"Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly"

Statement by Ms. Ileana Nuñez Mordoche, Chargé d'Affaires, A.I. of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN, in her capacity as Acting Chairperson of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, at the General Assembly debate on item 110 "Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly" New York, 13 December 2006.

Madam President:

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement under item 110 on the "Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly".

The Non-Aligned Movement considers that the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly is a key component of the overall reform of the United Nations, and its objectives should continue to strengthen the role and authority of the General Assembly as the principal deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations.

The Non-Aligned Movement will not support any approach that seeks to or could result in undermining or minimizing the Assembly's achievements, diminishing its current role and functioning, or raising questions about its relevance and credibility.

The Movements calls on all Member States to renew their commitments and political will to implement General Assembly's resolutions and decisions on a non-selective and non-discriminatory basis, since the lack thereof are at the root of many unresolved questions.

Madam President:

The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms the role and authority of the General Assembly, including on questions relating to international peace and security, as stipulated in articles 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 35 of the United Nations Charter, where appropriate using the procedures set fourth in rules 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly, which enable swift and urgent action by the General Assembly, bearing in mind that the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, in accordance with article 24 of the Charter.

In this regard, the Movement supports the adoption of measures aimed at simplifying the procedure of Uniting for Peace so as to facilitate the adoption of urgent and expedite measures by the General Assembly.

It further reiterates the role of the General Assembly in the maintenance of international peace and security and expresses its grave concern at instances where the Security Council fails to fulfil its primary responsibility in this regard.

The Non-Aligned Movement wishes to emphasize that in such cases where the Security Council has not fulfilled its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the General Assembly should take appropriate measures, in accordance with the Charter, to address the issue.

In this regard, and in accordance with the mandate given by the Heads of State or Government during the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Havana, we are working on an appropriate draft resolution on this issue to be submitted to the General Assembly.

Therefore, Non-Aligned Movement formally requests to keep this agenda item open, so that we can submit the said draft to the consideration of all the Member States further on.

Madam President:

The Non-Aligned Movement considers that the close cooperation and coordination among all the principal organs, in correspondence with their respective functions and powers, is essential so that the United Nations can continue to be relevant and capable of facing the existing threats and challenges, new or incipient ones.

In that context, the Movement reiterates its concern at the attempts to move agenda items of the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council to the Security Council and it opposes the Security Council's usurpation of the functions and powers of the Assembly and other principal organs.

The Non-Aligned Movement calls on the Presidents of the General Assembly, the ECOSOC and the Security Council to meet periodically in order to debate and coordinate among themselves the questions relative to the agenda and the working programs of their respective organs, so as to achieve coherence and complementariness among them so that they mutually strengthen, respecting the mandates of each.

Madam President:

The Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement welcome the Informal thematic debate held last 27 November on "The role of partnerships towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals: the need of taking stock for progress" as well as the President's intention to hold thematic debates on the questions of gender and dialogue among civilizations.

On paragraph 4 of the Annex of resolution 60/286, the Security Council is invited to further its initiatives to improve the quality of its annual report to the General Assembly, as set forth on paragraph 3 of article 24 of the Charter, in order to provide the Assembly with a substantive and analytical report. Unfortunately, this year the Security Council has submitted, once again, a Report that does not fulfil the Member States' expectations, basically limited to a chronology of events, and lacking analyses and assessments.

Moreover, the Council continues without submitting special reports for their review by the General Assembly, in accordance with articles 15 and 24 of the United Nations Charter.

The Non-Aligned Movement recommends that the General Assembly considers the possibility of proposing parameters to prepare the monthly assessments of the Security Council, in order to assure that these are comprehensive and analytical, as opposed to what happens currently.

On the other hand, it is our interest to know whether the Presidency of the Assembly has the intention to propose concrete steps to carry out consultations that allow continuing to review the Council's report, as it is stated on paragraph 5 of the annex of the aforementioned resolution 60/286.

Madam President:

With regard to other questions relative to the role and authority of the Assembly, we would like to know if the current Presidency received from its predecessor a report on best practices and lessons learned during its mandate, in accordance with paragraph 9 of the annex of resolution 60/286.

At the same time, we consider that it is time to carry out an assessment of the impact of the decisions adopted by the Assembly, regarding the strengthening of the President's Office, as part of the efforts aimed at reaffirming the Assembly's authority and learning if the objectives of such decisions have been achieved.

Madam President:

The Non-Aligned Movement underlines the central role of the General Assembly in the selection and appointing process of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and expresses its support to the efforts to strengthen the Assembly's role in this regard.

On this, we express our satisfaction for the fact that the position adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement in favour of the regional rotation, as well as that the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations should be chosen from a Member State of the United Nations in the region of Asia, lead to a satisfactory decision.

We take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Ban Ki Moon for his election and we reiterate to him the Non-Aligned Movement's support. Likewise, we want to express our acknowledgement to the work carried out by Mr. Kofi Annan and wish him well in his future work.

However, regarding the selection process of the Secretary-General, we express our disappointment with the fact that paragraph 19 of the annex of resolution 60/286 did not receive due consideration during the 61 Session, despite the existence of a clear majority position that the informal meetings among the candidates and the different groups were a step towards a more inclusive and transparent process.

The lack of an appropriate implementation of resolution 60/286, gives the negative impression that a restrictive interpretation of Article 97 of the Charter has prevailed again for the selection of the Secretary-General.

Madam President:

With regard to the working methods, the Non-Aligned Movement would like to know about the status of the implementation of the questions requested to the Secretary-General and which are contained in paragraphs 24, 29 and 30 of resolution 60/286.

Lastly, the Movement requests the Presidency of the Assembly the start of a consultations process among Member States to reach a decision on the establishment of an ad-hoc working group on the revitalization of the Assembly open to all Member States, to identify ways to further enhance the role, authority, effectiveness and efficiency of the Assembly.

Thank you very much.

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