Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific
Responsible for Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu as well as the four Overseas Countries and Territories in the Pacific

EU Statement – United Nations Ad-Hoc Working Group on GA Revitalisation: Role and Authority of the General Assembly

New York, 19/03/2019 - 18:33, UNIQUE ID: 190319_15
Statements on behalf of the EU

19 March 2019, New York – European Union Statement at the 73th Session of the United Nations General Assembly 1st Thematic meeting of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on GA Revitalization on the Role and Authority of the General Assembly

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Dear Co-Chairs,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Albania, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

Thank you, Co-Chairs, for convening this first thematic meeting of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly, dealing with the role and authority of the Assembly.

The European Union and its Member States remain committed to revitalization and to supporting efforts aimed at strengthening the role and authority of the GA, in line with the UN Charter and relevant resolutions.

Indeed, we wish that the GA - as the only intergovernmental body with universal membership and given its broad mandate with far-reaching responsibilities -, is able to take up the challenge of delivering legitimacy and efficiency in a context of emerging global challenges.

We have stated many times already that it is imperative that concrete steps are now being taken to achieve a more effective delivery of mandates while making better and sustainable use of resources.

Revitalization can only be ensured when the GA takes relevant action on issues of common concern to the international community and produces results that live up to its role as one of the principal organs of the UN.

We should not only expect the Organisation to be more accountable, transparent, nimble, efficient and effective. We should also use this as our guiding principle in our GA-related activities.

Furthermore, we support the PGA's 'cri de coeur' regarding the growing number of side-events and activities taking place in parallel to the general GA debate and the need to consider developing a set of guidelines to manage these side-activities. This would benefit us all.

We also support the PGA in addressing collectively the number and length of resolutions and other outcome documents, which have become unmanageable, in streamlining the agenda and focusing on the implementation.

In addition, we believe that the broad range of GA meetings should increasingly be opened up to external stakeholders. As we know, partnerships are key to strengthen the credibility and legitimacy of our work at the UN and to increase the visibility of our actions.

Cooperation between the UN and civil society, the private sector, academia, youth organisations and other major stakeholder groups are playing an increasingly important role in our work. This should go hand in hand with efforts to improve communication and the 'marketing' of our overall work to showcase that we are committed to revamp the UN and to revitalise the multilateral system.

In the context of today's meeting, as to the relationship of the GA to other principal organs of the UN, it is also necessary to reiterate our belief that improving transparency, cooperation, and complementarity remain important objectives. As we have said in the past, we welcome efforts to ensure increased cooperation among the Presidents of the principal organs and with the UN Secretary General.

The GA should benefit from information shared about the meetings held between the Presidents of the General Assembly, the Security Council, ECOSOC, as well as with the Chairs of subsidiary bodies. Rationalising the agendas of the GA and ECOSOC, eliminating duplication and overlap and promoting complementarity in the consideration and negotiation of related issues are also priorities for us and we believe there is still vast room for improvement.

As we all know, next year the UN will celebrate its 75th anniversary. This is another valuable opportunity to look back on achievements and to have a critical look at the challenges for the UN and multilateralism as a whole.


We sincerely hope that the draft resolution on GA Revitalisation could include a reference to this anniversary. We also encourage the PGA to continue preparing for this important stock-taking and to ensure the discussion is as inclusive as possible. We also wish the co-facilitators Iceland and Singapore best of luck in their work on the dedicated anniversary-resolution.

Let me conclude by emphasizing once again the important role the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the revitalization of the GA plays and assure you that the EU and its Member States will continue to engage in a constructive manner in the proceedings of this forum.

I thank you.

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