of authority but also symbols of hope, resilience and the enduring power of good governance and diplomacy”, he said that Iran would continue its journey under the next President’s leadership to be selected at the upcoming election set for 28 June.

For information media. Not an official record.