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STATEMENT BY

H.E. SHEIKHA HAYA RASHED AL KHALIFA
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING ON DRAFT RESOLUTIONS L.54 AND L.55

UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
15 MARCH 2007

Secretary-General,
Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,

The General Assembly has before it today two draft resolutions, L. 54 on strengthening the capacity of the Organization in peacekeeping operations, and L.55 on strengthening the capacity of the Organization to advance the disarmament agenda.

I would like to thank all of you, the entire membership, for your constructive approach and the spirit of cooperation and flexibility shown throughout the consultation process.

I would like also to thank those delegations who, although voiced a number of concerns, have worked constructively with me and the facilitators to address these concerns, without hindering our ability to adopt the draft resolutions today.

I would particularly like to thank the facilitators, the Permanent Representative of Norway, His Excellency Johan L°vald; the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Prasad Kariyawasam; the Permanent Representative of Portugal, His Excellency, JoŃo Salgueiro; and the Permanent Representative of Uruguay, His Excellency Elbio Rosselli, for assisting me, so effectively, in conducting a transparent, inclusive and productive process of consultations, which lead us successfully to reach a balanced outcome, around which, we can all rally.

The draft resolution on strengthening the capacity of the Organization in peacekeeping operations expresses the Assembly's political support, and gives procedural guidance from Member States to the Secretary-General.

The draft resolution also provides that the restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, referred to in operative paragraph 2, will be decided by the Membership through the established procedures of the General Assembly and its intergovernmental, technical, administrative and budgetary subsidiary organs.

This will take place after the submission, by the Secretary-General, of the Comprehensive Report referred to in operative paragraph 3.

As stipulated in the resolution, the report should take full account of the views of Member States, in particular the need to take all measures to guarantee the unity of command, and the safety and security of all personnel working in the field.

The report should also take into account the relevant General Assembly resolutions, including those related to specific requests by the Assembly, concerning the functioning of the various aspects of peacekeeping operations, such as resolutions 60/266 and 60/268 as well as others, in order to ensure the effective management of these operations and to establish clear lines of accountability and responsibility.

By adopting the draft resolution on strengthening the capacity of the Organization to advance the disarmament agenda, the Assembly shall allow the Secretary-General to appoint a High Representative at the rank of Under-Secretary-General to head the new Office for Disarmament Affairs.

It will provide the Secretary-General with the political support needed for him to discharge his duties in a flexible and effective manner, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the UN Charter.

Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,

It is my sincerest hope that the Assembly can move, now, to adopt both draft resolutions without a vote.


Concluding Remarks

Secretary-General,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

We have now adopted resolution 61/256 on strengthening the capacity of the Organization in peacekeeping operations, and resolution 61/257 on strengthening the capacity of the Organization to advance the disarmament agenda.

I was very pleased that throughout the consultations process the Membership was united in providing the Secretary-General with the necessary political support so that he can more effectively discharge the responsibilities and duties of his important office.

I believe that a strong Secretary-General is an essential component of a stronger and more effective United Nations.

As we prepare to follow up on the consideration of the reports requested in both resolutions, I am hopeful that we will continue to work together, and with the Secretary-General, to strengthen our Organization to better meet the needs of the peoples of the World.