2 October 2020
Seventy-fifth Session, Organizational Meeting (AM)

Second Committee Opens Seventy-Fifth Session, Approving Organization of Work

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the United Nations General Assembly held its first meeting of the seventy‑fifth session today, introducing its new Bureau and approving its organization of work in a virtual format.

Opening the meeting, Committee Chair Amrit Bahadur Rai (Nepal) congratulated members of the new Bureau:  Vice-Chairs Rosemary O’Hehir (Australia), Christine Bailey (Jamaica) and Mária Danielčáková (Slovakia); and Rapporteur Diamane Diome (Senegal).

He then referred delegates to the allocation of 15 agenda items for consideration during the session (document A/C.2/75/1); Organization of work of the Second Committee (document A/C.2/75/L.1); and Status of documentation for the session (document A/C.2/75/L.1/Add.1).

The Chair announced that time limits of nine minutes for statements by groups of States and six minutes by individual Member States will be strictly observed during the general debate.  Time limits of six minutes and four minutes respectively, will also be strictly observed during the general discussion of agenda items, and seven minutes and five minutes, respectively, during the joint consideration of agenda items.  Explanation of vote will be limited to five minutes, with right of reply limited to two interventions per delegate, the first at five minutes and the second, if any, at three minutes.  Points of order will be limited to three minutes.

Announcing the theme of the session, “Building Back Better after COVID-19:  ensuring a more equitable global economy, inclusive societies and sustainable recovery”, he then addressed general procedural elements of Committee work.  Action on draft resolutions is expected to be held in the second half of the session in November.

He added that the Committee’s general debate will include a keynote address on 5 October by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.  The Committee will hold a side event on “Disaster risk-informed and resilient COVID-19 recovery” on 15 October and is scheduled to end its work on 25 November.  While in its seventy‑fourth session the Second Committee acted on 49 draft proposals, it is expected to consider fewer proposals during this session.

The representative of Guyana, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed gratitude for the hard work of the outgoing Bureau members and the Secretariat of the Second Committee.  Taking note of the documents introduced at the meeting, he said they are reflective of the positions of all parties concerned and should be reviewed and updated as per the progress of the Committee.  He also stressed the importance of the spirit of compromise and constructive engagement, adding that the revitalization process should aim to strengthen the Committee in accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling the social impact of COVID-19.  Highlighting the quadrennial comprehensive policy reviews that are critical to the work of the Committee, he reaffirmed the Group’s commitment to cooperation and constructive engagement.

Committee Secretary Emer Herity addressed some general items regarding virtual meetings on the video platform, and risk assessment and mitigation measures for in-person meetings, and asked delegates to provide electronic versions of statements in advance.

Addressing the Committee, the representative of Afghanistan, associating himself with the Group of 77, then asked a couple of questions concerning the virtual format of the meetings and the inscription of names on the speakers list, for which the Committee Secretary provided clarifications.

The Committee is scheduled to meet next at 10 a.m. on Monday, 5 October.

For information media. Not an official record.