European Union External Action

United Nations General Assembly – 73nd Session: Fourth thematic meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on GA Revitalization

New York, 30/04/2019 - 16:17, UNIQUE ID: 190501_3
Statements on behalf of the EU

30 April 2019, New York - United Nations General Assembly – 73nd Session - Fourth thematic meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on GA Revitalization: Strengthening the accountability, transparency, and institutional memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly statement by Mr. Gerton van den Akker, Chief of Staff, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations.

Co-Chairs,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. All protocol observed.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, 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.

Allow me first to thank the PGA for attending this meeting and for sharing her views with us. Your presence is a testimony of your unbridled commitment to the issue of GA Revitalisation. Our thanks also go out to USG Pollard for her presence and for the information provided to us.

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 the entire UN community. As the work load 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, effectiveness as well as the 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 for example is a clear example of that, as well as the development of a standardized format for the written handover summary of best practices and lessons learned and efforts in archiving and record keeping. These initiatives contribute to preserve the institutional memory of the Office, while simultaneously promoting its transparency and accountability, and the EU and its Member States stress the need for their continuation.

We would also like to reiterate the need to continue to pursue the integration of the gender perspective throughout the United Nations system and we congratulate the PGA on the fact that 60% of the OPGA-staff are women. There is - indeed - 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.

 

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

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