UN General Assembly should set global agenda: India



United Nations: India has said the United Nations General Assembly should take the lead in setting the global agenda and restore its primacy that has over a period of time been encroached upon by the Security Council.

"The General Assembly should take the lead in setting the global agenda and restoring the centrality of the United Nations in formulating multilateral approaches to resolving transnational issues," Hardeep Puri, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, said Monday.

"This was the role intended for the Assembly in Article 10 of the UN Charter," he said

Calling for urgently recalibrating the relationship between the General Assembly and the Security Council, Puri said the Council was "increasingly encroaching on issues that traditionally fall within the Assembly's competence."

"A perception that the prerogatives and authority of the General Assembly have been undermined, in particular by the Security Council, has gained ground," he said.

Turning to the oversight role of Assembly over the UN staff, Puri suggested creation of an international civil service which displays the highest standards of professionalism, neutrality and integrity and which is accountable to the General Assembly.

He also sought closer consideration of procedures for selecting, appointing and confirming the heads of the major Specialised Agencies, Funds and Programmes with a view to ensuring transparency, legitimacy and balanced representation.

"As long as the brooding omnipresence of jobs-related concerns continue to be a major pre-occupation for the international community, the Assembly's oversight of the allocation of financial resources towards development-related activities should remain sacrosanct," Puri said.

Clearly, the role of the Assembly as the interface between Member-States and the Secretariat should be reinforced so that the policies and priorities set by Members are better reflected and accounted for within the UN machinery, he said.

"Whilst this issue has been engaging our for many years, the time has come for the General Assembly to take remedial action," Puri said. "Not to do so would not only further fuel the prevailing apathy but also strengthen trends to look for solutions elsewhere both within and outside the UN system."

IANS