I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Montenegro, as well as Ukraine and Armenia align themselves with this statement.
First of all, let me comment on the outcome of the 1st resumed session of the 63rd General Assembly. After intensive negotiations, the work of the Fifth Committee was concluded successfully and a consensus was reached on the majority of agenda items. We appreciated the great spirit of cooperation and flexibility that was prevailing and that allowed us to reach agreement on such vital issues as those related to peace and security budgets, the capital master plan, information and communications technology, or human resources management. We want to express our acknowledgement to all who participated in our fruitful discussions — coordinators, distinguished delegates and representatives of the Secretariat alike. Nevertheless, we believe it would have been even more productive if all the important items had been given equal attention.
Some of the items on our agenda kept being postponed because not all documents for our session had been issued on time and in all six official languages. This was also the case of such an important item as Safety and Security. With greater exposure to risks of all kinds that the United Nations faces today, there is a strong need to effectively respond to them and the European Union considers it an absolute necessity and priority that the Organization initiates all necessary steps to effectively protect the United Nations staff and premises. The Secretary-General proposed measures to strengthen safety and security which he considers urgent. The European Union was ready to take up these proposals at this session and we regret that because of time constraints this item could not be introduced and discussed, despite the fact that it has an utmost importance as United Nations staff safety is concerned.
The European Union also supported the decision to consider the report of the Independent Advisory Audit Committee on vacant posts in the Office of Internal Oversight Services. We are of the opinion that the Independent Audit Advisory Committee has a substantial role to play and in exercising its responsibility in accordance with its terms of reference, given by A/RES/61/275, it may report its findings to the General Assembly at any time. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to discuss what the Independent Advisory Audit Committee considered an important matter.
At the beginning of March, we expressed our hope that during our discussions on the scale of assessments we all would work closely in order to be able to reach a consensus on the text of a resolution which would give clear guidance to the work of the Committee on Contributions. An outcome of its June session, elaborating on various aspects of the scale methodology, could serve as a solid base for our further deliberations during the 64th General Assembly. Therefore, we would have preferred a thorough discussion on this matter.
One day before the end of the session, the Chairman of the Fifth Committee informed us immediately about a letter of the President of the General Assembly, dated 25th March 2009, transmitting a letter by the President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Mr. Martin Uhomoibhi, bringing to our attention the critical financial situation in which the Council finds itself and that compromises its ability to continue with the implementation of the Universal Period Review. We noted with concern the delay with which this letter, dated 5th March 2009, was sent to the Fifth Committee. We are committed to find a solution in providing the Human Rights Council with funds that enable it to implement its mandate properly; however, we are of the opinion that this way of addressing its precarious situation is not and should not be a standard one. Moreover, we believe that it is within the responsibility of the Secretary-General to respond adequately to the need expressed in the letter.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, let me thank you again, as well as members of the bureau, coordinators and distinguished representatives of Member States who all worked hard to conclude the issues on our agenda.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.