Kerim was elected by the 192-nation body unopposed and will lead the assembly's 62nd annual session starting September. The post rotates among different regions in the world. Kerim was selected by the Central and Eastern Europe bloc, whose turn it was this year.
He will take over from Sheikha Haya Rashed al-Khalifa from Bahrain when the assembly begins the new session in mid-September. The assembly chose to elect its president some six months in advance to allow time for the newcomer to prepare for his responsibilities.
Human rights and reform advocacy groups have protested the UN selection process of choosing by the region whose turn is up, saying it allows no able competitors to run for the post.