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

EU Statement – United Nations General Assembly: Revitalisation of the work of the GA

New York, 08/11/2019 - 23:21, UNIQUE ID: 191108_16
Statements on behalf of the EU

8 November 2019, New York – General Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by H.E. Mr. Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Joint Debate on Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (item 121)

8 November 2019, New York - Ambassador Silvio Gonzato addresses the UNGA


Mister President,


I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, 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.

I thank you for convening today’s first Joint Debate during the 74th Session on the item "Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly".

The issue has attracted increased attention over recent years and we would argue rightly so: revitalization of the work of the General Assembly is clearly interlinked with the overall reform of the United Nations towards making this organisation more effective, more efficient, and better placed to respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

We are of the view that the GA, as the only intergovernmental body with universal membership and given its broad mandate with far-reaching responsibilities, has a central role to play in responding to global challenges. And we should do a better job in streamlining our work, including through reprioritizing and eliminating overlap where necessary. The current liquidity crisis further underlines the urgency of addressing this necessity.

The EU 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 and within agreed budget levels. Collectively we have made significant progress towards this objective.

The adoption of resolution 73/341 on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly on 12 September is proof of this. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the co-chairs of the ad-hoc working group, H.E. Ms. Sima Sami Bahous, Permanent Representative of Jordan and H.E. Mr. Michal Mlynár, Permanent Representative of Slovakia for their excellent work and dedication in steering the process during the previous session. Shukran Jazilan and Ďakujem.

I would also like to offer the same support and constructive engagement to the newly-appointed Co-chair of the Ad-Hoc-Working Group H.E. Mrs Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Permanent Representative of Ghana, as well as to the re-appointed Permanent Representative of Slovakia, H.E. Mr. Michal Mlynár. Congratulations to both of you! You can count on the EU's support in further delivering on our objectives towards making this body more efficient and effective.

The recent resolutions, notably Resolution 73/341, on the revitalization of the work of the GA have made significant contributions to this end, including further efforts towards enhancing synergies and coherence by addressing gaps, overlaps and duplication in GA agendas, and towards limiting the number of side events during the High-Level week.

We strongly welcome the constructive efforts made by delegations to maintain consensus, which should be preserved.

That said, the EU and its Member States regret that more ambitious proposals made during the last round of negotiations did not meet everybody's approval. We believe there is still a need to further streamline the work and working methods of the GA, in particular to align it better with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as to ensure strong involvement of civil society.

The latter is a key priority for the EU and its Member States, especially in view of next year's 75th Anniversary of the UN. This commemoration provides a unique opportunity for fostering the inclusion and participation of all stakeholders towards building more effective multilateralism based on a strengthened United Nations.

Mister President, let me conclude by restating the high importance the EU and its Member States attach to this issue and our willingness to continue our constructive efforts towards improving the functioning of the General Assembly and the UN as a whole.

Thank you for your attention.


* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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