I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union under agenda item 118: Programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009 Safety and Security.
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 Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, let me thank Mr. David Veness, Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, for introducing the report of the Secretary-General (A/63/605), and Mr. Ken Hermann, Senior Advisor on Information Management Policy Coordination of the Secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, Ms. Susan McLurg, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and Mrs. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, for introducing their respective reports.
Today, the United Nations has a greater presence worldwide than ever before, which also brings a greater exposure to risks of all kinds. There is a strong need to effectively respond to these risks and the European Union considers it an absolute necessity and priority that the Organization initiates all necessary steps to effectively protect the United Nations staff and premises.
We therefore welcome the initiative of the Secretary-General to propose measures to strengthen the safety and security of United Nations personnel.
The European Union agrees with the assessment of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions that the question of strengthening security arrangements for the United Nations should be dealt with in an integrated manner, and that a comprehensive report should be submitted to the General Assembly at the 64th session to permit consideration of the report in conjunction with the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2010-11.
At the same time, the European Union believes that some of the proposals might require urgent consideration by Member States and we stand ready to discuss them further.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.