I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
At the outset, allow me to thank you for your excellent work as Chair of the Fifth Committee during the 73rd Session of the General Assembly. We greatly value and appreciate your skillful guidance in leading us through our agenda, with the aim of successfully concluding the different sessions of the Fifth Committee. We also would like to thank all members of the Bureau for their hard work, as well as all members of the UN Secretariat, in particular the Fifth Committee secretariat.
We would like to take this opportunity to commend the hard work and commitment of all UN personnel involved in the difficult task of peacekeeping. We also pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives while serving in a UN peacekeeping mission.
The Member States of the European Union attach great importance to peacekeeping as a core task of the Organization. We are satisfied that consensus could be found on the budgets of the peacekeeping missions and that missions can be adequately financed.
We value the consensus-based working methods of the Fifth Committee. In that regard, we deeply regret that no consensus could be reached on the report of the Board of Auditors. We believe that this sets a very bad precedent. We continue to support the recommendations of the Board, we believe they are within their broad mandate, while we also see a role for the policy organs of the UN to debate and comment. With this vote, we lost this delicate balanced.
We regret that no substantive outcome could be achieved on the so-called cross cutting issues, while we believe that this resolution contains valuable guidance for the secretariat. We specifically regret the lack of agreement on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as on other specific topics such as the use of modern technologies in peacekeeping missions and the environmental standards of these missions.
Finally, we believe that the adoption of the resolution on the financial situation of the UN will help the Secretary-General to alleviate the current cash crisis for peacekeeping. However, more can and should be done, in particular with regard to improving the budget methodology and allowing the necessary flexibilities for the SG to manage his budgets for results.
Unfortunately, the Committee has been unable to conclude this peacekeeping session within the time officially allocated. We believe that our working methods should continue to be under review and that late nights should be the exception and can never be the standard rule for decision making.