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- As delivered -
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the 28 Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, let me thank Under-Secretary-General Jan Beagle for her presentation on 7 May on the financial situation of the UN and on how Member States have fulfilled their obligations under the United Nations Charter to contribute to the Organisation's financial expenses.
Underpinning the work of the United Nations is a shared responsibility between the Member States and the Organisation. This partnership is critical to ensure the UN's capacity to fulfil its mandates and needs to be taken seriously by all parties. Promoting a sound financial management at the UN is therefore one of the priorities of the Member States of the European Union.
We note with concern that, although the amount of payments received for the regular budget has increased this year, the level of unpaid assessed contributions is also higher than one year ago. As this situation was already observed in May 2018, and considering the increase in total outstanding dues, this direction of travel is undoubtedly the wrong one. The Under-Secretary General made it clear that the declining cash balance trend over the last decade has led the Organisation to a serious cash deficit. We therefore urge the Member States with pending assessments to address this as a priority and wish to reiterate the importance of all Member States honouring their financial obligations by paying their assessments in full, in good time and without conditions.
On peacekeeping operations, we are pleased to note that the number of Member States having paid all peacekeeping assessment in full, also by the cut-off date of 30 April, is higher than at the same time last year. However, the amount of outstanding payments, although lower than a year ago, remains high at $2.1 billion. The decrease in the amount of total cash available for peacekeeping is concerning. The financial health of the UN as well as the operational success of peacekeeping missions are highly dependent on the timely payment of the assessments by the Member States. Once again, we encourage them to pay their assessed contributions in full and without conditions as soon as possible, so as to avoid the risk of undermining peacekeeping operations' capacity to fulfil their mandates.
The Member States of the European Union believe that an equitable sharing of financial responsibilities among UN Member States according to their actual capacity to pay is a prerequisite to secure a sustainable financing for the UN system. We also believe that the UN should do its utmost to live within agreed budget levels. In this regard, we are confident that the management reform will help achieve enhanced accountability for the use of resources by the UN system.
We are committed to providing the Organisation with the necessary resources to fulfill its mandates, while believing firmly that persistent efforts must be made to improve the management of those resources. With a view to achieving a more effective, efficient, transparent, responsive and sustainable use of the resources, we support the adoption of approaches aimed at further savings and efficiencies, meaningful reprioritization of activity and the delivery of results.
Of course, we will discuss all the details when the report of the Secretary-General will be introduced to this Committee next week.
I thank you, Madam Chair.
* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.