I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, 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 Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this statement.
Allow me to first thank Ms. Eileen A. Cronin, Chair of the Joint Inspection Unit, for introducing the report of the Unit for 2019, as well as its programme of work for 2020 and the new strategic framework for 2020-2029. I would also like to thank Ms. Simona Petrova, Director of the Secretariat of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, for presenting the related note of the Secretary-General.
We would like to thank JIU for the work conducted in 2019 and for the variety of reports issued on very different topics of interest across the United Nations system. Uniquely positioned as an important independent external oversight body of the UN system, the Unit provides Member States and participating organizations with a comprehensive overview of some of the most pressing issues and challenges. We welcome in particular the JIU "review of change management in UN system organizations", which draws our attention to some very important - and still missing - elements necessary for the successful implementation of the reform agenda of our organization. Furthermore, we would like to recall with satisfaction that this same Committee reached consensus in urging the Secretary-General to implement all of the recommendations made by JIU in its report on accessibility to conference services for persons with disabilities.
We would also like to express our appreciation for the programme of work for 2020 and for the new strategic framework for 2020-2029 presented by the Unit and we look forward to reviewing these documents.
We appreciate that the Unit is continually striving to produce better quality reports and tackle topics of utmost relevance for our times and for the UN system participating organizations. We are pleased to see that these efforts produced good results.
However, we regret that the issuance of many of the JIU reports has not been timely aligned with the topics under consideration by the General Assembly. Member States could more fully benefit from the valuable insights of the reports if a more effective alignment could be ensured. In this regard, we commend JIU for developing a strategic framework for 2020-2029 that duly takes into account the General Assembly's request from last year that the Unit should be agile in aligning with the evolving needs and strategic priorities of legislative bodies and organizations.
In this spirit, we very much welcome the fact that the new strategic approach already prioritizes, inter alia, topics such as the support for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development implementation and the assessment of reform initiatives across the UN system. However, more attention could be devoted to topics flowing from recent UN reform decisions and to monitoring the implementation and impact of cross-cutting issues. In this respect, we therefore look forward to the Unit improving its annual planning and including in its programmes of work such projects that better follow the intergovernmental processes.
Furthermore, it is important to highlight that in recent years the rates of acceptance and implementation of the Unit's recommendations also increased. Nevertheless, we believe that more can be done and we encourage the JIU to set more ambitious targets in this regard in its new strategic framework.
We also welcome the continued coordination work conducted with the Board of Auditors and the Office for Internal Oversight Services. We encourage those bodies to make further progress by continuing to share experiences, best practices and lessons learned with a view to achieving further synergy, cooperation, effectiveness and efficiency. During the upcoming consultations, we will look in detail into these matters and explore how the Unit can make use of its unique mandate and role at their highest potential.
We believe that the system-wide effectiveness and impact of JIU constitute a shared responsibility of the Unit, the Member States and the participating organizations. Therefore, we look forward to collaborating with other delegations and stakeholders, during the current session of the Committee and beyond, towards improving JIU and the impact of its work.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.