GA: Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly

Statement by Ambassador Mona Juul on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, 8 November 2019.

| General Assembly


As a member of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (or ACT) group I have the pleasure to align with the statement delivered earlier by Switzerland.  

I also wanted to take this opportunity to add a few points in my national capacity.

Firstly, to extend my sincere thanks to Ambassador Bahous of Jordan, and Ambassador Mlynár, of Slovakia for their deft leadership of the Ad Hoc Working Group on General Assembly Revitalisation last session. We welcome their efforts towards greater clarity, and efficiency, of the group’s work.  

And also to thank Ambassador Mlynár for taking on this task again this session!  And to welcome Ambassador Pobee.

Norway looks forward to working closely with both of you this session.


It is not an overstatement to say that the General Assembly- as the most representative international body- sits right at the core of our multilateral system.

This makes our ongoing work on its revitalization an important part of strengthening multilateralism. As well as ensuring the continued relevance of the General Assembly, and the United Nations as a whole.

Despite having a broad mandate, covering everything from:

  • the role and authority of the General Assembly
  • to the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General
  • and the strengthening Office of the President of the General Assembly

GA Revitalisation is a process that is capable of - and which has produced - real, tangible, progress in improving the way we work.


We particularly welcome the work undertaken last session in the cluster dealing with the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General and other executive heads.

This session, it is now vital that we consolidate the historic gains made in this process.

It is a crucial year in that respect.

The decisions we take this session will pave the way for the next selection and appointment process.

We must maintain the progress we’ve made in terms of greater transparency and inclusivity. Ensuring that these steps forward are upheld as the next process begins. Even in the possible case of an incumbent candidate.

We see this also as a vital part of improving the relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Indeed, stemming from Article 97, it is one of the few instances foreseen in the Charter for true cooperation between the two bodies.


For Norway, transparency and accountability is at the heart of all we do.

And in this respect, we welcome the ongoing discussions on the conduct of UN elections and campaigns.

We’ve made good progress in recent years on the subject, but we know also that we can go further.

Guided by the principles of transparency and accountability, Norway has voluntarily committed to publishing all costs related to our campaign for a seat in the Security Council for the period of 2021-2022.

We have made this information easily available on the Foreign Ministry’s website. And it is updated twice a year.

We make this commitment because Norway believes that greater transparency will ultimately benefit all Member States, and the election process as a whole.   

We look forward to continued discussions - and sharing best practices - in the working group this session.


As we are all keenly aware, next year is an important one as the UN turns 75. And Norway is proud to have been a consistent partner since its founding.

We must all work to bolster the Secretary-General’s efforts to mark the 75th anniversary. Especially towards the inclusion and participation of all stakeholders, but particularly civil society and youth.

Dear Colleagues,

We look forward to constructive discussions on GA revitalisation this session.

As we know, no multilateral organisation can be stronger, or more dynamic, than its Member States are willing to make it.

Now is the time for us to put in this effort towards our Common Future.


Thank you.