- As delivered -
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, 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.
I would like to thank Mr. Christian Saunders, Assistant Secretary General for Supply Chain Management, for presenting the report of the Secretary General, and Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the ACABQ, for presenting the ACABQ's related report.
First of all, the Member States of the European Union welcome the information in the Secretary-General's comprehensive report on the activities of the Secretariat on procurement, in particular on the new procurement management strategy and initiatives undertaken to modernize the acquisition process for critical requirements. United Nations procurement should continue to pursue best value for the organization through fair and transparent competition.
The European Union is supportive of the ongoing management reform process, and believes that procurement represents a crucial part of that reform to create a more cost-effective, efficient and well-functioning Organisation. With a steep increase in procurement activities in recent years, the strategic function of procurement poses new risks and technical challenges and a strong and operational accountability framework is necessary, as well as strong internal controls, oversight mechanisms and transparency.
The Member States of the European Union continue to support the Secretary-General in its efforts to drive a more strategic approach to procurement in the UN, to enhance collaboration and cooperation between UN system entities, and to further the professionalization of procurement staff, including through category management and innovation. We also encourage the Secretariat in its efforts to ensure fair and transparent market access to UN tenders from all parts of the world, including vendors from countries where UN operations occur. We note with great interest the outreach initiatives to facilitate vendor participation and registration, and the steady progress in geographical diversification of vendors.
In addition, we welcome the completion of the request for proposals exercises in UNMISS and UNAMID, building on the experience of MONUSCO, where the pilot has led to increased international competition. We look forward to the results of the OSCM review of the solicitation methodology for aviation services in 2019 and believe strongly that the implementation of request for proposals best supports the achievement of best value for the organization.
The Member States of the European Union view sustainable procurement as an important means of delivering best value for the organization and of promoting wide geographical market access, in line with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Member States of the European Union believe that the UN's procurement activities should seek to better align with Sustainable Development Goals, and thus incorporate requirements, specifications and criteria that are compatible with and supportive of the protection of the environment, social inclusion, sustainable economic development and human rights obligations. This is also critical to avoid risks of negative impacts by United Nations operations on the health, safety and livelihoods of the populations of host countries and of UN staff.
We look forward to discussing these and other issues related to UN procurement in the forthcoming informal consultations.
I thank you, Madam Chair.
* North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.