As Chair of the United Nations Fourth Committee and Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, stresses the importance of convening meetings on time, noting that such must be largely driven by the head of a Bureau, the Chair.
He says in the case that the increase in the number of petitioners and delegations requesting to address the Fourth Committee continues, it was important to further review the working methods of the Fourth Committee; especially those relating to established time limits for statements.
According to a dispatch from New York, Ambassador Kemayeh, in his capacity as Chair of the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization or the Fourth Committee, reported recently on the Working Methods of the Committee at a meeting of the United Nations General Committee.
He notes that considering the sensitive nature of the work of the Fourth Committee, its Chair must endeavor to discharge his/her function in an impartial manner. “Of course as chair, one must not have a thin skin. You must be open to opinions and make frantic efforts in finding amicable solutions to concerns expressed by member state(s)”, he asserts.
At the same time he renews his fullest support for ongoing efforts to further streamline and rationalize the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly and its Main Committees, and assures that the Fourth Committee, which he chairs, will continue to examine ways to revitalize its work, as requested by relevant General Assembly resolutions.
The United Nations General Committee is chaired by the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and composed of the Twenty-one (21) Vice-Presidents of the Assembly and the Chairpersons of the Six (6) Main Committees; as well as the Five (5) Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, who serve as Vice-Presidents of the General Committee.
The recent meeting of the General Committee was called to discuss two topics: “Improving the methods of work of the General Assembly as well as its Main Committees, and enhancing the role of the General Committee in further improving methods of work”.
On behalf of the Fourth Committee, Ambassador Kemayah welcomed the decision by the General Assembly, to webcast the open meetings of the Committee during the Seventy-third (73rd) Session, thus contributing to transparency, while also serving as a useful reference source.
In compliance with UNGA resolution 72/313, he hails the successful use of electronic functionalities offered via the e-delegate platform; including e-Sponsorship, e-Speakers, e-List of Participants, and the Fourth Committee Place, and Paper Smart services, which was used to post statements, and reduce paper wastage. These facilities, contributed to cost saving measures, reduction of environmental impact and improved distribution of documents during the session.
On the critical issue of time management, Ambassador Kemayah reported that statements in the general debate on the various agenda items were limited to Fifteen (15) minutes when delivered on behalf of groups of Member States, and Ten (10) minutes for individual delegations.Dispatch