Since her election in June 2018, President Espinosa Garces has committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability during her Presidency.

Member States worked in close contact with the Presidency of the General Assembly in order to strengthen the accountability, transparency and institutional memory of the Office. Resolution 70/305 on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly and its annexes, adopted on 13 September 2016, have been welcomed as a milestone and breakthrough on this process. The 71st and 72nd Session followed recommitted to these newly established procedures with Resolution 71/323 and Resolution 72/313.

On 17 September 2018, H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces became the third President to take an oath of office in which she solemnly declared to truthfully perform the duties and exercise the functions entrusted to her as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations in all loyalty, discretion and conscience, and to discharge these functions and regulate her conduct with the interest of the United Nations only in view and in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the Code of Ethic for the Presidency of the General Assembly, without seeking or accepting any instruction in regard to the performance of her duties from any Government or other source external to the Organization.

The President of the General Assembly is committed to openness and transparency with respect to the financing of her office. President Espinosa will finance her official activities and those of her Office solely through the United Nations regular budget and the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA), thus increasing transparency. President Espinosa participates in the Financial Disclosure Programme, which helps to maintain and enhance public trust in the United Nations. She is the second President of the General Assembly to make her personal financial disclosure summary publicly available.

Code of Ethics

In the understanding that a Code of Ethics for the President of the General Assembly is an important part of the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, and that such a Code of ethics will strengthen the capacity of the President of the General Assembly to exercise his or her duties and responsibilities whilst enhancing her moral authority, integrity and credibility, Annex 2 of Resolution 70/305 on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly contains the Code of Ethics for the President of the General Assembly. The President has requested the members of her office to abide by the same principles and obligations and to bear its content in mind during the discharging of their mandate in the service of the General Assembly.

Code of Ethics for the President of the General Assembly

Code of Ethics for the President of the General Assembly

1. The President of the General Assembly (hereinafter referred to as “the President”) in performing his or her duties and responsibilities as an elected official, fully in line with the United Nations Charter and the General Assembly Rules of Procedure, shall at all times from the date of election observe the highest standards of ethical conduct.

2. The President shall perform his or her duties and responsibilities in an impartial and equitable manner and in full honesty and good faith.

3. The President shall avoid any action which might result in or create the appearance of:

a) The use of the office of the Presidency or resources attached thereto for private gain; b) Giving unwarranted preferential treatment to any state, organization or person; c) Impeding the work of the Organization, or taking a preferential, biased or prejudged approach; d) Affecting adversely the confidence of Member States in the integrity of the work of the Organization.

4. The President shall engage with Member States in a consultative and cooperative manner, while at the same time refraining from receiving or accepting instructions from any individual, governmental or non-governmental organization or group whatsoever.

5. The President shall avoid any situation involving a conflict between his or her own personal or private interest and the interests of the Presidency or the United Nations.

6. The President shall ensure the greatest possible transparency in the utilization of property, premises, services, and resources made available for the discharge of the functions of the office, and ensure that they are used only for the official business of the Presidency, and not for other purposes.

7. The President shall ensure the greatest possible transparency in any external activities, or any commercial dealings, to protect against conflict of interest. Holding of any commercial office during his or her term in office is not compatible with the post of the President.

8. In the event that the President considers that a conflict of interest may arise, he or she shall recuse himself or herself from handling the matter and, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, appoint an Acting President in relation to that matter or meeting.

9. In the fulfillment of his or her mandate the President is accountable to the General Assembly.

10. Any reference to the President in this Code shall also include members of his or her office while in the exercise of their functions as members of the Office of the President of the General Assembly.

11. Nothing in this Code shall preclude the President or members of his or her office from being seconded from their government or from retaining the privileges, immunities and diplomatic status granted by a Member State.

 

Information on Finances

UN Regular Budget

Member States have allocated 331,000 USD annually in the current UN Regular Budget to the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA) to cover hospitality, official travel and other expenditures relating to the President’s official responsibilities. Expenditures from the regular budget are managed on behalf of the OPGA by the Executive Office of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management in accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations.

