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, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.
First of all I would like to welcome you back, Mr. Chairman, and all other members of the Bureau, as well as the Committee Secretariat, to this first resumed session of the Fifth Committee. The European Union is looking forward to continue working closely with you and all delegations in a spirit of constructive co-operation during this session.
The European Union welcomes the forthcoming briefings organized by the Secretariat in the first days of this session. We believe they will provide useful information on various issues for the Committee and will thus contribute to saving time in the subsequent formal and informal meetings on these agenda items.
The programme of work is in front of us. The main thrust of the debate will be on reform issues. We need to continue with what the Committee already started in previous sessions with a goal to improve accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in the Organization. Issues such as Human Resource Management, Procurement, Accountability framework, enterprise risk management and internal control framework, and results-based management as well as the Secretary General’s proposals on strengthening the secretariat and its activities are on the table for us to act upon. The European Union is ready to consider carefully all these proposals taking into account budgetary constrains and cost effectiveness. There are also certain special political missions’ budgets, and the consolidation of peacekeeping accounts, to which we give special importance.
We are convinced that by March 28th we can reach a successful outcome by working actively and constructively since the very first day. The European Union believes that it will be possible for the Committee to complete its agenda by the end of the session without the need for meetings outside regular working hours. We think this is highly important for the quality of the decision making process of the Fifth Committee.
Let me use this opportunity to again express our deep concern over the fact that some reports that we are supposed to handle in this session are still not available. We want to give all the reports the necessary attention and consideration. Many times in the past we have found ourselves in the situation to resort to a long, cumbersome and time consuming exercise of questioning and answering, also because we did not have enough time in advance to read the reports properly and to consult with our capitals and with our groups. We would therefore again like to stress that the timely availability of reports is essential if the Committee is to perform its functions effectively and efficiently.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, allow me to reiterate that the European Union looks forward to working with you and all our Fifth Committee colleagues in a spirit of collegiality and constructive cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process