The UN General Assembly on Wednesday mourned the death of Diogo Freitas do Admiral of Portugal, president of its 50th session back in 1955-1996.

Freitas do Amaral died on October 3, 2019, in Portugal at the age of 78.

During a plenary meeting, while paying a tribute to Freitas do Amaral, current General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande led a minute of silence, Xinhua news agency reported.

In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is also Portuguese, said that Freitas do Amaral left a strong imprint as an advocate for a multilateral approach to solving conflicts, a defender of international law, a supporter of strengthening the United Nations through reform, and a promoter of expanding the voices and representation within the United Nations.

Guterres, who served as prime minister of Portugal during Freitas do Amaral’s tenure as UN General Assembly president said he witnessed how his outstanding leadership at the United Nations enhanced the image of Portugal.

Guterres further said, “This was a point of great pride for the Portuguese people. But it came as no surprise because the values and spirit he brought to the world body were very much rooted in his pivotal contributions to Portuguese democratic life and to its integration in Europe”.

Freitas do Amaral had served as Portuguese foreign minister, defense minister and deputy prime minister. He was interim prime minister for a short period between 1980 and 1981.

(With inputs from IANS )