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Revitalized General Assembly crucial for tackling global problems, says President

Revitalized General Assembly crucial for tackling global problems, says President

Srgjan Kerim
Underscoring its role as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly today urged Member States to impart new vigour into the 192-member body to make it stronger and more efficient.

“To promote more effective multilateralism, to find global solutions to global problems, it is incumbent upon all of us to bolster the authority and international standing of this Assembly,” Srgjan Kerim told delegations today ahead of a debate on revitalizing the Assembly’s work.

“It is first and foremost by systematically tackling the challenges that we face together and achieving results, that the General Assembly makes itself stronger, more effective and more relevant to the lives of the global public,” Mr. Kerim added.

In addition, Mr. Kerim announced that a Working Group set up to identify ways to further enhance the role, authority and effectiveness of the Assembly will begin its work shortly, under the leadership of the Ambassadors of Poland and Paraguay.

He proposed that the Working Group could focus on ensuring that existing resolutions are fully implemented, as well as consider other practical steps to improve the Assembly’s working methods, such as finalizing a repository of best practices for the Assembly and its subsidiary bodies.

The President reiterated his call for the Assembly to be more of a dialogue, rather than a monologue, and to be more engaging, insightful and focused on substantive results.

Specifically, he called for Member States to continue to work together enthusiastically and in cooperation to ensure progress on issues such as climate change, the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and reform of the Security Council.

Highlighting the Assembly’s leadership on priority issues, Mr. Kerim announced he would convene debates on counter-terrorism in December, on climate change in February 2008, and on management reform in April.

He also stressed the need for appropriately funding and staffing the Office of the Assembly President, stating that “this would ensure each elected President has an equal opportunity to deliver results – whether from a developed or developing country, no matter how large or small.

“An entirely UN funded budget would enhance the independence of the President, and increase transparency and accountability to Member States,” he added.