Mr. Hassan Adam, Minister-Counsellor
At the Plenary meeting on Agenda Item 124 Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly
7 November 2022
Thank you, Mr. President,
At the outset, my delegation would like to express our sincere gratitude to His Excellency Mitch Fifield, and Her Excellency Egriselda López, Permanent Representatives of Australia and El Salvador, respectively, for their leadership as Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly during the seventy-sixth session.
The United Nations embodies the hopes of all, irrespective of status, class or, gender, and of those who believe in peaceful dialogue to solve global problems. Within the United Nations, the General Assembly remains the chief deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ. It stands at the center of our multilateral system. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the General Assembly remains effective and efficient in fulfilling the functions outlined under the Charter of the United Nations. A stronger United Nations requires a more robust General Assembly.
Continual efforts have been made in the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly. In this regard, we welcome the transparency in the selection and appointment process of the Secretary-General, as well as the enhancement of relationship and coordination between the General Assembly, ECOSOC, and the Security Council during the 76th Session. We also applaud the continuous encouragement to seek gender balance and geographical representation in the distribution of the Chairs and Bureau Members of the Main Committee, as well as among invited speakers and panelists.
The United Nations, in particular the General Assembly, must keep pace with and respond to the rapid changes taking place in the world. This was evident during the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak, when Member States remained firmly committed to keeping the General Assembly functioning despite the limitations. Moreover, strengthening coordination between the General Assembly, the Security Council, and ECOSOC is vital and will enhance and reinforce accountability, coherence, and transparency between the three main bodies.
We also saw Member States of the General Assembly stepping up to uphold global peace and security, a principle enshrined in the Charter of the United States, by convening the 11th Emergency Special Session this year, when the Security Council failed to effectively address the challenge. We also welcome adoption of the veto initiative during 76th Session of the General Assembly – a resolution Maldives was happy to co-sponsor. Therefore, the Maldives supports increasing the substantial role and moral authority of the General Assembly.
The Maldives believes that improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the General Assembly is critical – an overarching objective outlined in last year’s resolution. Many resolutions are recycled year after year with few substantive updates and without mechanisms to assess their implementation. Further, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s ‘Our Common Agenda’, our focus must be on implementation, rather than increasing new resolutions and mandates. In this regard, we must do more to reduce the content and number of resolutions. We must continue to implement our decision to biennialise and streamline resolutions. This would allows us to free up resources to address more pressing issues, such as concrete measures to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
We also welcome the decision by the Ad Hoc Working Group to focus primarily on strengthening the accountability, transparency and institutional memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly and the procedure for selection and appointment of the Secretary-General and other executive heads during the seventy-seventh session.
In order to improve the accountability and transparency of the Office of the President of the General Assembly, the Secretariat can strengthen the induction programme delivered through enhanced content and increased delivery time in order to equip the staff with adequate knowledge and skills. Moreover, the institutional memory of the Office can be strengthened by retaining high-level employees to decrease the learning curve with the internal workings of the United Nations.
Despite the progress made in the selection and appointment process of the Secretary-General, there is still much work left to be done. In this regard, Member States must consider nominating more women for this post. As highlighted by our Foreign Minister and President of the 76th Session of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, it is high time for a woman to be elected as the Secretary-General.
To conclude, the Maldives acknowledges results yielded thus far in revitalizing the work of the General Assembly. However, as Member States, it is our duty to contribute further in revitalizing the main policy-making organ of the world’s only truly universal global organization. Only by doing so will we be able to contribute towards the overall efforts to reform the United Nations and reinvigorate multilateralism in international affairs.
I thank you.