German Statement during the Thematic Debate on the Revitalization of the Work of General Assembly, 25 April 2024

Debate on Revitalization

Debate on Revitalization, © Germany UN

25.04.2024 - Speech

The Statement was delivered by Michael Geisler, Political Coordinator.

Mr President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished Co-Chairs,
Distinguished Chairs of the Main Committees

Thank you, dear co-chairs for convening this important debate.
Germany fully aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.
Please allow me to add the following reflections in my national capacity.
Germany welcomes the renewed relevance and critical role which the General Assembly has gained over recent years. This critical role of the Plenary is supported in the best possible way by Main Committees that work effectively under the efficient leadership of their chairs.
Distinguished Committee Chairs, thank you for your dedication and stewardship in the different committees and for sharing your best practices, lessons learned and recommendations for the future.
We seized the opportunity to ask our experts in the German Mission on their impressions and recommendations. Let me highlight three points:

First, we notice a certain paradox: While there is a general desire to improve working methods to ease the burden on delegates, respective efforts have failed repeatedly. Before delegates get to enjoy the fruits of their labor, the task of improving working methods equals even more work. This is why sharing experiences and learning from other committees is so important. One general point we would like to make, concerns the Secretariat’s support accorded to the different committees. While being grateful for how the work of the different committees is facilitated and accompanied, it would be helpful if formats and services would be mainstreamed and more standardized approaches would be introduced.

Second: on a positive note, we also recognize notable achievements especially in the 5th Committee that has been notorious for its problematic working methods. The fruitful discussion in March gives reason for optimism.
Bi- and tri-annualizations but also possible limitation of lengths of resolutions are measures that our experts strongly support. They also see it as shared responsibility to use the Committee’s time as efficiently and effectively as possible. For this it is key to modernize our joint tools and processes.
At the same time, we should not forget to provide space for real dialogue. For instance, the 6th Committee uses now so-called “mini debates” to enable an exchange of views on critical projects amidst prepared statements.

Third: Improving the working methods should be a constant goal and a permanent endeavor. It is crucial that we move from mere discussions to a process geared towards actual results. Ideally, this entails formalizing procedures within individual committees, but at least a concrete informal follow-up.

Let me finish with a link to the Summit of the Future. Working methods might not be the ideal topic for heads of state and governments. Nonetheless, having listened to the discussions of the 2nd reading of the Pact for the Future, we heard a few very innovative proposals on how to make the General Debate during High Level Week more attractive. We might not be ready to say good bye to the typical leader’s statement yet, but we should definitely consider these proposals thoroughly. No leader wants to speak in front of an empty GA hall nor listening to a flow of up to 45-minutes-long monologues.
Colleagues, as we collectively recognize the GA as the heart of our United Nations, we must unite in ensuring that the general debate empowers our organization with new energy and ideas.

In conclusion, Germany fully supports the revitalization process and remains committed to play an active part in this important discussion.
Thank you.

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