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

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

New York, 02/03/2020 - 23:05, UNIQUE ID: 200302_14
Statements on behalf of the EU

2 March 2020, New York Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Jan De Preter, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Fifth Committee First Resumed Session on the Organisation of Work

-as delivered-


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*,[1]Montenegro* 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 Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. Chairman, for your continued support and engagement in the work of the Fifth Committee. We are confident that under your guidance, our negotiations will once again reach a timely and meaningful conclusion. During the Main Session, we were able to reach results that enable the Organisation to deliver its mandates and continue improving its functioning. We should continue the good work in the spirit of collegiality and consensus, under your leadership.

Allow me to also thank all members of the Bureau, the Secretariat and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), as well as to congratulate the Permanent Representative of Guyana for recently assuming the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China. I would also like to congratulate Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong as the new Chair of the ACABQ. We look forward to constructively working with you in a collaborative manner.

Mr. Chairman,

The Member States of the European Union continue to attach great importance in supporting the Secretary-General in his ongoing efforts to modernize and reform the United Nations. We commend the progress achieved so far as we believe that these reforms will lead to a better and more responsive Organisation. During this session, we will once again consider many important items crucial for the United Nations' efficient and effective functioning.

The Organisation relies on the work of the 5th Committee to ensure its proper financing and functioning. With this in mind, we would also like to reiterate our full support for the improvement of the working methods of the 5th Committee, with an aim to conduct our negotiations in a more efficient and productive manner.

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to highlight a few items that are of particular important to the EU. We will of course comment in detail on specific items at the time of their future introduction.

1. We continue to regret the way in which the membership of ACABQ was expanded through the Plenary of the General Assembly, thereby circumventing established practices and rules of procedures and actively undermining the role of the Fifth Committee. We are concerned that this expansion could hamper the capacity of the ACABQ to deliver to its clients adequately. We believe that an informal discussion on how expansion will affect working methods and effectiveness of ACABQ is much needed, and we welcome the opportunity to engage on this Item during the upcoming session.

2. We have been staunch supporters of more modern and more effective human resources policies at the UN and we continue to support the SG in his efforts to do so. We have been unable to reach an outcome on HRM in the 73rd and 74th Main Sessions. Therefore, this session presents a new opportunity and we pledge to work constructively with all parties to achieve a resolution in this session, to ensure that current and future Human Resource Management reforms meet the needs of both the Organisation and its staff. We would like to reiterate our call for a timely submission of documents in all official languages and express our concern regarding delays in the submission of reports. We look forward to receiving all remaining reports in due course and look forward to considering all Human Resources Management items this session, including the agenda item pertaining to seconded active-duty military and police personnel.

3. We attach great importance to the roll-out of a strong and robust accountability framework as an integral part of the management reform of the UN and the role that the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance plays in ensuring more transparency and accountability in the framework of the new Delegation of Authority. We believe that the Organisation needs to continue fostering a culture of ethics and transparency and continue working on preventing and addressing any type of misconduct. In this regard, we welcome the Secretary-General's reports on the progress achieved so far and we will comment on them in detail when they are introduced.

4. We look forward to reaching a constructive solution on the Global Service Delivery Model as we stress the need to ensure a modern and cost-efficient UN. We agree with the vision on GSDM as proposed by the Secretary- General and would like to stress that a well-designed GSDM should be as cost-effective as possible, generate efficiencies and free up resources for the main purpose of the Organization, namely mandate delivery in the field of human rights, peace and security, sustainable development and climate change, among others.

To conclude, Mr. Chairman, all EU Member States will work with you and the members of the Fifth Committee in a spirit of constructive cooperation, consensus and collegiality.

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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