Statement by Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, Counsellor of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN at the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly (AHWG), Thematic debate on the, Strengthening the accountability, transparency, and institutional memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly, 15 March 2023, Trusteeship Council Chamber

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

At the outset, allow me to express my delegation’s appreciation for convening this meeting.

We appreciate the PGA and USG DGCM for their interactive engagements this morning, which were enlightening for us.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by Algeria on behalf of NAM. In addition, I would like to make the following comments in my national capacity:

Bangladesh believes the General Assembly is the chief deliberative, policymaking, and most representative organ of the United Nations. It stands at the center of our multilateral system. Our common goal is to protect the primacy and credibility of the General Assembly; therefore, strengthening the Office of the PGA’s accountability, transparency, and institutional memory is essential for revitalizing the General Assembly and maintaining its effectiveness and efficiency under the UN Charter.


In this regard, I would like to make the following points:

First, like many other delegations, we acknowledge that the OPGA to be strengthened with adequate human and financial resources through the regular budget. We believe relying too heavily on voluntary contributions is not a sustainable means of ensuring the accountability and independence of this high office. Overreliance on such contributions may compromise the ability of the PGA to carry out her/his duties effectively. Therefore, we fully support allocating sufficient financial resources from the regular budget to promote the effectiveness of the PGA’s work.

Second, it is widely recognized that the workload of the PGA has expanded simultaneously with the expansion in the work and programme of the General Assembly, including through up-and-coming activities arising from our common agenda. We recognize the practice of Member States to second staff to the OPGA, but it is also important to acknowledge that such secondments are often for a short period, which is not conducive to preserving the institutional memory of the OPGA. We, therefore, underline the need for the assigning additional posts to the OPGA on a permanent basis.

We further emphasize the need for the PGA to disclose secondment appointments well in advance, in the interest of transparency. Every effort must be taken to ensure that secondment appointments are made in a fair and equitable manner.

We encourage the PGAs to continue to strive for both gender and geographical balance within her or his Office, in line with the organizational goal of the UN.

Third, we acknowledge the steps taken by the PGA’s office to increase transparency and efficiency, including regular briefings to member states, standardized summaries, publishing contribution status in the Trust Fund on the website, and more. We also support the development of a compendium of best practices and preservation of institutional memory. However, we believe that more action is required to ensure continuity of institutional memory, including longer time for transition between incoming and outgoing Presidents as highlighted by the PGA, USG DGACM and many Member States. The same was also highlighted by the former PGAs.

Fourth, we are encouraged to see the implementation of various provisions of the GA resolutions including the recent ones, such as, taking oath of office and the adoption of Code of Ethics for the President of the General Assembly, as stipulated in paragraph 57 of the resolution 70/305. We advocate for the continuation of these practices to be applied to other senior positions within the OPGA.

Finally, Bangladesh encourages outgoing PGAs to continue sharing their experiences and insights with their successors, including lessons learned and best practices. Furthermore, Bangladesh advocates for a continued effort towards improving the handover process between PGAs.

Distinguished Co-chairs,

We all know the problem, let us work collectively to solve the problem. To that end, we look forward to a comprehensive zero draft and call upon all Member States to show their political will and flexibility as we negotiate this year’s resolution.  We will engage constructively with colleagues to achieve a set of concrete and meaningful outcomes.

I thank you.