Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, in the Informal Plenary of the UN General Assembly on the Secretary-General's Report "Our Common Agenda" (New York, October 25, 2021)

Thank you Mr President,

The Secretary General's report on our common agenda has put forward several new concepts and proposals which deserve close consideration by Member States.

Mr. President,

The purpose of any common agenda is to promote:

The future order that we envisage must be based on the principles of the UN Charter and one of the key principles that it must respect is non-interference in the internal affairs of States.

Advancing the agenda for the future should start with ensuring implementation of previous and existing agreements and commitments on various key issues, including Agenda 2030; the SDGs and the Paris Agreements on Climate Change etc.

The challenges being faced are not due to any systemic difficulties, but due to the failure to mobilize the requisite degree of international cooperation to implement actions and decisions.

And this is so visible today in vaccine apartheid, and the financial difficulties of the developing countries.

To build a more inclusive future, our common agenda must also address the pervasive inequality, which is the hallmark of our times, and which is the root cause of both under development and conflict.

The best approach to prevent conflicts and protect populations, is to promote universal adherence and respect for the principles of the UN Charter and international law.

The Secretary General has the power and must fully utilize his considerable authority under the charter to promote such conflict resolution and dispute settlement.

In the context of human rights, the legal recognition and practical implementation of the right to development should be a crucial component of the common agenda.

The United Nations cannot create a new national social contract for sovereign states.

At the international level, the 2030 agenda, and its corresponding SDGs represent the social contract. This must not be undermined.

"Multi-stakeholder multilateralism" will have to be inclusive, equal, and equitable.

The objectives, interests and the voice of the South, where the non-State actors are less numerous and less influential, should not be drowned out by the more active, vocal and well-funded non-State actors of the North.

The existing arrangements and agreed rules must be adhered to.

A biannual economic summit should include all member states.

This can be achieved by convening the financing for development forum at the summit level.

The composition of the emergency plan should be determined by the nature of the crisis.

There cannot be one standing platform, which will conflict with the mandates of the Security Council, and other bodies.

The proposal to transform the Trusteeship Council into a multi stakeholder forum to address emerging challenges and global commons is problematic at several levels.

Decolonization, has not been completed, a charter amendment will be cumbersome, global commons are being addressed already in several existing bodies.

A high level advisory board should include wise former leaders, but also eminent thought leaders, and the best advice that the Secretary General can receive is contained in the resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly, the Security Council, and other major organs of the United Nations.

A summit for the future should be prepared by an intergovernmental process initiated by the General Assembly.

Changes in the formulation and execution of the UN budget should not undermine the oversight role of the member states.

Considerable improvement can be made in the Secretariat by having an international outlook, greater neutrality and non-partisanship, equitable geographical representation, a transparent recruitment process and avoidance of legacy positions.

Mr President,

The important recommendations of the Secretary General need to be negotiated, among Member States in an open ended, working group of the General Assembly and we would like to clarify as to what are those provisions that are within the Secretary General's own purview, as referred to by the representative of the European Union. This should be clarified.

In conclusion I would like to mention that a group of like minded countries are engaged in consultations with a view to jointly submitting detailed observations and proposals on the Secretary General's report and to hold further consultations on this report.

In this format, we hope that we will be able to establish an open ended working group after such consultations and there after adopt an appropriately considered draft resolution.

We do not wish to be rushed into adopting any resolution at this time, until the report has been fully considered, and its provisions debated and discussed.

And therefore, we look forward Mr. President, to the next meeting, that you would convene to continue this exploration.

I thank you Mr President.