European Union External Action

EU Statement -- United Nations 5th Committee: Proposed programme budget 2021 and Programme planning 2021

New York, 12/10/2020 - 18:43, UNIQUE ID: 201012_20
Statements on behalf of the EU

12 October 2020, New York -- European Union Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee, Main Session, Agenda items: 141. Proposed programme budget 2021/142. Programme planning 2021

Mr. Chair,

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. Chair,

I would first like to thank the Secretary-General for the introduction of the United Nations Proposed Programme-Budget for 2021. Furthermore, I would like to thank Mr. Giorgi Velikov Panayotov, Chair of the sixtieth session of the Committee for Programme and Coordination, as well as Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for presenting the reports of their respective committees.

Mr. Secretary-General, we commend your efforts to present once again a programme-budget focused on results, and which accurately reflects the needs of the Organisation. We recognize your efforts to keep this budget effective and efficient while taking into account new and emerging mandates and updated working methods for support functions.

We welcome this second annual budget, and reiterate our unwavering support for your reform agenda to make the UN budget more effective, efficient and focused on delivering on the ground and to the people who need it: more than ever, the UN is called upon to respond to emerging challenges in a flexible and yet integrated way. The shorter budget cycle has already improved the agility and responsiveness of the Organisation to the current pandemic, and we commend the work of all the staff in the Organisation for their dedication despite these challenges. We know the programme-budget was prepared at the beginning of the year and thus does not factor in the effects of the pandemic on the work of the Organisation. The Member States of the European Union trust, however, that programme managers will endeavour to implement and deliver their mandates, within the scope of their overall objectives, and in accordance with relevant Regulations and Rules.

The Member States of the European Union are of the view that the planning and budgetary process should reflect the UN’s strategic approach, with an overall level of resources that should ensure effective delivery both at headquarters and even more so in the field. It should provide enough flexibility for you, Mr. Secretary-General and your senior team to manage for strong results while enticing efficiencies at all levels of the Organisation. Results, however, can only be expected if the Organisation has sufficient liquidity: programme managers should be primarily compelled by reform implementation and mandate delivery, which requires sustainable and predictable funding of the Organisation. We therefore call again on all Member States to pay their contributions in full and on time in order to avoid making an overly rigid budget process even more inflexible.

Mr. Chair,

When this Committee considers your proposals in detail, we will endeavor to make sure our collective decisions enable the Organisation to address threats to international peace and security, to defend the principles of rule of law, to uphold human rights, to support the sustainable development goals and to take action against climate change. This committee plays an instrumental role and has a key responsibility in supporting your vision and measures towards better support structures, smarter decentralization, and effective transparency and accountability. The program budget resolution needs to reflect those objectives.

As staunch defenders of effective multilateralism, we would like to reiterate our commitment to provide the necessary resources to this Organisation, so it can fulfil the mandates and match the ambitions we collectively set.

We look forward to working closely with all groups and delegations with the aim of agreeing on a sustainable and strong UN programme-budget for the year 2021. It is on us to render possible a functioning United Nations Organisation that delivers on its promise - now more than ever.

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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