Summary: 25 May 2011, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by Mr. Peter Schwaiger, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Meeting of the Ad hoc Working Group on the Revitalisation of the General Assembly
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Iceland+ and Montenegro*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and the EFTA country Norway, a member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union would like to thank the two co-chairs, the PR of Lithuania, H.E. Mr. Dalius Čekuolis and the PR of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, H.E. Mr. Camillo Gonsalves for their excellent work and convening this meeting to discuss the functions of the Office of the President of the General Assembly including strengthening its institutional memory, and its relationship with the Secretariat. We concur with the intention of the Co-chairs to conclude our work well before the summer break.
The General Assembly has reiterated several times the need to strengthen the role and leadership of its President. The Office of the PGA supports the President in the discharge of his responsibilities. With the evolution of the workload of the Assembly and its President, the role of the Office has also changed and become more substantive. Therefore, the European Union deems it of paramount importance to enhance the institutional memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly with regard to ensuring coherence and continuity of General Assembly activities. The EU would like to underline that ensuring efficiency is not only necessary in the process of nomination and selection of the Presidents of the GA but also in the smooth transfer of responsibilities between them.
The EU welcomes all the measures already adopted with a view to strengthening the Office of the PGA and stands ready to further consider strengthening the institutional memory of the Office of the PGA.
The EU believes that a cooperative relationship between the principal organs of the UN, and also between the Office of the President of the GA and the Secretariat, is of vital importance for the functioning and, consequently, for the effectiveness of the UN. In this context, the EU encourages periodic meetings between the Presidents of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the ECOSOC to ensure increased cooperation and coordination. Information provided by the President of the General Assembly to Member States on substantial issues raised during such meetings would further enhance transparency and ensure better coordination.
Finally, the EU supports that the outgoing Presidents of the GA brief their successors on the lessons learnt and practices in conformity with resolution A/64/301 and encourages them to share their views and recommendations with the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the GA as well.
* Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.