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September 21, 1949, Romulo was elected UN Assembly President

Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo, the head of the 1949 Philippine delegation to the United Nations (UN) was elected President of fourth General Assembly on September 21, 1949. Romulo received the votes of the representatives of all 59 nations except those of Russia and its satellite states which give 5 votes to the Czech Foriegn Minister and the vote from Yugoslavia being declared invalid. It was because of the respect accorded Romulo by the majority of the delegates that he was elected President from 1949 to 1950.

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As UN president, he promoted the causes of democracy and human rights and supported the efforts of colonies to gain independence from foreign rule, gaining friends and allies for the Philippines and Filipinos around the world in the process. During his time as UN Assembly president and long thereafter, Romulo was referred to as “Mr. United Nations.”

SPEAKING at a rally in Kalibo, Capiz on September 21, President Quirino hailed the election of Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo as president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, describing it as “one more feather added to the cap of the Filipino nation.” The President recalled that the Philippines, as a result of the efforts of the administration, “has gained the esteem, respect and admiration of other countries.”

Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Felino Neri issued a statement regarding Romulo’s election to the presidency of the United Nations: “The election of Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo as President of the United Nations general assembly is an indication of the increasing importance of the role the Philippines has assumed in international affairs and reflects the decided shift of the world’s attention to Asia and the Far East in the solution of the multifarious and complex problems besetting the world today . . .”

Romulo later served as President of the Security Council on four different occasions when the Philippines was elected to the Council.

Carlos P. Romulo was also nominated for the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize. According to Nobel Prize, Romulo was nominated “for his contribution in international cooperation, in particular on questions on undeveloped areas, and as president for UN’s 4th General Assembly”.


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