Statement by Ms. Päivi Valkama, Adviser, Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, on behalf of the European Union, UN 61st Session; V Committee, Agenda Item 116: Review of the efficiency, Proposed Budget Outline 2008-2009, New York
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, 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 countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
At the outset, allow me to thank the Controller, Mr. Sach, for presenting the documents in front of us today, and the Chairman of the ACABQ, Mr. Saha, for introducing their related report.
The budget outline gives us the first opportunity to reflect on the proposed budget level for the next biennium. The EU remains committed to providing the Organisation with the necessary resources to carry out its mandated activities.
By the time we take a decision next year on the programme budget for 2008-09, we will be looking at proposals in the region of $4,37 billion. We note that these figures do not include some major elements that we will certainly have to include by the time the actual budget proposal is at hand. Collectively the EU is the largest contributor to the UN budget and thus the increase of almost $1 billion in just four years is a challenge.
We recognise the increasing demands on the UN and the need to provide adequate funding to respond to these. We also appreciate the efforts of the Secretary General to exercise budgetary restraint in the proposal before us and encourage further efforts to limit increases in the budget proposals. We consider it vital that the Secretary General together with the member states continue to identify ways to concentrate and redeploy resources in accordance with the priorities set by the General Assembly. We fully support the comments of the Secretary-General in paragraph 9 of the budget outline in A/61/576 in this respect to the effect that budget proposals will reflect the benefit of further reviews of possible obsolete activities, additional cost-effective measures and simplified procedures.
Based on the information at hand, Mr. Chairman, the EU notes with interest the ACABQ recommendations and looks forward to discussing the budget outline for 2008-09 further in the informals.
As we turn towards the next biennial budget, we look forward to working with the Secretariat and our colleagues to ensure the optimal use of the resources provided by the Member States.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.