Strenghtening of the UN System
by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan,
President of the Fifty-seventh session of the United Nations
Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, let me thank the Secretary-General for his introductory
statement, in which he touched upon all the essential aspects
of his reform proposal, contained in the document entitled "Strengthening
of the United Nations: an agenda for further change". I
particularly welcome that the Secretary-General clearly dispelled
any anxiety that the reforms could lead to the curtailment of
the development agenda in the United Nations.
we have the report before us for our consideration. In my view,
the Report of Secretary-General is very good, comprehensive,
timely and extremely useful. It was initiated by the Secretary-General
and resulted from a thorough review of the work of the Secretariat,
its mandates and programmes. The report is widely welcomed by
the Membership and certainly deserves great credit.
all know that the UN has already undergone changes in recent
years, its performance has improved and it is now able to respond
better to a wide range of new challenges. But UN reform of 1997
has not yet been fully completed. The UN still has many areas,
which need to be rationalized with the view to refining its
functioning. UN Reform is a continuing process and therefore
I see the report as a stepping-stone towards further improvements
in the work of both the Secretariat and the General Assembly.
That's why many S-G's proposals could bring fresh ideas into
the process of the revitalization of the work of the General
Assembly, which the Presidency fully supports.
initial informal response to the S-G's proposals has been very
positive. The Report suggests a number of diverse improvements
and innovative changes that would make the work of the United
Nations more productive and efficient. I see the Report as an
important impulse, to which we, the Member States, should react
in a constructive way. The UN reform is not and cannot be perceived
as a unilateral action. It is a process in which a joint effort
of the Membership and the Secretariat is absolutely crucial
for getting the second phase of reforms started and agreed actions
you all know the Report was issued more than a month ago and
subsequently many regional briefings and one session of informal
consultations were held in order to provide additional information.
Given the complexity of the issues, it is not surprising that
many proposed actions still require further clarification. On
the basis of consultations with Member States, I suggested to
the Secretariat to prepare a Conference Room Paper that would
provide written answers and explanations to all major issues,
which have been raised by various groups or individual Member
States, as well as questions which I expect to arise during
this plenary session. We have agreed with the Secretary-General
that such a paper will be prepared as a one off exercise soon
after the debate so that it could be taken into account during
the first round of the informal consultations. We believe that
this approach would accommodate the delegations' concerns and
create a trusted atmosphere for further deliberations.
recognize that what the Secretary-General has mapped out is
an on-going process. There are some actions within the purview
of the Secretary-General for immediate implementation and other
actions that might need additional reports and/or further consideration
by relevant committees next year. Many of the proposed actions
call for measures to be taken by the Secretary-General with
the endorsement and/or guidance from the Member States. Our
deliberations should result in formulating general directions
for achieving agreed actions.
me also briefly inform you how I intend to handle the process,
which would lead to an adoption of a resolution. Let me stress
that it is going to be an open and transparent process in which
all interested and concerned delegations will be involved. After
the plenary debate, I will launch open-ended informal consultations
as soon as possible, preferably on Friday morning on 1 November.
I already asked one Vice-president of the General Committee
to help me to lead the process and chair the informal consultations
in my absence. I have also approached a number of Ambassadors
with a request to assist me and the Vice-President in facilitating
the process. I shall announce their names before the end of
the debate on this item.
will carefully listen to your views, your proposals and concerns,
both at this plenary and during the informal consultations.
After the debate and first round of informal consultations during
which further clarification will be provided by the Secretariat,
I will introduce a draft resolution in which I will reflect
those views. I hope I can count on your constructive and active
support. I do believe that given good political will, dedicated
time and energy of concerned delegations and a bit of luck we
will have a workable endorsed resolution before Christmas.
Thank you for your attention.