UN General Assembly: Statement by Finland on Revitalization of the General Assembly

United Nations General Assembly, Agenda Item 116: Revitalization of the General Assembly, 10th meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly, 21 July 2006, New York

Statement by Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union

Distinguished co-chairs,

On behalf of the European Union I would like to thank you for convening this tenth meeting of the ad hoc working group on GA Revitalization. We support all your efforts to conclude our discussions on the draft report and recommendations of the ad hoc working group dated 14 July.

The EU has been actively engaged in discussions and remains committed to consider measures to strengthen the United Nations by revitalizing the General Assembly.

Having considered your latest draft report and recommendations for elements of the draft resolution, we globally support these recommendations and trust that most of them represent a balanced outcome of previous discussions and the diverse positions on the issues. Some areas remain in the draft report on which we would like to comment.

With regard to paragraph 10 of the annex of the draft report we would like to thank the co-chairs for their attempt to find middle ground. The EU however remains of the view that the strengthening of the Office of the President of the GA should be based on a needs assessment, taking into account results and achievements of the increased capacity that the President´s Office has received in the recent years and the expected workload of the incoming President´s Office. It would be premature to decide to strengthen the office without this essential information.

Concerning paragraph 19 of the draft recommendations, the EU is strongly in favour of informal meetings between the candidates for the position of Secretary-General and Member States. However, we continue to think that the current drafting prevents the resolution from being adopted by consensus. In this context the EU would like to propose the following compromise version with the hope that it could be agreeable by the Member States: "Encourages the candidates for the position of SG to present their views to Member States and requests that such informal meetings, for instance through regional and other groups, should be appropriately facilitated”.

The EU would like to reiterate its wish to find consensus on the recommendations for elements of the draft resolution and move forward with a view to conclude the discussions during the 60th session of the General Assembly. The EU remains committed to negotiations on any subjects and hopes that the ad hoc working group can finalize its mandate as soon as possible.

Finally, the EU would like to express its appreciation for the efforts of the co-chairs and the Office of the PGA in their attempts to bridge the gaps and propose a way forward. Their able guidance and hard work have brought us closer to finding a consensus solution on the important issue of revitalizing the General Assembly and we trust that their efforts will soon bring us to a satisfactory conclusion.

Thank you.