Remarks at the Priorities Briefing by the President of the General Assembly

Ambassador Cherith Norman
Acting Deputy Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
January 13, 2020


Mr. President,

I join others in expressing condolences to the people of Oman as well as Niger. We further extend our thoughts and prayers to the people of Australia.

We appreciate your overview of your priorities at the start of 2020 and your commitment to ensure the effective functioning of the GA and the multitude of important issues before us including bringing human rights into all elements of our work. People of the world need to see that there are tangible solutions being advanced to address the real challenges they face including the full inclusion of civil society. In this 75th year of the UN, we need to throw open the doors wider to ensure its relevance and integrity. We also firmly believe the Member States must take a look at the variety of issues and what we are requesting of the UN and rationalize and streamline mandates. This is also an important element of UN reform. We need to ensure we are driving effective solutions.

However, one issue that threatens to create a rift between the membership is the proposal to expand the ACABQ without adequate consultations. An issue of such importance should not be foisted on a significant number of countries without trying to find a solution where this issue has always been discussed – the Fifth Committee. We appreciate your continued engagement on this issue and we call on our colleagues to reconsider their approach and ensure all efforts are taken without resorting to forceful action that does not enjoy consensus by the whole membership. This does not help our collective partnership or serve the Organization.

To conclude, we look forward engaging with you and your team during this session on the many issues we will consider.