I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the EU and its Member States to - once again - commend the co-chairs of the Ad-Hoc Working Group, the Permanent Representatives of El Salvador, Ambassador Egriselda Aracely González López, of and Slovakia, Ambassador Michal Mlynár, for their excellent work in steering this important resolution to a successful – and early – conclusion.
I would also like to thank all delegations for the very constructive spirit they have demonstrated throughout the process, which was decisive in reaching a very substantial outcome – the most substantial in quite some time.
This past year and a half, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, has taught us many lessons in terms of how we can work more effectively and more efficiently together. Your resolution was a unique opportunity to draw on these lessons learnt and I would like to commend you for doing your best to ensure that this was the case.
Allow me to highlight some of the most positive elements of the resolution:
Starting with the decision to move this resolution to a biennial cycle – something many of us have long asked for and which will hopefully allow on the one hand to focus more on implementation and at the same time serve as an inspiration for other GA processes that not every resolution requires annual action.
a commitment towards further efforts to streamlining the GA’s work and agenda: We believe that we should use next year as an opportunity to take stock of the way in which we have adopted the recommendations made in previous resolutions and, if necessary, take steps to improve our performance in that respect.
strong alignment language towards measures aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Agenda 2030; which has been put further back due to Covid;
an agreement to bring the GA starting date forward by a week: a long-standing request by the OPGA so as to allow more time for the PGA to prepare for HLW;
further progress on the SG selection & appointment process, including the encouragement to Member States to putting more female candidates forward for the highest office in the recognition that this organisation has not seen a female SG yet;
a request to the Secretariat to present lessons-leant from the impact of the Covid19 impact on the GA’s work “with a view towards ensuring better preparedness”: we see this as an opportunity, in two years’ time, to draw further lessons from the COVID19 pandemic and improve the way in which we work here at the UN.
A collective understanding and aspiration “to achieve gender parity for high-level and other GA meeting; as well as the clear commitment to strengthening multilingualism as a core value and pillar of the organisation,
further commitment to limit the number of side-events in parallel to HLW - not only during Covid times, but in general, to preserve the primacy of the General Debate and focus on our most pressing priorities. We sincerely hope that all Member States will honour this commitment and contribute to a more focused HLW.
And lastly, but certainly not least important, the collective recognition of the important role of civil society in UN processes, including in the SG and PGA selection processes, which brings a clear added value in finding appropriate and effective answers to the challenges we face.
All in all, a very impressive outcome, which shows what we can achieve if we all work together towards the better of this organisation. I hope this constructive spirit will prevail in future negotiations.
I thank you.