Summary: October 13, 2004: Statement by Eelke Postema, Assistant Attaché, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN on behalf of the European Union at the 59th SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY – 5th COMMITTEE - ITEM 153 – FINANCING OF ONUB (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.
First, let me thank the director of the Peacekeeping Finance Division, Ms. Catherine Pollard and the vice-chairman of the ACABQ for their introduction of the report before us.
At the outset, the European Union recalls its general points of policy made in its statement on the financing of peacekeeping operations delivered on Thursday 7 October under agenda items 129 and 155 Financing of UNMISET and MINUSTAH, respectively.
The European Union supports the comments made by the ACABQ on ONUB and commends the Secretariat for its use of the RBB framework for this Mission.
The European Union urges the Secretariat to further utilise the RBB framework in order to facilitate improvement in measuring indicators of achievement and outputs.
We commend the Secretariat for the high degree of co-operation between MONUC and ONUB and welcome further exploration of ways to co-operate between Missions in a region.
We are concerned about the vacancy rate for National staff, which is more than 60 percent and urge the Secretariat to address this issue in the coming budgeting period.
As stated in our speech on MINUSTAH on 7 October 2004, we are also concerned about the replication of functions in other offices in the Mission and in the Office of the SRSG.
The European Union fully supports the ACABQ comments on the number of posts and recognises the requirements of this Mission and the need for the SRSG to have staff at the appropriate level to perform the functions facing the mission. We seek further justification from the Secretariat on this issue.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.