Conflict Prevention, Peace building and Mediation

EU Statement: Joint Briefing by the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Economic and Social Council

27 January 2021, New York - , 27/01/2021 - 21:54, UNIQUE ID: 210127_14
Statements on behalf of the EU

27 January 2021, New York - Joint Briefing by the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Economic and Social Council, EU statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Olof Skoog, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN

Thank you, Presidents, for sharing your views on the coherence in the work of the General Assembly and of the Economic and Social Council.

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the EU and its 27 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 the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

Presidents, your efforts to enhance this coherence between your respective organisations are key to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and more broadly to the evolution towards a United Nations system which reflects the UN@75 Declaration and especially its vision of an “upgraded UN”.

President Bozikir: we had the opportunity last week, at your briefing on your priorities for this year, to underline the momentum you could maintain at the General Assembly despite the pandemic and in the face of the related challenges. We also reiterated the EU and its Member States’ strong support to your action to deliver on our common priorities.

President Akram: I would like to assure you that the EU and its Member States will support you and other Bureau members in your work by actively engaging in the discussions be it in the ECOSOC proper, or in the Council's subsidiary bodies. The EU and its Member States recognize the importance of the Council as regards:

- overseeing the work of a number of entities working on sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; 

- identifying emerging challenges, promoting innovation;

- and providing guidance to the system on how to work better together.

We do see big potential in the Council's oversight, coordination and guidance functions, and we want to contribute to this effort, despite the unpredictability where we are all currently operating.

Potentially, the Alignment process provides an avenue to streamline the agendas of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. I say “potentially” because the process has not delivered concrete results yet. However we have an opportunity to deliver this year, given:

  • that we are now entering the Decade of Action and the time for the process to deliver is overdue;
  • the important technical work achieved so far;
  • the lessons drawn from the pandemic circumstances and the way the various UN bodies have pragmatically adjusted.

I sincerely hope that all stakeholders will mobilise and ensure that concrete progress is finally made. We congratulate the Ambassadors of Bangladesh and Slovenia for their appointment as co-facilitators. The EU will continue to participate actively and constructively in the interactions.

You also mentioned the ECOSOC and HLPF's review. The EU and its Member States attach great importance to this process. We believe that it constitutes an opportunity to look at the inter-connections between the Council and the Forum's work and structures, identify complementarities and space for enhanced coherence, coordination and efficiency. We congratulate the Ambassadors of Senegal and Austria for their appointment as co-facilitators. We declare our intention, there also, to actively and constructively work with partners.

Finally, in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis will be a real test for the UN, and specifically the Assembly and the Council, working hand in hand, to make a difference for the people. The 2021 Financing for Development Forum will take place in a key moment, with hopefully the first signs of recession of the sanitary crisis, and certainly a clearer picture of the depth of the economic and social crisis. It is essential that the growth in inequalities is contained and that climate and environmental sustainability is strengthened. The substantial financial resources mobilised to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic should contribute to Building Back Better and to moving countries closer to the SDGs and the Paris Agreement objectives. The EU vision is encapsulated in the Global Recovery Initiative, which links the management of debt unsustainability and the alignment of investment to the SDGs, with a view to promote a green, digital, just and resilient recovery – as articulated by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen last May. We would also like to congratulate the Ambassadors of the Netherlands and Fiji for their appointment as co-facilitators for the Financing for Development Outcome Document.

Presidents, you can count on the EU’s strong support to your efforts to enhance coherence in the work of your respective bodies with a view for the UN to emerge stronger from the crisis to better promote the implementation of its goals and of the 2030 Agenda in particular.

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