Statements and articles »

Statement by DPR Minna-Liina Lind on behalf of the ACT group at the general debate of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly, 20 February 2018


Let me start by thanking you for convening the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly during the 72nd session.  

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency group or in short ACT, a cross-regional group comprised of the following 25 small and mid-sized countries working together to improve the working methods in United Nations organs, particularly the Security Council: Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay.
First of all, we would like to thank the Permanent Representatives of Croatia and United Arab Emirates – and their teams – for the excellent work during the last session. We warmly welcome the Permanent Representative of Colombia who has taken up the role of the co-chair together with the Permanent Representative of Croatia during this session. We wish them both all the success in the coming months. 

The ACT group highly appreciates having received the information on program of work well in advance. We will be engaged in all the thematic meetings and are looking forward to making once again meaningful progress for a more efficient UN. 

ACT has been in the past engaged on the cluster dealing with the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General and other executive heads. In this regard I would like to draw your attention to the document A/72/514–S/2017/846 containing the conclusions drawn by the ACT group of the most recent Secretary-General selection process. The mentioned document is also available in the room today.

Although there is still time until the peak of the next Secretary-General selection cycle, we do not think it is too early to consolidate the historic achievements and we will make proposals for future institutionalization of the selection process based on lessons learned. For the ACT group there are two broader issues remaining to be thoroughly discussed in the upcoming sessions leading up to the next selection – first, regarding the communication between the Security Council and the General Assembly and second, on the selection and appointment of senior officials.  

The ACT group believes that an improved interaction between the Security Council and the General Assembly is needed to ensure that the relationship between the principal organs of the United Nations is mutually reinforcing and complementary, as well as to live up to the expectations of the membership and the newly achieved standards of openness and transparency.

The ACT group has been strongly advocating for the Secretary-General to exercise independence in the selection of senior officials, while securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity in these appointments, and equal and fair distribution based on gender and geographical balance. We commend all the efforts by the Secretary-General to achieve gender parity and geographical balance. We would however like to receive a clearer overview from the Secretariat regarding vacancies for all senior positions.

In conclusion, let me assure you that the ACT group is looking forward to participating constructively in the meetings of this working group and is looking forward to exchanging views with other groups and delegations to improve the functioning of the United Nations.


© Permanent Representation to the UN 3 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 305 East 47th Street, 6th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10017,
tel. (1 212) 883 06 40, e-mail: