– AS DELIVERED –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
At the outset, we would like to thank the Assistant Secretary-General of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, Mr. David Kanja, for his presentation of the report on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services for the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. Let me also thank the Vice-Chair of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, Mr. Adrian Patrick Strachan, for presenting the report on the activities of the Committee for the period from 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012.
We appreciate the clear reporting of the OIOS on its annual activities and welcome its approach, which is based on risk-assessment, in order to prioritise the work of the Office. We also welcome OIOS’ continued endeavours to further improve the quality and effectiveness of its activities.
The Member States of the European Union note however with concern that only 35 per cent of outstanding critical recommendations by OIOS had been actioned by the end of the first quarter of 2012 and call on all programme managers to increase their efforts in this regard. Fully aware that it is not always feasible to quantify the results achieved from the implementation of recommendations, we remain interested to learn these results when possible and we look forward to discussing these matters during the informal consultations.
We welcome the measures outlined in OIOS’ report on the dissemination and distribution of audit reports, including the public dissemination of audit reports. In addition, we would like to stress the importance of the continued close cooperation and coordination between the various United Nations oversight bodies, in order to avoid potential duplication and overlap in their work and to enable discussions on issues of mutual interest.
With regard to the findings of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee on OIOS, we concur with the Committee’s views that OIOS should further accelerate its efforts to attain a fully risk-based work plan. Turning to the question of vacancy rates, we commend, like the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, the recent efforts undertaken by OIOS to reduce the number of vacant posts.
We highly appreciate the work of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee and its clear summary of activities in its report. We agree with the Committee’s recommendation that the Secretary-General should finalise the long-awaited proposed terms of reference on the comprehensive review of investigations in the United Nations.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.