Donations in support of OPGA

Donors can directly support the work of the President through contributions chanelled through the UN system, including to the dedicated OPGA Trust fund, which is regulated by UN Financial Regulation and Rules. President Espinosa will report publicly on contributions made to the fund upon receipt. It should also be noted that General Assembly Resolution 72/321: “Stresses the importance of the contributions of Member States to the trust fund in support of the Office of the President of the General Assembly, and in this regard notes with appreciation the contributions that have been made to the fund, and encourages Member States to continue to contribute to the fund and to allow for unspent contributions from previous sessions to be made available for succeeding terms.”

Contributions to the OPGA Trust Fund for the 73rd session

 

DATE

CONTRIBUTOR

PROJECT

COMMITMENT

July 2018 India General administrative, logistical and management support USD 250,000
July 2018 Hungary General administrative, logistical and management support USD 50,000
August 2018 Kingdom of Morocco General administrative, logistical and management support USD 10,000
August 2018 Georgia General administrative, logistical and management support USD 86,910
September 2018 State of Qatar General administrative, logistical and management support USD 500,000
September 2018 United Arab Emirates General administrative, logistical and management support USD 300,000
September 2018 State of Kuwait General administrative, logistical and management support USD 150,000
September 2018 People’s Republic of China General administrative, logistical and management support USD 300,000
September 2018 Republic of Turkey General administrative, logistical and management support USD 60,000
October 2018 Italy General administrative, logistical and management support USD 150,000
November 2018 Pakistan General administrative, logistical and management support USD 10,000
November 2018 Nigeria General administrative, logistical and management support USD 10,000
December 2018 Republic of Cyprus General administrative, logistical and management support USD 5,700
December 2018 Ireland General administrative, logistical and management support EUR 130,000
January 2019 Portugal General administrative, logistical and management support EUR 10,000
February 2019 Principality of Monaco Campaign against plastic pollution EUR 20,000
February 2019 Sultanate of Oman General administrative, logistical and management support USD 50,000
February 2019 Japan Sustaining Peace, SDGs, and general administrative, logistical and management support USD 49,554

Contributions to the Trust Fund are reported after receipt. This section will be updated periodically.

Information on Travel

The President of the General Assembly discloses information about any official visits she undertakes overseas.

To date, the President has traveled on official visits to:

 

From 5 June 2018 (election) to 18 September 2018 (assumption of office)

  • China and India, 6 – 14 August 2018, (supported by the Governments of China and India)
  • Japan, 29 – 31 August 2018, (supported by the Government of Japan)

 

From 18 September 2018 onward

  • Switzerland and the Vatican, 22 – 31 October 2018 (supported by the UN regular budget)
  • France, November 8 -13, 2018 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Canada, November 25-26 2018  (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Poland, 30 November – 3 December 2018 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Morocco, 7 – 12 December 2018 (supported by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Qatar, 13 – 16 December 2018 (supported by the State of Qatar)
  • Pakistan, 18 to 22 January 2019 (supported by Pakistan and the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Oman, 22-25 January 2019 (supported by the Sultanate of Oman)
  • Belgium,  2-5 March 2019  (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Finland, 5-7 March 2019 (supported by the Republic of Finland)
  • United Arab Emirates, 9-12 February 2019 (supported by the United Arab Emirates)
  • Switzerland, 24-26 February 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Mexico, 1-3 April 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Cuba, 3-6 April 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Chad, 4-6 May 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Nigeria, 6-8 May 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Ghana, 8-11 May 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • The Vatican, 26 – 28May 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Antigua and Barbuda, 31 May-2 June 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)
  • Switzerland, 9 -11 June 2019 (supported by the Trust Fund of the Office of the President of the General Assembly)

Information on the staff of the Office of the President

The staff of the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly (OPGA) are identifiable through their biographies on the website. The overall composition of the Office is as follows:

  • The Office of the President of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly currently has 34 team members, of which 21 are female and 13 male
    • 17 staff are seconded from member states
    • 7 staff are provided for by regular UN budget (3 administrative assistants, 2 from the senior executive team, 1 team leader and 1 coordinator)
    • 4 staff are recruited through voluntary contributions to the OPGA Trust Fund
    • 5 secondments from the UN system – IOM, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and DPI
    • 1 UN intern

Respect for balanced gender and geographical representation

Another aspect of President Espinosa’s pledge to strengthening openness and transparency during her tenure is the commitment to ensure full respect for a balanced gender and geographical representation in the Office of the President of the General Assembly, with the aim of securing equal opportunities for women and men from all regional groups and bearing in mind the need to secure the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Currently her staff consists of 62 per cent women on all levels and 38 per cent men.

