I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Andorra, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco and Ukraine align themselves with this statement.
I would first like to thank the Secretary-General for the presentation of the United Nations Proposed Programme Budget for 2022. Furthermore, I would like to commend the outstanding work of Mr. Giovanni Buttigieg as chair of the Committee for Programme and Coordination during its sixty-first session. I would also like to thank Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for the presentation of the advisory committee’s report.
The United Nations are called upon to respond to unprecedented global challenges in a flexible and yet integrated way. We therefore wish to reiterate our unwavering support for your reform agenda. Programme managers have to implement and defend reforms and at the same time deliver on new and old mandates reliably, swiftly and in accordance with relevant regulations and rules. While this is challenging, it is worth it to achieve our shared goal of a United Nations that works better for all. To deliver on your vision, Mr. Secretary-General, we need to complete the implementation of reforms and ensure the full achievement of their objectives.
A cornerstone of your management reform, the annual budget cycle has already improved the Organization’s much needed agility in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Member States of the European Union welcome your third budget presented on an annual basis and commend your efforts to continuously make the UN budget more effective, efficient, result-oriented, transparent and focused on the people who need it.
The Member States of the European Union subscribe to “Our Common Agenda” and your call to ensure the sustainable financing of the UN. As staunch proponents of effective multilateralism, we are committed to provide the necessary resources to this Organization, so it can fulfil the mandates and match the ambitions we collectively set.
We are of the view that the planning and budgetary process should provide enough flexibility for you, Mr. Secretary-General, to strategize and manage for results. However, the Organization can only fully deliver results if it has adequate liquidity. We remain concerned that the financial situation of the United Nations continues to hamper the full execution of mandates. The temporary solutions introduced so far have only helped to alleviate the consequences of this crisis, but failed to solve it at large. The current situation remains detrimental to the performance of the Organization.
The Member States of the European Union stand ready to rise to the challenge: we continue to support your efforts to improve the UN budget process, to make it more transparent and efficient, and we will continue to advocate for innovative and sustainable solutions to the liquidity crisis. As we are negotiating the scales of assessments, we call on all Member States to pay their contributions in full and on time and without conditions in order to avoid making an overly rigid budget process even more inflexible.
The main duty of this committee is to ensure the adequate funding and proper functioning of the Organization, so that it can pursue the full implementation of the mandates given by Member States. In this regard, we take note of the proposal of certain delegations to re-enact CPC discussions in the main committees of the General Assembly.
While this is a matter for the committees to decide, this should not undermine the key role of the CPC, nor affect the principle of consensus-based decisions and the primary responsibility of this committee for planning. Furthermore, since the role of each of the main committees remains distinct, deliberations in the rest of the committees should not preclude negotiating the related agenda items in the Fifth Committee in parallel. If any, the outcome of such deliberations in other committees need to be provided to our committee as soon as possible in order not to jeopardize the timely adoption of the programme budget.
When this Committee considers the proposed programme plans and programme budgets in detail, we will strive to make sure that our collective decisions enable the Organization to continue addressing threats to international peace and security and to foster inclusive and green development globally - based on the rule of law and mindful of the sustainable development goals. We will be especially vigilant when it comes to the financing of human rights, women’s and girls’ rights and humanitarian assistance mandates, whose fundamental importance has been further highlighted during the pandemic. The Member States of the European Union are concerned that the United Nations are not fully delivering on these mandates and we are committed and determined to protect, improve, and advance those programmes.
In closing, Mr. Chair, let me assure you that we look forward to working closely with all groups and delegations with the aim of agreeing on a solid, resilient and balanced UN programme budget for the year 2022.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.