I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, let me thank Ms. Catherine Vendat, the Director of Peacekeeping Finance Division, for introducing the report of the Secretary-General A/63/758, and Ms. Susan McLurg, the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing the relevant report of the Advisory Committee A/63/780.
The European Union attaches great importance to the existing and further developing close and strong partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. We appreciate recent key efforts of the African Union in the area of peace and security, including deployment of African Union peace-support operations and the African Peace and Security Architecture.
The European Union fully supports efforts aimed at widening and strengthening United Nations co-operation with the African Union. We are strongly committed to the success of the African Union’s Mission in Somalia, indeed, the European Union provides a significant amount to the budget.
With regard to the proposal before us and our approach, the European Union sees what is being proposed rather like the support packages to the African Union Mission in Sudan were before as a pragmatic way forward, where the Security Council has identified a strong strategic interest for the United Nations in supporting the success of a mission of one of our important partners. It is in that context that the European Union is ready to provide assessed funding for the support package envisaged in the Security Council resolution 1863 (2009).
The European Union will, of course, seek more information and further clarifications in informal consultations about the details of what is being proposed, including issues related to accountability, about the size and scope of this specific package, about inter-relationships and the institutional framework. As with other United Nations missions, we want to closely examine the staffing proposals and the deployment assumptions, looking at the budget level at the same time.
We recognize, of course, that time is short. We are ready to work with you and other partners to agree on a resolution on this issue in the time available.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
*Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process