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General Debate on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly

Monday, 20 February 2017
Trusteeship Council Chamber




The Philippines aligns itself with the Statement delivered by Algeria on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and wishes to state a few points in our national capacity.




Allow me to first express our thanks to the President of the General Assembly and to congratulate and thank you Co-Chairs for continuing to shepherd the work in promoting institutional accountability, coherence, innovation and synergies to make the General Assembly  more effective and efficient in carrying out its functions and powers under Chapter IV of the UN Charter and in following through the implementation of the various resolutions to revitalize our work.


Today’s Debate clearly demonstrates the continuing importance we attach to the pursuit of key reforms so that the United Nations can deliver on its promise of  fighting  ignorance, disease, poverty, and injustice, as well as  better address current challenges that divide rather than unite our nations, and  that destroy rather than build on  our collective aspirations for the peoples of the world. 




Please allow me to provide our general views  on the four (4) thematic clusters:


  1. On the role and authority of the General Assembly, we reiterate the call by concerned Member States that the General Assembly be accorded its proper role as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the Organization.


  2. On working methods of the General Assembly, we reiterate calls for streamlining the agenda of the General Assembly to enhance synergies and reduce duplication and overlaps in the agenda of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC and subsidiary bodies and the HLTF on the 2030 Agenda.


We would like to see greater progress on the proposals to biennialize, triennialize, cluster or eliminate items on our crowded agenda, allowing greater time to  deliberate on more pressing issues. 


We will also welcome enhanced coordination between the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and Chairs of the Main Committees in the scheduling and  distribution of meetings and events throughout a session to ensure wider and more substantive participation of Member States, especially of smaller delegations.


  1. On the selection and appointment of the UN Secretary-General and other executive heads, we are very much encouraged by the transparent, rigorous, and inclusive process undertaken last year that saw the election of our new Secretary General.We can continue and improve on this process,bringing the transparency and inclusive process to the level of executive heads and senior officials whose selection and appointment should likewise be measured by the same high standards of efficiency, competence and integrity. The Secretary-General must exercise independence in the selection of senior officials, adhering to these high standards in the appointment of the best qualified candidate, while ensuring equal and fair distribution based on gender- and geographic balance.


  2. On the strengthening of the institutional memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA), we are also encouraged by the measures undertaken last year to provide transparency and accountability to the Office of the PGA. We stress the need to provide the Office with adequate resources from the regular budget and establish a common format of substantive and organizational briefing sessions for the incoming PGA for a smooth and efficient turn-over.


We welcome the continuation of the practice of secondment of staff from the Permanent Missions of Member States and thank them for their support to the  OPGA. 




Pursuing these reforms will help affirm the continuing resilience and relevance of the United Nations.  It is a responsibility of all Member States and we look forward to making a contribution to the process in the forthcoming thematic meetings.


Thank you, Co-Chairs.