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

EU Statement – United Nations 5th Committee: Review of efficiency – Accountability

New York, 11/03/2020 - 17:34, UNIQUE ID: 200311_15
Statements on behalf of the EU

11 March 2020, New York - Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Mr. Jan De Preter, First Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 74th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee First Resumed Session on Item 133. Review of efficiency – Accountability

Mr. Chairman,

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, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, let me thank Ms. Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, for introducing the "Ninth progress report on accountability" of the Secretary-General, as well as Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the ACABQ, for presenting the corresponding report of his committee.

Mr. Chairman,

1. We would like to reiterate the great importance that we attach to ensuring that the UN has a robust accountability framework that matches the highest level of transparency and contributes towards the strengthening of a culture of results. Indeed, improved accountability of staff and managers is a cornerstone of the Secretary-General's reform agenda. Two years ago, the General Assembly endorsed the idea that reform should lead to a transformation of the Organization to ensure better delivery of programmes and mandates, through stronger support structures and smarter decentralization, together with a comprehensive shift in leadership and organizational culture. We agreed that the reform of the Organization should give greater responsibility to managers and ensure stronger accountability.

2.   We would like to congratulate the Secretary-General for the initial achievements in the implementation of reform, in particular the roll-out of a new framework for delegation of authority. We encourage the Secretary-General to keep Member States updated about the function of this new tool. We believe that the Organization should uphold the highest standards of conduct, professionalism and accountability. In this regard, we welcome the Secretary-General's report on the measures being implemented in order to strengthen the accountability system under the new management paradigm. We also welcome the creation of the Business Transformation and Accountability Division in DMSPC, as a key structure to provide the basis for a sound accountability framework, and commend the progress made since January 2019 towards its full operational effectiveness.

3.   While much of this is grounded in process, there is also a real need for a cultural shift within the Organization. The UN should continue working to prevent and address misconduct. Ensuring that UN staff maintain the highest standards of conduct and uphold the Organization's core principles remains therefore a priority for the EU Member States. A robust and comprehensive system for tackling sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment, focused on prevention and accountability, is essential.

4.   We welcome the different recommendations and reports made by OIOS, BOA and JIU in the field of accountability. Tracking and monitoring the implementation of those recommendations might help make accountability reports more analytical, to ensure that the highest standards of accountability are maintained and respected.

Mr. Chairman,

To conclude, let me state that we look forward to engaging on this important item with all members of the Fifth Committee in a spirit of constructive cooperation, consensus and collegiality.

Thank you.

* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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