Statment by Walid Maalouf
Alternate Representative of the US to the 58th GA of the UN

U.N. General Assembly
New York, NY
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Statement by Walid Maalouf, Senior Adviser, on Agenda Item 50: Integrated and Coordinated Implementation of and Follow-up to the Outcomes of the Major United Nations Conferences and Summits in the Economic, Social and Related Fields , in the General Assembly Plenary Session, October 22, 2003


Mr. President,

The United States welcomes an opportunity to speak on the integrated and coordinated implementation and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields. We strongly support the need to frame our work at the United Nations around the outcomes of the major summits and conferences; we participated actively in the Open Ended Ad-Hoc Working Group on this subject. We recall that the Secretary-General pointed out the urgent need for us to take a critical look at all of General Assembly's activities, and ask ourselves whether they are relevant to the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and other Conference outcomes and whether they have the desired impact.

While recognizing that the group's report ( A/57/48 ) was only adopted in June and it is therefore somewhat premature to report on outcomes, we must not lose sight of the fact that a number of fairly modest recommendations came out of that group which can be acted on during this General Assembly. We are pleased that the Bureaus of the Second and Third Committees have discussed overlap and duplication and are looking for ways to take up, in a more coordinated manner, issues relating to conference follow-up.

As stated in resolution 57/270B , the Second Committee is to consider its program of work and take a decision on it by December 2003. Members need to bring the vision and commitments of the major summits and conferences - the Millennium Summit , the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development -- to the work of the Second Committee. We need to move towards partnerships and action, and away from sterile rhetoric and timeworn themes.

We welcome resolution 57/270B's mandate that the ECOSOC functional commissions examine their method of work in order to better pursue the implementation of the outcomes of major UN conferences and summits.

The ongoing work of the Commission on Sustainable Development offers us an example that the other ECOSOC functional commissions may wish to consider following. This past May, the Commission at its 11 th Session adopted a series of path breaking reforms. Members agreed to limit the number of negotiations and to focus on how the international community - governments, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector - can work together to achieve our ambitious and critical objectives.

Taken together, these steps will make the CSD - and the United Nations -- more responsive and relevant to the needs of all, especially developing countries.

We look forward to working constructively with other delegations to follow through on the challenging tasks before us.

Thank you, Mr. President.