General Assembly: 30th Plenary Meeting, 77th Session

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07-Nov-2022 03:37:21
Multilateralism, adapting to global challenges, less Security Council encroachment crucial in revitalizing General Assembly.

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Assembly Proclaims 18 November World Day for Preventing, Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, Violence.

Revitalizing the work of the General Assembly is of crucial importance in the overall reform of the United Nations and strengthening of multilateralism, delegates stressed today, as the Assembly also proclaimed 18 November as World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence.

Delegates debating the work of the Assembly underscored that inclusive, effective and efficient multilateralism, specifically in the COVID‑19 pandemic era, is a must in treading the path towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. COVID‑19 provided an opportunity to consider the effectiveness and efficiency of the Assembly in tackling fast‑evolving global challenges.

General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), opening the debate, said retaining the relevance of the Assembly will depend on its ability to adapt its work to challenges of the twenty‑first century. While the goal of revitalizing the Assembly is broad and general, the actual work is often technical. “It is sometimes time‑consuming, sometimes frustrating, but the work can, and it does, change this Assembly in a very concrete manner,” he said.

Speakers throughout the debate echoed those sentiments, with the representative of Algeria, speaking on behalf of the Non‑Aligned Movement, emphasizing that the Assembly must preserve its intergovernmental, inclusive and democratic nature. He also reiterated his objection to the Security Council’s encroachment on matters clearly within the powers of the Assembly.

Malaysia’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reiterated the important role of the Assembly’s main committees in complementing the work of the Ad‑Hoc Working Group. The Office of the President of the Assembly must be equipped with adequate human and financial resources through the regular budget to strengthen its accountability, transparency and institutional memory. The Office should not rely on voluntary contributions, he emphasized.

Morocco’s delegate underscored that the Assembly's agenda must align with the aims and goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, adding: “Multilateralism needs to be improved so that we can be positioned to surmount the challenges that humanity faces in an increasingly interdependent and interconnected world.”

The representative of Belarus stressed the need to avoid duplication in the work of the General Assembly, its main committees and the Economic and Social Council. To strengthen the institutional memory of the Office of the President, the outgoing president should inform the incoming one of experiences gained and lessons drawn, he added.

The Russian Federation’s delegate objected to the use of the Assembly platform for public relations campaigns, which attempt to demonize certain Member States. Such acts undermine the work of the Assembly and risk it becoming a tool to advance certain country agendas, she warned.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution titled “World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence”, which was introduced by First Lady of Sierra Leone Fatima Maada Bio.

In her address to the Assembly, Ms. Bio said that the prevalence of child sexual abuse contributes to the global burden of disease and adversely impacts economic and social development, particularly in developing nations. The Day, she expressed hope, will increase awareness of child sexual abuse, mobilize governments and civil society to promote understanding, take action and help eliminate the shame and stigma associated with child sexual abuse.

Also speaking today were representatives of Costa Rica, Maldives, Singapore, Ecuador, Mexico, Japan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, Brunei Darussalam, Poland, Philippines, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Viet Nam, India, Sri Lanka and El Salvador.

The representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, also participated, as did an observer of the Holy See.

The Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. Wednesday, 09 November, to consider the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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