– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Mrs. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

Delivered by Ambassador Yanerit Morgan Sotomayor, Deputy Chef de Cabinet

30 July 2019

Ambassador Vitavas Srivihok, Permanent Representative of Thailand and Chair of the ASEAN Committee,

Mr Secretary-General António Guterres,

Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad Bande, President-elect of the 74th Session of the General Assembly,


Ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Her Excellency, María Fernanda Espinosa, President of the General Assembly, as follows:

Dear friends,

I am very grateful for the kind invitation to this reception to mark ASEAN Day, and deeply sorry that I cannot be with you this afternoon due to an official visit abroad.

Let me begin by congratulating you. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations was formed 52 years ago on 8 August, with a short, simply-worded document – something worth bearing in mind as we negotiate texts at the United Nations – grounded in a simple premise: one vision, one identity, one community.

This premise is reinforced in your Community Vision 2025, which envisions ASEAN as a peaceful, stable and resilient region with vibrant, sustainable economies; and an outward-looking region within our global community of nations.

That vision has great resonance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and as we work towards implementation, there is much inspiration we can draw from the “ASEAN Way” of compromise, consensus, and consultation.

I commend Thailand for its able and forward-looking leadership as Chair of ASEAN for 2019. Your theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” speaks to opportunities for both the region and the wider world, in the areas of harnessing and regulating technology, increasing connectivity and cooperation, and moving towards sustainable security and development. It is vital that we build stronger partnerships at all levels to manage these transitions – and to ensure that people are always at the heart of our efforts.


ASEAN has been a steadfast partner for the United Nations: from the ASEAN-UN Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership 2016-2020, to the tangible difference that ASEAN nationals are making in UN offices and peace operations around the world.

I am deeply grateful for the support of ASEAN members during this session of the General Assembly and continue to look to you – in driving forward all three pillars of the United Nations, and in making progress on strengthening this Organization and making it more relevant to the people it serves.

In particular, I count your active engagement in the preparations for the upcoming high-level meetings of the General Assembly this year, including the SDG Summit, as well as for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020.

So let me close by expressing again my deep appreciation to ASEAN countries for the support you have given to me and my Office during this session. And let me reiterate my warm wishes and congratulations for ASEAN Day.

Thank you.