I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
At the outset, I wish to thank the Assistant Secretary-General and Controller Warren Sach for the briefing on the financial situation of the United Nations. This biannual snapshot at UN finances is very useful as it allows delegations to put in context the consequences of the day-to-day work of this Committee as well as the Organization´s ability to discharge the tasks which it is requested to perform. It also provides a clear indication of the ability and/or willingness of the individual Member States to fulfill their responsibility for the financial well-being of the Organization or lack thereof. The Controller reiterated its oft-heard but unfortunately not always heeded appeal for all Member States to pay its assessed contributions in full and on time. The European Union agrees. We would add that payment must be made without conditions.
In past instances, these presentations have shown us a picture of moderate improvement. This time, as the Controller points out, the picture is somewhat more mixed. The exponential increase in assessments puts an additional burden on Member States financial responsibilities towards the Organisation. Regular budget, Tribunals, Peacekeeping and Capital Master Plan put together have increased from roughly 5.6 billion USD December last to some 9.2 billion now. We emphasize that this is a very substantial increase. This situation raises the question of the sustainability of such a burden on all member states, including the European Union, which, I may recall, considers the need to adequately finance the SG´s mandates to be linked to the promotion of fiscal discipline.
I shall briefly touch upon the various elements of this presentation.
We note that so far 7 more member States have fully paid their Regular Budget assessment as compared to October last year: 129 as per the Comptroller´s updated figure, compared to 122 in 2006. 2007 has got almost two months to go and we hope that we will be able to continue the encouraging upward trend of the last two years. As before, outstanding assessments are massively owed by a single Member State.
In peacekeeping, outstanding assessments have increased from almost 1.9 billion USD by December 2006 to some 3.5 billon now. As peacekeeping assessments continue to grow, this trend, we fear, is unlikely to be reversed. The European Union renews its commitment to the punctual and unconditional payment of its member States´ assessed contributions and calls on all others to do likewise.
Here, the picture is somewhat rosier. As the Tribunals move toward the end of their work, we expect their future budgets will diminish correspondingly.
Capital Master Plan
Likewise for the Capital Master Plan, although due to its unique financial mechanism the state of play is not fully comparable.
Concluding, the EU believes that the United Nations can only perform its ever increasing and challenging tasks if all Member States accept their responsibility to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions. We accept that other may have grown tired of hearing this from us, but let them be assured that no less than we of repeating it.
In similar fashion, as the European Union accounts for about 40 per cent of all assessed contributions to the United Nations, we shall continue to strive for use the resources of the Member States to be made in the most accountable, efficient and effective manner.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.