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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.
We firmly believe that efforts to strengthen the institutional memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly are of great importance, and are a benefit to us all. As the workload of the General Assembly continues to evolve, the EU and its Member
States remain committed to identifying and implementing improvements wherever possible, with a constant aim to enhance the efficiency and functionality of the OPGA. The achievements made in past years regarding the strengthening of the accountability, transparency, and institutional memory of the OPGA demonstrates the tangible impacts this forum can produce; the oath of office is a clear example of that.
Over the past year we have seen great initiative on behalf of the President, and we commend the President of the General Assembly for his development of a standardized format for the written handover summary of best practices and lessons learned, and we support efforts made thus far in archiving and record keeping by the OPGA. These initiatives continue to effectively preserve the institutional memory of the Office while simultaneously promoting its accountability, and we strongly encourage their continuation.
Resolution 71/323 encourages the President of the General Assembly to continue the practice of periodically briefing Member States on his or her activities, including official travel. We see this as not only a valuable source of information and a part of the institutional memory of the OPGA, but also as an important act of transparency for the Member States. As Chair of this principal body of the UN, whose membership is universal, it is paramount that the President of this Assembly embodies transparency and accountability for all stakeholders. We welcome the regular press briefings carried out by the current President of the General Assembly as well as his active use of communication tools and his creative use of online facilities, and we encourage the President of the General Assembly to continue his efforts in making these tools even more accessible.
Finally, we would like to reiterate the need to pursue the integration of the gender perspective throughout the United Nations system. There is a clear need for gender balance, and in this regard we invite Member States to equally consider women as candidates for the position of President of the General Assembly, and we encourage President-elect's to continue to strive for both gender and geographic balance within the OPGA.
As this session concludes the thematic meetings of the Ad Hoc Working Group, I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank the two Co-Chairs for all their efforts thus far, and we wish to assure them of our willingness to engage in the most constructive manner possible when discussing the draft resolution.
I thank you.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be
part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.