I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The candidate countries Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, the European Union wishes to thank Ms. Barbara Kaudel, Chairperson of the Committee on Conferences (CoC), Mr. Shaaban M. Shaaban, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, Ms. Susan McLurg, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and Mr. Arild Hauge, Chief at the Inspection and Evaluation Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), for the presentation of their reports.
We welcome the report submitted by the CoC and the draft resolution in annex 1 of the report.
The European Union appreciates the progress made so far in the context of Integrated Global Management and welcomes that the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management is in agreement with the findings and recommendations of the evaluation of the OIOS.
The European Union further welcomes the continuing efforts of the Secretariat to avoid late submission of documentation, including to the Fifth Committee, and asks the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in this regard.
Concerning the calendar of conferences, the European Union would favour to add one or two weeks after the traditional ending of the second resumed session of the Fifth Committee, to be taken from the main session.
The European Union recalls that adequate conference facilities and the highest standards of language services in all six official languages are essential to the success of the work of United Nations intergovernmental and expert bodies. The European Union welcomes the steps taken by the Secretary-General to more effectively address this issue. The European Union further recognizes the progress achieved across duty stations in many areas of reform and notes the comments and recommendations of the Committee on Conferences in this regard.
The European Union relies on the Secretary-General to ensure that the implementation of the Capital Master Plan which is now under way is in conformity with the high quality of linguistic and conference services which Member States justifiably expect.
We look forward to open and constructive discussions on this item in informal consultations.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.