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

EU Statement – United Nations General Assembly: Joint Briefing by the Presidents of the General Assembly and ECOSOC on the Revitalisation of the GA

New York, 28/01/2020 - 21:52, UNIQUE ID: 200129_20
Statements on behalf of the EU

28 January 2020, New York - Statement on behalf of the EU and its Member States by H.E. Mr. Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Joint briefing by the President of the General Assembly & the President of ECOSOC on the Revitalisation of the GA

United Nations Trusteeship Council


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Mister President, Madame President,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the Republic of 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.

The European Union and its Member States welcome this early opportunity to exchange views on the "Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly" and we are encouraged by your determination to continue the practice of this Joint Meeting.

Excellences, colleagues, we would like to see 2020 – the year in which the UN turns 75 - as a year in which we see further improvements in the work of the General Assembly and its Committees. As in the past, we look forward to constructively engaging towards the revitalization of the GA, based on gradual progress made in recent years.

More needs to be done to further streamline the agendas and working methods of this body and aligning its committees, in particular the Second Committee, with the 2030 Agenda.  In this regard, we commend the joint initiative on the alignment process

But we also need to see concrete steps towards avoiding duplications and overlaps between GA and ECOSOC. The United Nations will only succeed in delivering the ambitious 2030 Agenda in – what the SG has called a Decade of Action - through stronger collaboration and coordination between its main organs leading to increased efficiency. The UN membership should work together, hand in hand, to achieve progress in this regard.

The 2030 Agenda has to permeate the whole of the UN. It should also become  the anchor of the Second Committee, which needs to transform itself as the world continues to change. Its last year's session demonstrated that we have reached a tipping point. A lack of progress on revitalization is no longer acceptable. It has become clear that we continue to discuss issues that are no longer relevant at the expense of effectively addressing today's pressing challenges. The Second Committee, if it is to achieve its full potential, must advance in tandem with the Secretary General's pursuit of ambitious reform of the UN, including its development system.

You can count on the EU and its Member States to continue to engage constructively in discussions regarding 2C revitalization in the months to come.

In a similar vein, we welcome the joint meeting of the ECOSOC Bureau, chairs of functional commissions and expert bodies that will make their work more relevant and aligned to the 2030 Agenda.

Mister and Madame President,

Financial integrity and combatting illicit financial flows is a priority for the EU and its MS. In this regard, we commend your strong engagement and tireless work towards better accountability, transparency and financial integrity is much appreciated. You can count on our support in this regard.

With regards to the envisaged panel on financial integrity, we would have appreciated better information-sharing prior to the announcement of this initiative. Your proposal and in particular the degree the panel has already evolved at this stage has frankly caught us by surprise. Meaningful results can only be achieved if there is space for strong engagement of the whole UN membership on the way ahead. A transparent process with Member States agreeing on a clear mandate of the envisaged panel is key.

The EU and its Member States strongly believe that any work on financial integrity and illicit financial flows has to be closely linked to UN bodies dealing with these issues, such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and its policy-making body the Conference of State Parties (COSP). It must include actors working in the field and focus on implementing existing mechanisms. The formation of the envisaged panel has to be done in an inclusive and transparent manner, ensuring balance of regional representation, gender and - equally important - balance of the diverse views of Member States. We look forward to be strongly engaged in the upcoming discussions regarding these issues and in cooperating towards achieving financial integrity on a global scale

Mister and Madame President,

Financing for Development remains a core interest and concern. Let me draw your attention to two issues which should receive appropriate space  in this year's Financing for Development Forum and which we hope will get support from ECOSOC and the GA: 

(1) We are encouraged by progress achieved with Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs) and would like to see a dedicated a session on this to INFFs, so that partner countries can present progress so far.

 (2) And we must give prominence to the issue of sustainable finance. All financial flows - public and private - must be compatible with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda,. Therefore, it is essential that we have a discussion about the best instruments to achieve this compatibility. This year's Financing for Development Forum – held in the kick-off year for Decade of Action – would be the right forum and occasion to do so.

To conclude, let me once again express our appreciation for the opportunity for this frank exchange.

We very much look forward to witnessing concrete results of the collaboration and alignment of the work between ECOSOC and the General Assembly and its Committees.

Thank you.


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