I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Non Alignment Movement Working Group on the Reform of the United Nations and the revitalization of the General Assembly.
The NAM working Group would like to express its sincere appreciation to you and to the Secretariat for today’s presentation of the CRP.5 entitled: “ Historical and analytical note on the practices and working methods of the Main Committees”.
Our understanding was that, since it has just been introduced, this note would not be substantially discussed during this informal meeting but rather to continue our deliberations on CRP.4 and CRP.6 that have been introduced during last informal consultations. The NAM takes note of the CRP.5 and will reflect on its content in due course.
In this context, the NAM Working Group would like to stress the need for a better planning of our informal meetings from now to the end of next month or mid June as well as for a more focused discussion of the issues at hand. For instance, we could focus now on CRP.6 and CRP.4, which both have to deal with the agenda of the GA, and then consider the CRP.5 which has more to do with the working methods and practices of the Main Committees.
While thanking the Secretariat for submitting the informal note for the review of the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly, we would like however to note that its late circulation (yesterday 15 April) has made it difficult for the delegations and the NAM to give it a careful consideration. We would urge you, Mr President, to insure in the future that sufficient time will be given for delegations and groups to consult after submission of any document, so as to allow them to effectively participate to the informal plenary meetings.
You may recall that the NAM has already expressed, in a constructive and positive manner, its views and approach on the issue related to the conceptualization of the content of the agenda of the General Assembly in its statements made prior to the adoption of the resolution 58/126.
The NAM supported the idea of conceptualizing the agenda around the priorities of the Medium-term plan with the understanding that these priorities will serve as headings under which all agenda items will be listed in a very neutral and balanced fashion. We clearly stated that the priorities of the medium term plan offer a paradigm which is more suitable for the conceptualization of the agenda of the GA.
As a result, the General Assembly in paragraph 4, Section B of its resolution 58/126 requested the Secretary General to submit an illustrative agenda organized around the priorities of the Medium-term plan. We believe that this conceptualization should be used solely for purposes of illustration.
We are of the view that, despite some shortcomings that are still to be addressed, structuring the agenda of the GA around the priorities of the Medium-term plan would make the agenda more visible and accessible not only to the large public but to those who have to deal with it daily and directly.
Concerning the CRP.6, the NAM has noted suggestions in paragraphs 14 and 15 to establish, respectively, an “inactive list” for so called “dormant items” and two different agenda “ permanent agenda” and
“actual agenda”; concepts which have been converted in the informal note dated of 15 April to “standing agenda” and “ sessional agenda”.
The NAM believes that the two proposed concepts are rather confusing and the Secretariat has gone beyond the mandate given to it by the General Assembly in the relevant provisions of its resolution 58/126. The mandate set out by the GA in this regard is clear; it calls for further biennialization, triennialization, clustering and elimination of items of the customary agenda of the GA. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, there is no organ of the Organization which has established this kind of agendas.
We are indeed convinced that the Agenda of the GA needs to be rationalized through further biennialization, triennialization, clustering or elimination of items following consultations with concerned Member States. However, the GA should have a single agenda that has to be translated to a list of items for a given session for their incorporation into the programme of work of the Plenary and programmes of work of the Main Committees.
The NAM looks forward to concrete proposals that will be made by the President of the General Assembly with regard to biennialization, triennialization and clustering of the agenda items of the plenary as first step before dealing with those of the Main Committees with a view of shortening the agenda.
The NAM is ready to consider constructively any proposal aiming at rationalizing the agenda of the General Assembly particularly those made upon consultation with the concerned Member States.
These are the NAM’s preliminary comments on the content of CRP.6 and CRP.4 and I would like again to assure you of our full cooperation in order to meet the 1 July 2004 deadline for our deliberations.
I thank you, Mr President.