Revitalization of the work of the General AssemblyOver the past years, there has been a sustained effort to make the work of the General Assembly more focused and relevant. This became a major priority as of the fifty-eighth session, and efforts continued at subsequent sessions of the General Assembly to streamline the agenda, improve the practices and working methods of the Main Committees, enhance the role of the General Committee, strengthen the role and authority of the President and examine the Assembly’s role in the process to select the Secretary-General.
At its sixtieth session, the Assembly adopted a text, annexed to resolution 60/286 of 8 September 2006, which, among other things, encouraged the holding of informal inter-active debates on current issues of critical importance to the international community. The text, which had been recommended by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly, also invited the President of the General Assembly to propose themes for these interactive debates. During the sixty-third session, seven informal thematic interactive debates were convened on: the global financial crisis; access to education in emergency, post-crisis and transition situations caused by man-made conflicts or natural disasters; the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development; the global food crisis and the right to food; taking collective action to end human trafficking; energy efficiency, energy conservation and new and renewable sources of energy; and the responsibility to protect.
As of the sixty-first session, it has become an established practice for the Secretary-General to brief Member States periodically, in informal meetings of the General Assembly, on his recent activities and travels. These briefings have provided a well-received opportunity for exchange between the Secretary-General and Member States and are likely to be continued at the sixty-fourth session.
Published by the United Nations Department of Public Information 09-42940—August 2009—3,000—DPI/2538