By Amindeh Blaise Atabong, September 17, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – President Paul Biya, will be in New York, United States of America, for the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly. The official opening of the session took place Tuesday September 13, though general deliberations will open on Tuesday September 20.
Biya, 84, has not personally attended at least the last four annual General Assemblies of the UN. On September 26, 2015, September 25, 2014 and September 25, 2013, Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, then Minister of External Relations, addressed the UN General Assembly on behalf of the Cameroonian leader. Biya was represented at the 67th UN General Assembly by the then Minister of External Relations, Henri Eyebe Ayissi.
Going by an international relations expert versed with UN affairs, it is very incumbent on Biya to attend this
71st session. Referring to the rules of procedure of the UN General Assembly, the expert said that Biya would not want to be seen this time around as one who is notorious for absenting from such important concerts of nations
It is apparently in such understanding that Biya, who just returned from a ‘brief private stay’ abroad last Friday, will be heading to America this week.
A well-placed source at the USA-CPDM section, who elected anonymity, told our reporter that the presidency has already communicated Biya’s arrival in the US to them.
According to the source, Biya is expected to be in the US latest Monday September 19, where the CPDM members will accord him a befitting welcome.
It should be noted that the UN general assembly’s regular session begins each year on a Tuesday, on the third week of September, counting from the first week that contains at least one working day. The general assembly meets annually in regular session, intensively from September to December, and resumes in January until all issues on the agenda are addressed – which often is just before the next session starts.
General assemblies are often an opportunity for heads of states to meet with other world leaders on the sidelines of the assembly to discuss issues of interest to their countries.