Thursday, Sep 18, 2003
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This Day That Age
India's Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit who was elected President of the eighth session of the U.N. General Assembly became the first woman accorded that honour. Tracing, her rise to that post and the great responsibility she would have to discharge, a special report filed from U.N. headquarters said, "Nobody could have a greater claim for this high office than Mrs. Pandit, if only for the reason that she is the senior-most in point of U.N. service among leaders of member delegations attending the present session. Her association with the U.N. goes back officially to the second session of the Assembly; unofficially it goes back to the San Francisco Founding Conference where she was kept on the other side of the fence by the British Government then in power at New Delhi.
"The President's job is neither a sinecure, nor that of a figure-head. It carries no financial remuneration, only an overload of responsibility out of all proportion to the frail feminine shoulders which are going to bear it during the year ahead. Mrs. Pandit's will be the sole task of interpreting complex, ambiguous rules of procedure of the Assembly on the able performance of which depends not merely the expedition of business, but amicable handling of all the many problems before the House.
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