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EU calls for more efficiency, transparency from UN General Assembly

(Xinhua)

10:36, December 02, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) on Thursday re-committed itself to the UN General Assembly's unique brand of multilateralism, saying that only increased efficiency and transparency could enable the General Assembly (GA) to "take up the challenge of conciliating legitimacy and efficiency in a context of emerging global challenges."

The statement came as Ioannas Vrailas, deputy head of the EU delegation to the United Nations, addressed the UN General Assembly in an open meeting on the "Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly."

"On the issue of working methods, we would like to stress the need for further rationalization and streamlining of the agendas of the GA and its Main Committees," Vrailas said, adding that for efficiency's sake, Committee Chairs and other group leaders should look to cluster items of interest in biennial and triennial events, rather than the current practice of annual changes.

"The GA revitalization process has already led to positive developments: one of our most valuable achievement is holding thematic debates which facilitate more in-depth discussions on current issues of critical importance to the international community," Vrailas said.

Vrailas also called on the GA to improve transparency and cooperation among other principal organs of the EU and the UN, like the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Security Council.

Periodic briefings by the president of the General Assembly on his recent activities and meetings "continue to be an appreciated practice and are valuable sources of information" for the EU, Vrailas said.

Vrailas spoke on behalf of the 27 members of the European Union, as well as the numerous candidate and potential candidate countries of Europe's largest governing body, including Croatia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Serbia.

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