– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly

29 January 2021

Distinguished delegates,

I would like to thank the Co-Facilitators, Her Excellency Ms. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and Her Excellency Ms. Darja Bavdaž Kuret, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia, for convening this consultative meeting on the alignment of the agendas of the General Assembly, ECOSOC, and its subsidiary bodies, as related to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

I would also like to thank the previous session’s Co-Facilitators, Her Excellency Mrs. Milica Pejanović Ðurišić, Permanent Representative of Montenegro, and His Excellency Mr. Collen Vixen Kelapile, Permanent Representative of Botswana, for their efforts to lead the Alignment Process during the 74th session.

I am grateful to the UN Secretariat for their invaluable support to co-facilitators so far.

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

As the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary, and the world continues to tackle multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear our work is more critical than ever. The United Nations is uniquely placed to address the multitude of global challenges that we face. It is crucial that our efforts are efficient and effective, and that the United Nations is fit for purpose so we can best deliver for those we serve.

I have been heartened by my discussions with many of you and the broad Member State support for improved coherence between the agendas of the General Assembly and ECOSOC, and their subsidiary bodies, in the framework of the 2030 Agenda.

So, let us seize the critical opportunity presented by the Alignment Process in the UN’s 75th year to examine, holistically and comprehensively, the agendas that guide the work of intergovernmental bodies. Let us build on the work of previous sessions to make these bodies more relevant and fit for purpose. Let us provide the support needed to implement the 2030 Agenda in its entirety.

As the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary, and the world continues to tackle multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear our work is more critical than ever. The United Nations is uniquely placed to address the multitude of global challenges that we face. It is crucial that our efforts are efficient and effective, and that the United Nations is fit for purpose so we can best deliver for those we serve. 

Volkan Bozkir

President of the UN General Assembly

Distinguished delegates, dear colleagues,

Let me appeal to you directly in this regard. It is only you, Member States, that have the ability to achieve meaningful progress on the Alignment process. We must build on the trust that exists among the membership to make much needed progress, which must remain inclusive and Member State-driven to be successful.

I will continue to support your work throughout my term and have worked with many of you during the main part of the session to facilitate consultations on this issue.

The President of ECOSOC and I hold monthly meetings to coordinate our activities and efforts. On the 9th of December at a General Committee meeting attended by the President of ECOSOC, the Co-Facilitators briefed on several key challenges and opportunities within the process. On the 11th of December, I convened a Morning Dialogue with an Alignment theme attended by several Permanent Representatives including our Co-Facilitators. Following these meetings, it is clear that some participants saw value in addressing the gaps in the implementation of 2030 Agenda in addition to the alignment of the work of the General Assembly and ECOSOC, not only the issue of duplication. I encourage you to explore the possibility of using regional and political groupings to sensitize Member States to the benefits of better alignment with the 2030 Agenda and use this additional momentum to move the entire Alignment Process forward.

As I raised at the General Committee meeting, I believe that through your positive engagement, we can achieve progress through the conclusion of the following documents:

  • Mapping of the SDG coverage by the General Assembly, ECOSOC and ECOSOC functional commissions; and
  • Possible criteria for reducing overlaps and duplication, where they are found to exist.

I encourage you to strengthen and update the inputs of the Alignment process in the relevant paragraph of the General Assembly draft resolution on the “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly”, in order to support our joint goal of ensuring the UN is fit for purpose.

Dear colleagues,

Your experience within the multilateral system makes you acutely aware of the challenges to achieving the 2030 Agenda. If we are to be successful, we must ensure efforts are aligned and effective, that our joint resources are used as efficiently as possible. So, this Alignment Process will help us to do just that. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the demands on our system will be enormous. We must act now to ensure we can deliver. My Office and I stand ready to support the reform process impartially, objectively and in an open-minded manner.

I thank you all and I wish you all the best in your very important and difficult endeavors.