Closing Plenary of the General Assembly

– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, at the Closing Plenary of the General Assembly

 

 

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen

 

We are now at the end of the main part of the 72nd session.

Over three months ago, the general debate saw a record number of speakers. From the start, a few messages were clear. For instance, there were calls for a stronger United Nations, for us to focus more on people and recommitments to multilateralism.

In this respect let me stress two points.

 

First, we have made progress in this main part of the 72nd session.

Progress is not measured by the number of resolutions we adopt, or the length of the meetings we hold. Rather, it is measured by the impact we make on people’s lives.

Just last night we adopted the Programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019. Over these months we have gone through many discussions in the General Assembly and the Main Committees. We have made progress in some areas, in others, we need more time to find solutions.

We have moved forward on the Secretary General’s reform proposals. We adopted two resolutions, by consensus: on the peace and security pillar reform and on management reform.

This shows member states’ commitment to making the United Nations deliver for people. I stand ready to use my convening power to ensure member states’ engagement in and ownership of the reform processes and their outcomes.

Each committee has a different role to play. But they are all multilateralism in action. The fruits of your labour are the resolutions and decisions adopted. Let us turn the words in these resolutions into action in people’s lives.

MIROSLAV LAJČÁK

President of the UN General Assembly

Second, our work is not yet done. We have more to do next year.

On migration, we must finalize the Global Compact.

We share the same priority, peace and prevention. In particular, peacebuilding and sustaining peace. I look forward to your participation during the High-Level event on Sustaining Peace in April.

Maintaining momentum on the SDGs is critical. We will launch the Decade of Water for sustainable development, look at innovative financing and engage young people.

One of the first High Level meetings I convened focused on the devastating impacts of hurricane Irma on Caribbean islands. This reminds us of how much work remains to be done on climate change.

Work will continue on Security Council reform.

We will consider the December report on the Repositioning of the United Nations Development System. Following the Secretary General’s detailed report on the peace and security pillar reform, we will have more discussions.

To have meaningful outcomes from all these processes we need to talk, and more importantly, to listen, to one another. These agenda items represent global challenges. And multilateralism is the tool we need to solve them.

 

Excellencies, dear colleagues

Before I conclude, I must pay tribute to the vice-presidents of the General Assembly, committee chairs, bureaux and secretariats for their work. I look forward to our continued collaboration. I also commend the delegates, who have embodied the message from the general debate and focussed on people.

Each committee has a different role to play. But they are all multilateralism in action. The fruits of your labour are the resolutions and decisions adopted. Let us turn the words in these resolutions into action in people’s lives.

I look forward to working together in the New Year. On January 11th I plan to outline in detail my priorities for the resumed part of the 72nd session.

Let me once again thank you and wish you all well deserved holidays.

Thank you.