General statements in favour of the UN, UN reform & multilateralism

Statements by Member States at meetings in February, March, and April 2018 of the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly

February 20, 2018


The General Assembly is the very cornerstone of the UN, and it plays a crucial role in order to ensure that tangible form is given to sustainable development and sustaining peace agendas. It does so in order to uphold the collective interest and therefore it cannot sit on the sidelines of reform processes taking place across the three pillars of the United Nations and cannot remain passive or indifferent to the strategic vision, which the Secretary-General has proposed.

We hope that the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group will show results in this regard. The strengthening of the role, and the bolstering of the authority of the General Assembly contributes to improving the ownership which members have over the UN. It is serving also to bolster governance and strengthen multilateralism.

Measures must also be taken to lend greater visibility to the General Assembly and to further publicize the contribution it makes to championing the organization as a whole.


February 20, 2018


These are challenging times for multilateralism, and yet we have never needed it so much. In our endeavours to strengthen the multilateral system, the revitalization of the General Assembly emerges as a critical issue . . . to preserve it as the chief deliberative policymaking and representative organ of the UN.


February 20, 2018


The UN faces huge challenges nowadays, as well as very dangerous challenges especially in countering terrorism and maintaining international peace and security, achieving sustainable development, and tackling the root causes of conflict disputes all over the world. . . . This necessitates greater cooperation among all the main organs of the UN through concerted efforts and coordination of all movements that complement international endeavours.


February 20, 2018


The General Assembly must regain its leadership role in addressing major challenges facing the world. The success of the UN and multilateralism depends on the effectiveness of the General Assembly. The revitalization of the General Assembly must also be seen in the wider context of the overall reform of the United Nations, including the reform of the Security Council, which the general assembly has been struggling to address for the last 25 years. Comprehensive UN reform is imperative to make it reflective of current geopolitical realities and to enhance its credibility and capability to meet increasingly complex and pressing transnational challenges of our times.

… The time for change has come. Let us make genuine efforts to strengthen the role of General Assembly as the chief deliberative legislative and policy-making body of the international community. This will help strengthen the legitimacy of the United Nations and multilateralism itself.


March 20, 2018


My delegation is committed like all member-states to this process to move forward multilateralism and its noble objectives, and we are determined to actively participate in any future work in a transparent, inclusive, and open manner.


March 20, 2018

South Africa

The working group should continue towards further enhancement of the working methods of the General Assembly in order for this principal organ to discharge its mandate as the apex of multilateralism.