General Assembly General Assembly

Ad-hoc Working Group on Revitalization of the UN General Assembly

Thematic Debate on Role and Authority of General Assembly




Counsellor Anjani Kumar 

9 March 2018



Distinguished Co-chairs,

Thank you for convening this meeting.   

We associate ourselves with the statement delivered by Algeria on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.  


The revitalization of the General Assembly has been assuming growing significance in recent years. This is because it is widely perceived that the General Assembly has not fully lived up to its mandated role as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations. 

There is also a growing perception that the General Assembly is increasingly involved with processes rather than demonstration of initiative and leadership in setting the global agenda. 


The primacy of the General Assembly, as we all know, flows from the universality of its membership and the principle of sovereign equality of all its members. No other multilateral or inter-governmental body can match the credibility and legitimacy of the General Assembly.  The success of the UN system rests, in large measure, on the effectiveness of the General Assembly in addressing issues and challenges of global importance.

The role and authority of the General Assembly must also be viewed in the context of the Charter-mandated functions of various organs of the UN. Article 10 of the UN Charter empowers the General Assembly to discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of the UN Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any organs provided for in the Charter, and, except as provided in Article 12. It can also make recommendations to the Members of the United Nations or to the Security Council or to both on any such questions or matters. 


We believe that the remedial measures would only be half complete in the absence of serious introspection on what the General Assembly itself can do to mitigate the situation. 

It is also important to emphasize the need to discuss substantive and specific measures that would strengthen the role and authority of the General Assembly. 

In our collective quest for a revitalized General Assembly, it is of critical importance that the member states display the political will to take concrete measures to reinforce the role and authority of the Assembly. 


India has consistently held the view that the General Assembly can be revitalized only when its position as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations is respected in letter and in spirit. 

The General Assembly must lead in setting the global agenda and restoring the centrality of the United Nations in formulating multilateral approaches to resolving transnational issues. 


The Indian delegation actively participated in the revitalization debate during the previous session. The Resolution A/71/323 which was adopted on 8 September 2017 achieved some concrete results which are reflected in the improvements in the process and conduct of elections; furthering the cause of multilingualism at the United Nations; and facilitating better cooperation between the member states and the secretariat, among others. 

We sincerely hope that the debate this year will yield even better results to carry forward the process of revitalization of the General Assembly. 

My delegation will continue to play an active and constructive role in these deliberations. 

I thank you.