Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union at General Assembly - Fifth Committee - Second Resumed Session - Closing Session

New York, 5 July 2018, 06/07/2018 - 16:55, UNIQUE ID: 180706_7
Statements on behalf of the EU

Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union By Mr. Jan De Preter, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations at the 72nd Session of the General Assembly - Fifth Committee - Second Resumed Session - Closing Session

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.

I would like to welcome the Chef de Cabinet Ms. Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Under-Secretary-General for Management Ms. Jan Beagle, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Mr. Atul Khare, and the Chair of ACABQ, Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu.

At the outset, allow me to thank you for your excellent work as Chair of the Fifth Committee during the 72nd Session of the General Assembly. The Committee has managed to achieve consensus on virtually all important items at hand, in a spirit of compromise and collective thinking in the interest of the organization as a whole. 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 highly value the partnership between the UN Secretariat, troop contributing countries, host countries, and financial contributors, which makes UN peacekeeping unique. We value the consensus-based working methods of the Fifth Committee to ensure that all partners and actors are engaged in continuing this partnership. Our political will to find a negotiated solution to the challenges we all had to confront demonstrates our ability to act together to meet our responsibilities in the interest of UN peacekeeping.

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. We would urge the Secretary-General to continue to explore ways to address these important issues.

We believe that the adoption of the two landmark resolutions on the review of the UN Peace and Security Architecture and the management reform of the UN are major steps towards making the organization more effective and efficient. On peace and security, we think that the UN is now ready to move towards an organization that can deal with political affairs, prevention and mediation, peacebuilding and peacekeeping in a more integrated and coordinated way. On management reform, we believe that the two newly created departments will contribute to a more results-oriented, transparent and accountable organization, less bureaucracy, and better support to the field.  We look forward to considering during the GA 73rd main session the future HRM structures and policies, both of which are in need of change, in order to support the effective delivery of mandates.

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 working late into the nights and mornings should be the exception rather than the standard rule for decision making.

I thank you, Mr. Chair.