Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

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

New York, 09/03/2018 - 16:33, UNIQUE ID: 180319_20
Statements on behalf of the EU

9 March 2018, New York – European Union Statement at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly First thematic meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on GA Revitalization on the Role and Authority of the General Assembly

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

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of 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 General Assembly.


The European Union and its Member States continue to be 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 main body with universal membership, and given its broad mandate with far-reaching responsibilities, is able to take up the challenge of conciliating legitimacy and efficiency in a context of emerging global challenges.

At the same time, we wish to reiterate that it is imperative that concrete steps are taken in an effort to find new and creative ways to work, in order to achieve the essential aspects of a more effective delivery of mandates and sustainable use of resources. We believe that revitalization can be ensured only when the GA takes relevant action on issues of common concern to the international community and produces results to live up to its role as one of the principal organs of the UN. This becomes increasingly important in the light of the 3 strands of UN Reform. We should not only expect the Organisation to be more accountable, transparent, efficient, and effective, but we should also use this as our guiding principle in our GA activities.

Over the last few years, the GA revitalization process has led to many positive developments. The EU and its Member States especially value the interactive character of thematic debates in allowing closer engagement of the GA with other stakeholders, international and regional organizations, and groups outside the United Nations system. As we know, partnerships are key to strengthening the legitimacy of our work at the UN, as well as increasing our visibility. Cooperation between the UN and other international and regional organisations and fora, civil society, the private sector, academia, and other major stakeholder groups is increasingly playing a more important role in our work.

As to the relationship of the GA to other principal organs of the UN, we believe that improving transparency, cooperation, and complementarity remain important goals. 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 about the meetings between the Presidents of the General Assembly, the Security Council, ECOSOC, as well as with the Chairs of subsidiary bodies. Rationalising the GA's and ECOSOC agenda's, eliminating duplication and overlap and the 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.


Let me emphasize the important role the Ad Hoc Working Group on the revitalization of the work of General Assembly plays. I would like to assure you that the EU and its Member States will continue to engage in a constructive manner in the proceedings of the Ad Hoc Working Group.

I thank you.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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