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

 

EU Statement – United Nations General Assembly: Briefing by the SG on the financial situation of the Organization

New York, 01/03/2019 - 16:56, UNIQUE ID: 190304_12
Statements on behalf of the EU

1 March 2019, New York - Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by H.E. Ambassador Gustavo Martin Prada, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Briefing by the Secretary-General on financial situation of the Organization, Informal Meeting of the General Assembly

Madam President,

 

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its 28 Member States.

 

Allow me to first thank you personally for convening this meeting today and giving us the opportunity to hear the Secretary-General's briefing on the financial situation of the Organization.

 

Mr. Secretary-General,

 

Ensuring the financial health of the United Nations is a shared responsibility: a partnership between Member States and the Organization. This shared responsibility is fundamental to the ability of the United Nations to respond to its many mandates and missions in an effective and efficient manner. Promoting the sound and stable financial management of the United Nations is therefore one of the priorities of the EU Member States.

 

It is the responsibility of each Member State to fulfil its financial, legal and political obligations towards the UN while the secretariat has to manage for results and allocate the funds in the most effective way.

 

As a result, we encourage Member States to pay their assessed contributions to the regular budget for 2019 in full, as soon as possible and without conditions;

 

We also continue to support you in your efforts to modernize and reform the Organisation. They are making the UN more responsive, flexible and nimble, in particular in light of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to address upcoming challenges. Better delivery also depends on better budget procedures. The integrated and holistic approach promoted through the management reform, the review of the peace and security architecture and the UNDS reform indeed needs to be complemented with budget procedures that enable you as SG to allocate funds based on priorities and actual needs on the ground.

 

The regulations and rules governing the UN Budget are there to respond to the most urgent needs and to help allocate resources strategically. Budgetary instruments are not an end in itself. They should be fit-for-purpose to deliver results. Far too often the UN's actions are defined by funding streams and budget lines, not by strategic implementation of our common objectives.

 

We look forward to receiving more detailed proposals on how to better align the Programme Budget of the Organisation with the strategic objectives of the Organisation, as requested by the General Assembly in paragraph 15 of its resolution 72/266 of 24 December 2017.

 

Turning to peacekeeping, we are very concerned about the significant arrears as they risk undermining the ability of the Organization to implement the mandates. We note with concern the decrease in the amount of total cash available for peacekeeping compared to 2018. Once again, we encourage Member States to pay their assessments in full to ensure that cash flows remain at a satisfactory level and that peacekeeping operations have the necessary resources to fulfil their mandates.

 

As a group, the EU Member States are the largest common financial contributors to peacekeeping. We live up to our financial obligations to the UN in line with the Charter and expect others to do the same. Member States of the EU also support peacekeeping on the ground, with uniformed personnel and other capabilities, including strong political support. The EU works closely with the UN and other partners like the AU to promote peace and security at large.

 

We are therefore very conscious of the shared sense of responsibility peacekeeping entails, but also of the clear benefits that result from active participation in peacekeeping missions. In that regard we call upon all partners in peacekeeping to work towards a true peacekeeping partnership that forms the basis of our collective action in terms of political, financial and operational support to UN peace operations.

 

Thank you, Madam President.

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