Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

211025 - UN General Assembly - Informal Plenary Meeting - Our Common Agenda


Statement by H.E. The Hon Mitch Fifield, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations 

25 October 2021

Australia joins others in this Assembly in welcoming “Our Common Agenda”.

In our view, the report is a thorough and necessary response to the commitments contained in the UN75 declaration.

We are pleased to join colleagues in commending the Secretary-General for his delivery of this report, and for the consultative process which informed it.

Australia firmly believes that a collaborative and cohesive approach is needed if we are to deliver sustainable, equitable, and enduring security and development outcomes for people in vulnerable situations.

To achieve this, the multilateral system needs to be inclusive and accessible to everyone.

As Our Common Agenda rightly identifies, a rich diversity of people, including by age, gender, disability, and race, must be meaningfully involved in multilateral decision-making and programming.

Only an inclusive approach, which includes collaboration with civil society, will ensure the UN remains relevant to the people it is designed to serve.

Recognising that we face increasingly complex and overlapping challenges, we particularly welcome the reports focus on delivering continued practical reforms to the UN system.

Australia remains steadfast in our support for a UN system that is fit for purpose, effective, open, transparent, and accountable to all Member States.

Here in New York and out in the field, UN institutions must work hand in hand to provide an effective and coherent response, while developing realistic budgets that allow them to deliver agreed mandates.

As we embark on this next stage, we must not lose sight of delivering existing reforms, which positioned the UN so well to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is vital that we embed and consolidate the critical gains from existing reforms and take on board key learning’s as we look to implement the recommendations contained in Our Common Agenda.

Critically, we must – wherever possible – avoid reform overlaps and duplication, and excluding existing commitments, including to the 2030 Agenda.

Member States also have a role to play by addressing the report’s recommendations related to national actions, including on issues such as human rights and universal health care.

Australia looks forward to working with the UN and Member States to take forward Our Common Agenda in a way that delivers meaningful and lasting results for future generations.