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In-person General Debate of the Ad Hoc Working Group (AHWG) on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly

Thursday, 11 February 2021
H.E. MR. ENRIQUE A. MANALO Permanent Representative, Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations
General Assembly Hall, UNHQ



We thank the co-chairs for your leadership in facilitating the work of this body under extraordinary circumstances and assure you of our continued support.

The Philippines aligns itself with the Statement made by Algeria on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The revitalization process is part and parcel of the comprehensive reform efforts of the United Nations. The Philippines wishes to submit the following key points on the four (4) Thematic Clusters under the revitalization agenda:

  • On the Role and Authority of the General Assembly, the General Assembly is the chief deliberative, policy making, and representative organ of the United Nations. It is imperative that Member States galvanize efforts to reinforce the role and authority of the General Assembly, enhance its effectiveness and efficiency, as well as its transparency and inclusiveness. Mindful of the primacy of the General Assembly, we also support calls for greater coherence in the work of the various principal organs, including the rationalization of agenda and greater institutional coordination among them through regular meetings of their Presidents, among others.
  • On the Working Methods of the General Assembly, we endorse the recommendation to enhance synergies and coherence, and reduce overlap where it exists, in the agenda of the General Assembly; to move forward to biennialization and triennialization in the clustering and elimination of items; and to explore and agree on the introduction of a sunset clause to some resolutions in order to have more time and resources to focus on pressing priorities. Given its comprehensive impact on efficiency, effectiveness and transparency, the review of the GA’s working methods should strengthen policy coherence, institutional leadership and enhance results. We support developing a code of conduct for election campaigns with a view to improving standards of transparency, accountability and equity. We also support a set of guidelines to be observed on the initiation of high-level meetings and side-events held in parallel to the General Debate during the High-Level Week (HLW) to be applicable to the Member States, the Secretariat and the entire UN system.
  • On the Selection and Appointment of the Secretary-General and Other Executive Heads, resolution 74/303 must be implemented faithfully to ensure a transparent and inclusive selection process. The Philippines therefore supports continuing timely informal dialogues and town hall meetings with the candidates.                                                                                                                                                                            We further emphasize that the Secretary-General must be accorded independence in selecting senior officials, while adhering to the highest standards in these appointments, and ensuring equal and fair distribution on the basis of gender- and geographical balance. We also reiterate our support for the proposal to come up with a compendium of best practices and lessons learned on the selection and appointment process for the Secretary-General.
  • On Strengthening the Institutional Memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA), the Philippines strongly supports this agenda and the increasing call of Member States to create a permanent core staff for the Office of the President. This will lower the costs of a new team of experts every 12 months. We also support the continuing request of the Office of the PGA for Member States “to discuss measures to close the gap between the number of tasks they request from the Presidents and the resources allocated to the Office.” We commend the institutionalization of the PGA’s handover report since the 70th Session of the GA and recommend the continuation of the morning dialogues with the Permanent Missions as well as the practice of convening interactive dialogues with the candidates for the position of the President of the General Assembly.



The Philippines renews its commitment to engage effectively and constructively in the Ad Hoc Working Group.

The Philippines is confident that with the necessary political will of the Member States and the leadership of our Co-Chairs in driving the revitalization process, there will be greater efficiency, transparency, accountability and a collective sense of ownership in the United Nations. Thank you.