11 October 2012

Statement by:

H.E. Ambassador Eshagh Al- Habib

Deputy Permanent Representative of

the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

before the General Assembly Plenary Meeting

on the Agenda Item: [116]

Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly

at the 67th Session of the General Assembly

New York – 11 October 2012

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. President,

Allow me to pay my gratitude for your due attention to the old, yet  crucially important issue of the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly within the core of the working agenda of this 67th session of the Assembly.

Let me also seize this opportunity to thank Ambassador Susan Waffa-Ogoo, Permanent Representative of Gambia, and Ambassador Alexander Lomaia, Permanent Representative of Georgia, for their excellent stewardship of the Working Group during the last session leading to the adoption of the related resolution 66/294.

The Islamic Republic of Iran aligns itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Algeria on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement, which we believe introduced a number of key points into this important debate. I would also like to make a few additional reflections and underline some points of particular significance.

Mr. President,

The General Assembly debate on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly held last December, reflected the urgent need to strengthen the central role of the General Assembly in addressing issues of genuine concern to the international community on the political, economic and social arenas. In this connection, Iran and all other Members of the Non-Aligned Movement have demonstrated their renewed commitment to engage in a meaningful effort to reinforce the work of the General Assembly.

Since 1991 to date, 20 resolutions have been adopted containing specific measures aimed at revitalizing and enhancing the work of the General Assembly as the Chief deliberative, policy-making and representative principal organ of the United Nations. Unfortunately, these measures agreed by consensus, were not fully implemented due mainly to the lack of political will to ensure that the General Assembly plays its leading role in the joint global governance.

Therefore, a thorough evaluation of the status of implementation of General Assembly resolutions and a clear identification of the underlining causes behind any lack of implementation are of utmost importance in order to progressively eliminate the constraints which still prevent the process of Revitalization of the General Assembly from putting forward all its potential.

Mr. President,

The fact that a great number of the UN resolutions dealt with the revitalization of the role and authority of the General Assembly, clearly demonstrates how important the enhancement of the central role and authority of this Organ is for the general membership.  The General Assembly should take the lead in setting the global agenda and restoring the centrality of the United Nations in formulating multilateral approaches to resolving international issues. This was the role intended for the Assembly in Article 10 of the UN Charter, namely that it discuss any questions or matters within the scope of the present Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any organs provided for in the Charter. Therefore, we should further increase our efforts to explore concrete ways and means for full realization of the functions and powers of the General Assembly as stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations.

 As to the relationship between the General Assembly and other principal organs of the UN, the particular relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council has been a matter of extensive debate especially during various processes of the UN reform for many years. A considerable number of the GA resolutions set certain criteria to clarify the relationship between these two important principal organs of the UN. The UN Charter in itself confers on both organs important functions and responsibilities. Nonetheless, in recent years we have witnessed the gradual but constant encroachment by the Security Council on the functions and powers of the General Assembly as well as the other organs such as the ECOSOC. There are numerous cases that the Council has encroached on the powers and prerogatives of the Assembly and other bodies of the Organizations.

 We are particularly concerned over the exercise of norm-setting, law-making and establishing definitions by the Security Council in areas beyond its competence. Let me recall Article 13 of the Charter according to which the General Assembly, as the only universal and representative organ comprising all Member States of the UN is primarily tasked with the progressive development of international law and its codification.

Mr. President,

In regards to the role and responsibility of the General Assembly in the process of selecting and appointing the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and in order to materialize Article 97 of the Charter, we should not relegate the General Assembly to play the role of a rubber stamp. In our view, there is a strong tendency among a great majority of the Members of this Organization to articulate and improve the selection procedure of the Secretary General through giving the General Assembly a more meaningful and determining role to assume.

On the other hand, ensuring the effectiveness of the office of the President of the General Assembly is also important to improve the role and authority of the General Assembly. In this regard, we reiterate the need to strengthen the institutional memory of the Office of the PGA, through the allocation of sufficient human and financial resources from the regular budget of the United Nations, in order to allow equal opportunities to all Member States, developed and developing, to assume efficiently and effectively the presidency of the General Assembly.

In conclusion, we believe focusing only on the procedural aspects and working methods of the General Assembly, as important as they are, will not lead to the comprehensive improvement of the work of the General Assembly that has been long overdue. There is a need for fundamental shift,                all-embracing approach and vigorous effort in this regard.

Mr. President,

The Revitalization of the GA, as part of the comprehensive reform of the UN is a dynamic and continuous process. We should remain committed and constructive throughout this     ongoing exercise with the view to strengthening the role and authority of the Assembly as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations. My delegation stands ready to actively participate in the future deliberations that will be held in this framework in a transparent, open and inclusive manner.

I thank you.

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