Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Making the UN fit for purpose to achieve the SDGs
Statement given yesterday by Ambassador Karen Pierce on General Assembly Revitalisation.
Thank you very much indeed, Mr Chairman.
Mr President and our two co-chairs, thank you very much for convening this discussion. Thank you very much for all the work you’re putting into this important subject. We look forward to the discussions you’ve convened over the coming months as we prepare for this year’s revitalisation process. And we look forward to working constructively to achieve the goals of revitalising the work of this important General Assembly.
As we all know, it’s a significant year for the United Nations as it celebrates its 75th anniversary. This means we have an opportunity for the UN both to reflect on 75 years of cooperation that have got us where we are today and to renew itself to a new generation fit for purpose to tackle the challenges ahead.
As we enter the decade of action, we need to settle our ambitions high to realise the SDGs and fulfill our 2030 agenda. And now, more than ever, we need a General Assembly that’s fit for purpose, not just having a noble purpose, focused and action oriented.
To ensure the “future we want and the UN we need”, in the United Kingdom’s view, revitalisation needs to firstly address the proliferation of resolutions, high-level events and side events. It’s clear that our ever increasing burden of work is unsustainable most notably, but not only, for small delegations.
Secondly, re-focus the GA’s resolutions to be action-oriented and specifically linked to achieving the SDGs. Now is the time to act. It is the final opportunity for the international community to deliver the SDGs is on time.
Thirdly, to take steps to limit the number of GA resolutions that call for a report by the Secretary-General to promote sustainable and effective working methods.
And finally, work to make the UN a safer, more welcoming space for civil society and to promote youth engagement.
Mr President, co-chairs, we should ask ourselves why have we made little progress on these issues in recent years and whether we need to consider alternative approaches to inform our discussions. Successful revitalisation would facilitate a more effective, efficient and relevant General Assembly. It will not only reshape our ways of working, but also reinvigorate our engagement with the world around us and uphold the future of multilateralism. The United Kingdom is committed to the success of the UN and looks forward to engaging with colleagues in a positive and progressive revitalisation process this year. And you can count on us, co-chairs to support you and help you in your endeavour.
Latest News from
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
WTO Trade Policy Review of Myanmar: UK statement16/02/2021 10:25:00
The UK delivered this statement at the WTO Trade Policy Review of Myanmar on 15 February 2021.
UK donates 100 vehicles to stop terrorists crossing into Lebanon15/02/2021 10:17:00
The British Army gave 100 Armoured Patrol Vehicles to the Lebanese Armed Forces to help prevent militants crossing its border from Syria.
UK and Albania sign Agreement to deepen economic relationship and political efforts to tackle serious organised crime08/02/2021 09:25:00
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Albania Duncan Norman signed the Agreement with Minister for Foreign Affairs Olta Xhaçka in Tirana.
Hong Kong BN(O) visa: UK government to honour historic commitment29/01/2021 12:27:00
The UK government will deliver on its commitment to open a new visa for Hong Kong BN(O) status holders on Sunday 31 January.
Defence Secretary visits Kenya and Somalia to discuss Al Shabaab28/01/2021 15:17:15
Ben Wallace travelled to the two East African nations to enhance security cooperation in the battle against terror group Al Shabaab and other shared threats.
British Army trains 500th Somali soldier in infantry skills18/01/2021 10:17:00
Troops from Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment shared key military skills with Somali National Army soldiers to help them conduct effective security operations.
Foreign Secretary on the situation in Xinjiang and the Government's response13/01/2021 12:25:00
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab's statement to the Commons (12 January 2021).
UK sets out ambitious approach to strengthening climate adaptation and resilience ahead of COP2614/12/2020 14:12:00
UK publishes Adaptation Communication to fulfil a key commitment of the Paris Agreement.