UNITED NATIONS - Russia's new United Nations ambassador took up his post Friday, saying he would do his "utmost" to strengthen relations between Moscow and the organization.
"Today the world faces unprecedented threats and challenges," Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the official presentation of credentials.
"Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, will continue contributing constructively to addressing those challenges, together with the international community, and we reaffirm our commitment to promoting peace, development and human rights," he said.
Guterres said Russia is "an important pillar of our multilateral system" and a country that the U.N. wants to have "very deep and effective cooperation with" in all aspects of its work.
Nebenzia, 55, was previously a deputy foreign minister. He also served at Russia's U.N. Missions in New York and Geneva. He succeeds Vitaly Churkin, who was Moscow's high-profile U.N. ambassador from 2006 until his sudden death in February.
After presenting his credentials, Nebenzia gave his first speech in the U.N. General Assembly at a meeting on counterterrorism. The U.N. chief appointed his colleague, Vladimir Voronkov, last month to head a newly created office for counterterrorism.
"Today, the issue of combating terrorism is a priority issue in the international agenda," Nebenzia told the assembly. "The central coordinating role in this work must undoubtedly be played by the United Nations.
"Today the most important of these tasks is to combat foreign terrorist fighters — to combat financing for terrorism, and the spread of its ideology, including through the use of modern technology," he added.