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Remarks by Ms Minna-Liina Lind Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia on behalf of the ACT group after the adoption of the resolution on the Revitalization of the work of the GA, 13 September 2016


Mr President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency group or in short ACT, a cross-regional group comprised of the following 25 small and mid-sized countries seeking to improve the working methods of the Security Council: Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay.

We warmly welcome the adoption of today’s resolution by consensus and would like to thank you, Mr President, for your leadership as well as the tireless co-chairs of the ad-hoc working group, the Permanent Representatives of Croatia and Namibia for their excellent work, creativity and continued dedication.

The ACT group would like to offer a few comments on cluster dealing with the selection and appointment of the next Secretary-General and other executive heads addressed in the resolution.  

We are pleased that the ad-hoc working group reached a consensual agreement to complement the historic resolution 69/321 with the provisions in this year´s resolution affirming the achievements so far. We have had clear overview of the candidatures submitted for the position of the Secretary-General as well as participated in informal dialogues with them – the process which we believe will and should become the norm in the future. Since the new General Assembly session will start today and the selection process is not only ongoing but reaching its final stage, we are glad that the resolution just adopted vests in the President of the seventy-first session to actively support the process.

ACT group continues to advocate for the best qualified person, emerging out of a fair and transparent selection process, to be appointed by the General Assembly as the next Secretary-General. We are therefore pleased that clear and precise qualifications and criteria have been included also in this year´s resolution.

Furthermore, in the highly debated operative paragraph 45 dealing with senior appointments, ACT´s long standing positions are well reflected. We have been advocating for the Secretary-General to exercise independence in the selection of senior officials as well as respect for the highest standards and efficiency in these appointments while ensuring equal and fair distribution based on gender balance and as wide a geographical basis as possible.

The ACT group would like to see the General Assembly continue playing its rightful role foreseen for it under the Charter, including its prerogative to draft the final resolution for the appointment of the Secretary-General. We hope that the final phase of this selection will be as encouraging as the whole process has been so far.

In this regard, the ACT group – concurring with the views expressed by the PGA – calls once again upon the Security Council to live up to the expectations of the general membership concerning the new standard of openness and transparency on the selection process and the results of straw polls.

In conclusion, allow me, Mr President, to thank you sincerely on behalf of our group for your excellent work in bringing new norms of transparency to the UN and to wish a lot of success to the incoming President and indeed to the whole General Assembly for a successful conclusion of this selection process.


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