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

EU Statement – United Nations 5th Committee: Organisation of Work

New York, 06/10/2020 - 01:55, UNIQUE ID: 201005_24
Statements on behalf of the EU

5 October 2020, New York - Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Thibault Camelli, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, 75th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee Main Session: Organisation of Work

Mr. Chairman,

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

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

As we open our 75th session, let me begin by congratulating you upon your election as Chair of Fifth Committee. We would also like to congratulate all newly elected members of the Bureau working with you. We are confident that, with your experience and under your leadership, the important negotiations ahead of us will reach a fruitful and timely conclusion.

We also wish to express our sincere gratitude to your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus, Ambassador Mavroyiannis, for the exemplary way in which he guided our work despite the challenges raised by the SARS Cov-2 Pandemic. Allow me to extend our gratefulness for the work of the Secretariat of the Committee, as well as that of other Secretariat officials and of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), whose work and contribution remain crucial for the successful completion of our programme of work.

Mr. Chairman,

Once more, the Organisation relies on the work of this committee to ensure its proper financing and functioning. We are deeply concerned with the liquidity situation of the United Nations, affecting implementation of mandates that are, more than ever, necessary in these challenging times. It is our shared responsibility to find solutions to this crisis. In this regard, we continue to call upon all member states to pay their contributions in full and on time.

The Member States of the European Union continue to attach great importance in supporting the Secretary-General in his ongoing efforts to shaping a better and more responsive Organisation on its 75th anniversary. We welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General to reform the three pillars of the Organization, in order to make it more nimble, agile and oriented towards the delivery to the field and to people in need. As the global pandemic puts the United Nations to the test, the new structures proved resilient and adaptable, validating the concepts underpinning management reform. These continued efforts are imperative to strengthen the continued relevance of the United Nations: the world needs a revitalized multilateral system, but that will only come if everyone in the international community invests in it and the conditions are set for cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

We will make statements, as necessary, when individual items are introduced on our agenda. There are, however, a few general principles we would like to highlight today with regard to our working methods:

  • We deem of utmost importance that all documents be submitted on time and in all official languages. While we understand the constraints owing to the ongoing pandemic and the strain on interpretation and translation resources, whose work we want to commend today, multilingualism is key to the much needed inclusivity and transparency of our proceedings, in order to help us reach a successful negotiated outcome.
  • As the global pandemic continues to hamper our working conditions, we are confident this Committee can rely on the adapted working methods we had in place since the pandemic outbreak in March. Throughout the last two sessions, they improved our work, made our proceedings more efficient, and allowed us to conduct our negotiations during normal working hours, without having to resort to working during weekends or nights.
  • We need to use the limited committee time wisely and efficiently and avoid duplication between items. We should endeavour to not micro-manage, and to continue to improve our practices as we decided last year with the publication of the ACABQ supplementary information. Our main priority for this session should be the timely conclusion of negotiations on the proposed programme-budget for 2021.
  • Lastly, we reiterate our strong commitment to reaching decisions by consensus and engaging all delegations in a spirit of good faith, collegiality and constructive cooperation.

In closing, the member States of the European Union endeavor to work productively with you and every delegation throughout this session. Despite the heavy agenda before us, we are confident that under your stewardship Mr. Chairman, we can conclude our negotiations on time and by consensus.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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

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