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

EU Statement – UN Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly -- 4th Thematic Debate: "Selection and appointment of the Secretary-General & other executive heads"

New York, 23/04/2021 - 17:21, UNIQUE ID: 210423_14
Statements on behalf of the EU

23 April 2021, New York – European Union Statement delivered by Marcel Pieper, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly's 4th Thematic Debate of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly: ""Selection and appointment of the Secretary-General & other executive heads"

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

The Candidate Countries Turkey, 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.

I would like to thank you for convening this fourth thematic debate of the Ad Hoc Working Group, and use the occasion to express our appreciation for your continued engagement and commitment on this important file.

Today’s topic of discussion - the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General and other executive heads - is essential in two regards: First, in terms of ensuring that this organization gets the best-possible leadership, starting with the Secretary-General. And secondly, that we demonstrate to the outside world – to civil society and our citizens – that the selection and appointment process for this key role adheres to the highest standards in terms of open, inclusive and transparent conduct and leads to the selection of the best candidate.

The EU recalls that provisions agreed in the landmark resolution 69/321 and in Resolution 70/305, further enhanced by the commitments made in Resolution 73/341, continue to provide a good framework for ensuring an inclusive, transparent, well-structured and merit-based process for the selection and appointment of the UNSG. We consider this the baseline for future appointment processes.

We therefore strongly welcome the clear commitment expressed in the joint letter by the PGA and the President of the Security Council of 5 February towards conducting the process guided by these principles.

The EU remains fully committed to ensuring these provisions continue to be applied and to exploring steps to further improve future processes, in full compliance with Article 97 of the Charter, as to ensure the best-possible outcome. This would further enhance the legitimacy and clout of the position of the Secretary General, strengthen the UN and hence the multilateral system as a whole.

We welcome the incumbent’s candidacy for a second mandate and his readiness to engage in a transparent and inclusive process in line with relevant General Assembly resolutions. We look forward to engaging with him at the interactive dialogue with the UN membership on 7 May based on his vision statement, and look forward to hearing how we can strengthen the organization based on the lessons learnt from his current mandate

We echo the expectation for the process to be concluded well in time before the beginning of the next mandate. This would facilitate planning for the next mandate. We trust that the PGA and the Presidency of the Security Council will continue their effective and efficient conduct of this process.

It will also be critical to ensure the active interaction with civil society in this process - as well as in UN processes more broadly. We trust the PGA to facilitate these interactions.

 The EU would like to reiterate its strong appreciation and support for the SG’s continued commitment towards reaching gender parity across the organization, while maintaining the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity in the recruitment of senior UN management posts.

We would like to recall the continued need for equal and fair distribution in terms of the gender, linguistic and geographical balance of the executive heads of the UN system and the Senior Management Group of the Organization. This also includes the post of Secretary-General itself.

To conclude, I would like to thank you, Co-Chairs, once again for providing this important opportunity to exchange views on one of the key building blocks of the GA Revitalisation file.

You can count on the EU for remaining constructively engaged towards a successful conclusion of this process. I thank you.

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