New General Assembly measures aim to enhance its authority

19 December 2003

The General Assembly today voted for measures aimed at revitalizing its work and enhancing its authority amid concerns from Member States that other United Nations bodies, including the Security Council, are reducing its traditional role.

In a two-part resolution adopted unanimously, the Assembly decided to take steps to increase its efficiency and raise its profile so that its decisions might have greater impact.

Unlike the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council, all of the UN's 191 Members get a seat and a vote in the Assembly, which has faced criticism over its long agenda and debates.

UN spokeswoman Michèle Montas told the press that the text aims to address these concerns, including by consolidating the annual agenda and fostering more interactive discussions.

She added that Member States want a closer working relationship between the presidents of the Assembly and the two councils.

The resolution calls for regular meetings among the three presidents to better coordinate their work, and for the Security Council's president to brief the other two leaders on its plans for upcoming thematic debates.

The resolution also invites the Security Council to submit periodic reports to the Assembly "on issues of current international concern" and to improve the quality of the annual report it provides to the Assembly.

The Assembly passed other resolutions today on global partnerships, especially involving the private sector, and boosting efforts against landmines.

 

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