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, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Armenia align themselves with this statement.
First of all, let me comment shortly on the outcome of the main part of the 63rd General Assembly session. After lengthy discussions and intensive negotiations, the work of the Fifth Committee was concluded successfully and a consensus was reached on the majority of agenda items. The adoption of resolutions allows for a sound and continuous financing of the United Nations, international tribunals, special political missions and peacekeeping operations, to name just a few important items. However, the European Union believes that the United Nations can only perform its challenging tasks when member states pay their contributions in full and on time. We expect the United Nations to follow a strict budgetary discipline. In the context of the world financial crisis that poses a heavy burden on member states, effective use of resources is more than ever important.
The European Union wishes to express once more its disappointment with the late submission of documents for the resumed session. During the main part of the 63rd General Assembly session, two important documents (Budget outline for the period of 2010-2011 and First Performance Report) were introduced in the very last days of the session. This sets an unfortunate precedent and a wrong signal for future negotiations. Submission of documents in the last moment practically forbids a fully-fledged discussion of all aspects contained in the reports as there is no sufficient time to examine in detail the Secretary-General’s proposals. At the beginning of this resumed session, we still do not have all documents for items that are already scheduled in the tentative programme of work, therefore we urge the responsible officials to explain this situation. We have repeatedly pointed out the necessity to have all documents in the six official languages in due time before our deliberations start and we insist on adopting adequate measures that would prevent these recurring situations. At the same time we should be aware that when requests for additional information in writing arise during the questions and answers session, it not always leads to more constructive negotiations.
Regarding the proposed plan of work, the European Union wishes to highlight its priorities for this resumed session:
CMP: The European Union would like to reiterate its strong support for this important project. We are delighted that this enormous undertaking is finally underway and we must not let its progress falter. We will continue to work to ensure that it is managed effectively and efficiently and in line with the agreement previously reached during the 62nd session of the General Assembly. We look forward to our consultations on the matter.
Safety and Security: The European Union would have preferred an early introduction of the issue. As United Nations staff safety is concerned, it is our utmost responsibility to devote sufficient time to full consideration of this very vital item. Its introduction in the third week was accepted by the European Union as a compromise; however, we would have welcome more slots for this issue than envisaged in the tentative programme of work.
Peace and Security: We would also like to stress the need to decide on the requested allocations for peacekeeping operations, such as MINURCAT, and the need to fund a United Nations logistical support package for AMISOM as requested by the Security Council Resolution 1863 (2009).
Accountability: The European Union considers further development of the results based management as one of the priorities of the work of the Organization in order to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness. We see the risk management as an element that is needed if we are to reach the objectives and to improve accountability on both individual and programme level. We consider all three frameworks indispensable for future work of the Organization; therefore we would like to conclude the discussion on this agenda item during this resumed session.
Scale of Assessments: The European Union is of the opinion that we could continue from where we finished during the main part of the 63rd session and work closely with all colleagues to reach a consensus on the text of the resolution which will give clear guidance to the work of the Committee on Contributions.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, let me reiterate that the European Union is prepared to engage in serious discussions on all agenda items before us. We are ready to work closely with all partners in a spirit of openness, transparency and constructive cooperation in order to reach tangible results at the end of this session.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.