Information on the Trust Fund of previous sessions of the General Assembly

GA Session Contributor  Project Commitment

64th session

(Sep 2009 – Sep 2010)

Government of Norway Thematic Debate on Disarmament USD 50,134
Government of Algeria Thematic Debate on Disarmament USD 10,000
Government of Egypt Thematic Debate on Disarmament USD 10,000

65th session

(Sep 2010 – Sep 2011)

Government of the Republic of Korea Staffing USD 126,500
Government of Italy Staffing USD 265,000
Government of Slovenia Thematic Debates during 65th session, including on Least Developed Countries USD 7,060
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Thematic Debates for the preparation of 4th Least Developed Countries Conference (including other thematic debates during the 65th session) USD 59,700
MacArthur Foundation Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development USD 37,178

67th session

(Sep 2012 – Sep 2013)

 Government of Qatar  USD 100,000
Government of Luxembourg For initiatives in the area of the reform and revitalization of the UN USD 12,872
Government of People’s Republic of China General administrative, logistical and management support USD 300,000
Government of Turkey General administrative, logistical and management support USD 60,000
Government of Japan USD 6,471

68th session

(Sep 2013 – Sep 2014)

Government of Italy To support Post-2015 Development Agenda USD 50,000
Government of Antigua and Barbuda Concert USD 47,164

69th session

(Sep 2014 – Sep 2015)

 Government of United Arab Emirates  General administrative, logistical and management support  USD 50,000
Government of South Africa General administrative, logistical and management support USD 50,000

70th session

(Sep 2015 – Sep 2016)

Government of Turkey High-Level Thematic Debates USD 50,000
Government of People’s Republic of China General administrative, logistical and management support USD 300,000
Government of Ireland Staffing USD 114,038
Government of Denmark High-Level Thematic Debates USD 365,593
Government of Germany General administrative, logistical and management support USD 56,150
Government of Kazakhstan High-Level Thematic Debate on UN, Peace and Security USD 15,207

71st session

(Sep 2016 – Sep 2017)

Government of the Republic India General administrative, logistical and management support USD 250,000
Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan General administrative, logistical and management support USD 25,000
Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste Support for SDGs, Oceans, Climate Change USD 200,000
Government of People’s Republic of China General administrative, logistical and management support USD 300,000
Government of United Arab Emirates General administrative, logistical and management support USD 100,000
Government of State of Qatar General administrative, logistical and management support USD 250,000
Government of the State of Kuwait General administrative, logistical and management support USD 150,000
Government of the Republic of Turkey General administrative, logistical and management support USD 100,000
Government of the Slovak Republic General administrative, logistical and management support USD 10,423

72nd session

(Sep 2017 – Sep 2018)

Government of India General administrative, logistical and management support USD 250,000
Government of Hungary General administrative, logistical and management support USD 56,970
Government of Turkey General administrative, logistical and management support USD 60,000
Government of the Slovak Republic General administrative, logistical and management support USD 178,500
Government of the United Arab Emirates General administrative, logistical and management support USD 300,000
Government of the State of Qatar General administrative, logistical and management support USD 500,000
Government of the State of Kuwait General administrative, logistical and management support USD 150,000
Government of Georgia To support funding of the position of Consultant for Legal Affairs USD 30,000
Government of Luxembourg To support initiatives on prevention and mediation in sustaining peace, including the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on sustaining peace foreseen in April 2018 USD 11,783
Government of Ireland General administrative, logistical and management support USD 152,917
Government of the People’s Republic of China General administrative, logistical and management support USD 300,000
Government of Cyprus General administrative, logistical and management support USD 8,330
Government of the Federal Republic of Germany To support initiatives on prevention and mediation in sustaining peace, including the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on sustaining peace foreseen in April 2018 USD 300,000
Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain General administrative, logistical and management support USD 100,000
Government of Japan To support initiatives on prevention, mediation, sustaining peace, Sustainable Development Goals, and to provide general administrative, logistical and management support USD 50,454
Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain General administrative, logistical and management support USD 100,000