December 18, 2017

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Mr. Menelaos Menelaou – Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly

Revitalization of the General Assembly, Fourth thematic debate on the Strengthening of the Institutional Memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly

UN Headquarters, 7 April 2016

Co-Chairs,

Cyprus aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and wishes to add the following in its national capacity.

At the outset, I wish to commend you the excellent way in which you have organized this year’s deliberations of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly and for the particular importance you have attached to the issue of the strengthening of the institutional memory of the President of the General Assembly. The support and initiatives, in this regard, of the current PGA Mr. Mogens Lykketoft – whom we thank for his briefing today – deserve particular praise.

We also wish to praise the Secretary General for his initiative to appoint a Task Force to review the functioning of the office of the President of the General Assembly and to express our gratitude to the Head of the Task Force H.E. Mr. Edmond Mullet and the rest of its members, for their work and recommendations which we welcome as we believe they will further contribute towards strengthening the transparency and accountability of the office of the PGA, thus further reinforcing the United Nations as a whole.

 Our appreciation is also extended to USG Ms. Catherine Pollard and to the Chef de Cabinet of the President of the General Assembly Mr. Tomas Anker Christensen for their briefings.

Co- chairs,

Cyprus attaches utmost importance to the issue of the strengthening of the office of the President of the General Assembly in the overall context of our belief in empowering the role of the General Assembly as the most representative organ of the United Nations and of our adherence to the principles of accountability and transparency.

The recommendations of the Task Force offer a wide scope of ideas in this regard. Cyprus fully endorses and subscribes to the recommendation of the Task Force for a Code of Conduct and extends its full support to the co-chairs in their effort to materialize this proposal with the support of the Ethics Office, as well as to the idea of devising an Oath of Office for future Presidents of the General Assembly.

With regard to finances and contributions to the office of the PGA, Cyprus supports the triad of recommendations of the Task Force, namely: (i) that Presidents provide financial disclosure upon assumption and completion of their duties (ii) contributions are channeled to the greatest possible extent through the Trust Fund and for those channeled outside the Trust Fund that appropriate information be disclosed to the General Assembly and (iii) the establishment of a technical oversight body under the mandate of the General Assembly.

With regard to the institutional memory, continuity, smooth hand-over and transition as well as timely preparation for incoming Presidents, Cyprus considers that further steps are imperative and should form integral part of the overall effort to strengthen the integrity, transparency and efficiency of the institution. It is the responsibility of us all to ensure reliable and robust foundations, including through the provision of the necessary human resources to meet the needs and requirements of the office of the PGA. On the issue of secondments we see merit in the proposal of a written understanding between the office of the President and the concerned member states including terms of reference and core principles of conduct for this personnel.

With regard to the accountability and transparency of the Presidents of the General Assembly, Cyprus commends and congratulates Mr. Mogens Lykketoft for his initiatives which must be kept-up and further advanced. In this context we support the recommendation for an end-of-presidency report on the activities of the Presidents of the General Assembly.

In concluding, Co- Chairs, allow me once again to convey to you, our gratitude for your extraordinary work and to reiterate our full support to you in your effort to carry our work forward.

Thank you.