This statement is on behalf of the Member States of the EU. 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, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
The Member States of the EU wish to express their gratitude to the Chair of the Committee and the Bureau for their continued determination in ensuring business continuity despite the ongoing challenges related to COVID-19 and the remote working conditions. We would also like to thank all members of the Secretariat and ACABQ for their hard work preparing this very important session. In the current circumstances, more than ever, good collaboration and coordination between ACABQ, Secretariat and the Fifth Committee is of the essence to allow for timely outcomes that keep the Organization running.
The EU and its Member States remain strong supporters of UN peacekeeping. We are committed to ensuring that UN peacekeeping is effective and accountable in order to serve the need of maintaining peace and security, in line with the commitments set out in the A4P Declaration. In an increasingly complex environment, we must also ensure that peacekeeping has the necessary means to succeed. However, we continue to be concerned about the difficult financial situation of the UN and the consequent viability of the Organisation to implement all of its mandates. We stand ready to look at ways to improve the cashflow situation, but we also call upon all member states to pay their contributions in full and on time.
We now see already difficult circumstances in the field exacerbated by the continued threat and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19. This situation puts additional pressure on staff and troops while it could hamper effective mandate implementation. In a letter to the SG from the 7th of April, the Member States of the EU reiterated their unwavering support to peacekeeping and underlined their continued commitment to keeping UN Peacekeeping personnel in place. In that spirit, we believe the Fifth Committee should exercise its oversight function but above all assure that missions have adequate capacities and resources to pursue the full implementation of their mandates, recognizing that uncertainties lay ahead. We therefore believe that this session more than ever this Committee should be pragmatic and focus on the adequate resourcing of those missions. Collectively, we should be able to send a positive message to staff and the troops in the field by concluding our session on time and with consensus; with reasonable budgets that should allow for effective mandate implementation. We also hope that as a Committee we manage to make progress on cross-cutting aspects of peacekeeping in order to give the Secretariat further guidance on horizontal matters such as gender parity, environmental standards, human rights and the continued fight against sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions.
The EU and its Member States support peacekeeping on the ground, with uniformed personnel and other capabilities. We deliver strong political and financial support in line with the principles of the A4P agenda. We work closely with the UN and other partners like the AU on issues related to 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 commend and thank all Member States that actively participate in peacekeeping. More than ever, this Committee should be aware of the demanding and challenging conditions in which peacekeepers carry out their work and highlight the importance of safety and security in Peacekeeping. We would like to commend the continued hard work and commitment of all UN personnel operating in peace operations and salute all the peacekeepers that have lost their lives in the line of duty.
We are confident that under the guidance of the Chair and the Bureau and thanks to the tireless work of the Secretariat, solutions will be found to resolve the challenges that come with remote working conditions. However, we also need pragmatism and political will from all groups and delegations to ensure we can adopt sustainable budgets, by consensus, in a timely way. You can count on our support, Mr. Chair, to achieve these ambitious goals and we will work closely with all groups and delegations in a spirit of good faith, transparency and constructive cooperation.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.