I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Croatia*, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Montenegro as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
At the outset, let me thank the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, Ms. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, for her presentation of the report on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007 and of the report of the same office on the audit of the activities of the Thessaloniki Centre for Public Service Professionalism, and also Mr. Jonathan Childerly for presenting the Note of the Secretary General on the report on the activities of the OIOS for the period of 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007.
The European Union appreciates the clear reporting of OIOS on its annual activities. We welcome the adopted risk-based approach intended to prioritize the work of the Office as well as the plans of the OIOS to have a fully risk-based work plan for the 2008 calendar year. We look forward to discussing the OIOS oversight findings by risk area.
The EU shares the concerns of the OIOS as regards the need for strengthened internal processes and procedures to enhance the effectiveness of the organization, and looks forward to the reports on an Enterprise Risk Management and internal control framework, Results-based Management, and an Accountability framework which the Secretariat has been tasked to prepare. Furthermore, we urge the OIOS and the Secretariat to continue to work closely and constructively together on these and other issues with a common objective of having a more effective and efficient United Nations.
The European Union is concerned about the low rate of implementation of the recommendations of OIOS and continues to believe that critical recommendations should be fully implemented unless reasons are given for why this is not possible. We would therefore be interested in hearing more from the Secretariat about the reasons for non-implementation of these recommendations, including why many of the critical recommendations from prior years have not been acted upon.
The cooperation of the OIOS with other oversight bodies is a necessary element of the oversight framework. We welcome the close coordination between OIOS, the Joint Inspection Unit and the Board of Auditors. This is important to avoid potential duplication of activity and ensure mutual reinforcement.
Turning to another topic, the EU would like to express its concern on the findings of the OIOS report (A/62/176) on the management of the Thessaloniki Centre for Public Service Professionalism and looks forward to having sufficient clarifications by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs on the degree of the implementation of the OIOS recommendations in this regard.
In conclusion, we thank Ms. Ahlenius for the above-mentioned reports and the staff of OIOS for all their dedicated work over the past year. We look forward to constructive discussions with OIOS, the Secretariat and our colleagues in the Fifth Committee during the informal consultations.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.