Statement by Mr. Toufiq Islam Shatil, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, “Thematic Debate on the Role and Authority of the General Assembly” on 28 March 2024 at ECOSOC Chamber, UNHQs


Distinguished co-chairs.

 Let me begin by thanking you for convening the first thematic debate on the Role and Authority of the General Assembly in accordance with the resolution 77/335.

We thank the President of the General Assembly for his valuable remarks and the Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific for his presentation.

Bangladesh aligns itself with the Statement delivered by Algeria on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Allow me to share my national position.

Distinguished Co-chairs,

 The General Assembly embodies international solidarity and serves as the cornerstone of multilateralism. Its primacy, credibility, and authority stem from the UN Charter. The charter recognizes its distinctive role as the most representative, principal deliberative, and policymaking body of the UN. Additionally, the resolutions, decisions, and recommendations of the General Assembly carry substantial weight, serving as a reflection of the collective position of the international community.

Therefore, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the General Assembly is the critical first step towards making the United Nations more democratic and inclusive. This will enable the UN to better fulfill its international functions and obligations, including the maintenance of international peace and security, as outlined in the UN Charter.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

 In accordance with the mandate outlined in resolution 77/335 concerning the role and authority of the General Assembly in maintaining international peace and security, my delegation would like to highlight the following comments:

First, we firmly believe that the Security Council operates on behalf of the Member States, thus it is their duty under the Charter to consider the opinions expressed by the General Assembly. Given that the General Assembly represents the collective will of the global community, its viewpoints serve as a vital reflection of the global will and aspirations of the world’s peoples.

Therefore, the General Assembly has broad authority to discuss and make recommendations on any issues falling within the scope of the UN Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any UN organs including the Security Council, except as provided in Article 12.

Second, my delegation emphasizes the numerous instances where the General Assembly has played a crucial role in maintaining international peace and security, particularly in situations where the Security Council has encountered deadlock. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377, commonly known as the 1950 Uniting for Peace resolution, grants the General Assembly the authority to convene emergency sessions to address threats to peace and security when such during such impasses.

Third, we emphasize the significance of Resolution 76/262, which mandates a General Assembly debate within 10 days following a Security Council veto, thereby ensuring accountability within the United Nations system. This stands as another illustration of the General Assembly’s pivotal role and authority in maintaining international peace and security, particularly when the Security Council fails in its duty.

Recognizing the importance of the General Assembly’s involvement in such situations, we advocate for increased interaction between the General Assembly and the Security Council. We urge the Council to provide a more comprehensive, substantive, and analytical report of its activities to the General Assembly, including additional details on draft resolutions that were unsuccessful in gaining Council adoption.

Fourth, Bangladesh underscores the need to implement General Assembly resolutions, including those on revitalization, to strengthen its role. Improving the working methods and synergies among the General Assembly and its Main Committees is crucial. Bangladesh also supports the complementary roles of other UN organs within their mandates. A comprehensive evaluation of the resolution implementation status and identifying underlying causes for any shortcomings is vital for enhancing the General Assembly’s effectiveness and credibility.

Finally, my delegation emphasizes that, in accordance with the UN Charter, the relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council should be characterized by cooperation and collaboration. We firmly advocate for these two main organs of the UN to facilitate each other’s decision-making processes effectively, thereby complementing and reinforcing their respective roles. This strategic alignment will not only prevent redundancy but also ensure the Security Council operates within its designated mandate, without encroaching upon the jurisdiction of the General Assembly.

We hope that the forthcoming Summit of the Future presents us an opportunity to, among other things, attain tangible outcomes regarding the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, so that it can play a better role in the maintenance of international peace and security.

I thank you.