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Volkan Bozkir (General Assembly President) at General Assembly: 25th plenary meeting, 75th session
12 Nov 2020 -  Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
At the General Debate this year, world leaders pledged their strong support to multilateralism, and the United Nations, as the most effective system to address global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
This year, as we commemorate 75 years of the United Nations, we have been reflecting on the United Nations we need to deliver the future we want. We need a system that is fit for purpose and can deliver for the people we are serving.
This General Assembly, as the United Nations’ most representative body, has a convening power like no other. This is where all Member States can discuss issues and solutions that cross-national boundaries. Strengthening the General Assembly is vital to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations is also important. The revitalization process has strengthened the General Assembly, by increasing the transparency of important processes and improving the overall functionality of our Organization.
During this session, I encourage you to work to identify and implement practices to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of this body. An organization that stands still will never stay relevant.
In that regard, I would like to thank Her Excellency Ms. Egriselda Aracely González López, Permanent Representative of El Salvador and His Excellency Mr. Michal Mlynár, Permanent Representative of Slovakia, for taking on the role of co-chairing the Ad Hoc Working Group on General Assembly Revitalization this session.
I look forward to the report of the Secretary-General on the impact of COVID-19 on the work of the General Assembly, which was requested by the most recent General Assembly Revitalization resolution. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the steps that you have taken to adapt to the unexpected challenges arising from the pandemic.
Working methods must be robust enough to continue our important work. And the General Assembly cannot be seen to sit idle while the world around us attempts to address one of the greatest challenges in a generation.
The Intergovernmental Consultations on the Alignment of the Agendas of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council and its Subsidiary Bodies is a critical opportunity to examine the agendas that guide our work. A comprehensive and holistic view of the agendas across the main bodies is necessary to ensure these bodies are more relevant and fit for purpose.
I therefore made sure to appoint experienced co-facilitators for the Alignment. I thank Her Excellency, Ms. Darja Bavdaž Kuret, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia, and Her Excellency Ms. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh for taking on this important responsibility.
Previous discussions have demonstrated Member States’ broad support for improved coherence of the agendas of the General Assembly and ECOSOC, and their subsidiary bodies within the 2030 Agenda.
I intend to meet regularly with the co-facilitators and the President of the ECOSOC; the Chairs of the Main Committees; and the General Committee, in order to prepare the program of meetings for the consultations on Alignment in 2021.
It is our common responsibility to make much needed progress on the Alignment Process, which must remain inclusive and Member State driven in order to be effective.
I encourage you all to remain engaged in these two complementary processes to revitalize the General Assembly. My team and I stand ready to support you in this crucial work.
This afternoon, the General Assembly will consider a draft decision and a draft amendment on a procedure for decision making in the General Assembly when an in-person meeting is not possible. As I mentioned on my letters and earlier today, I have continued work across the aisles on this topic. I am fully aware of the sensitivities as well as complexity of the issues at hand. Since I took office I met and discussed this question with Permanent Representatives in different context and settings seeking to bring delegations together in a cooperative spirit to find creative solutions on the crucial issue of business continuity.
We have an obligation towards our constituency to find ways to enable the General Assembly to function effectively and remain relevant in the framework of the Charter and the Rules of Procedure. The format, the scope and characteristics of those solutions is of course to be decided by you, the membership of the Assembly through the tools at your disposal. I reiterate my goal to all of you to continue to work together to strengthen the role and functioning of the General Assembly.
I thank you.
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