1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
2. Concerning this agenda item: Report of the Programme and Budget Committee I would like to refer to the EU intervention at the PBC so as not to repeat our points of view. Let me assure you that the EU and the Member States that have associated themselves with this statement fully support the draft decisions on item 2 (a), (b), (d) and (e)
3. The European Union notes with satisfaction that UNIDO is now in a financial stable position. The EU, however, continues to encourage UNIDO to develop its programmes within the context of a realistic assessment of the funds likely to be available.
4. The European Union takes note of the measures taken to improve the collection of old receivables including from former members.
5. The EU welcomes the Director-General’s continuing efforts to enhance the organizational capacity of UNIDO and in this respect has noted his Bulletin of 14 November 2002. We are especially pleased to note the Director-General’s decision in response to calls by Member States to establish a Comptroller General’s Office.
6. The last 10 years have seen considerable changes in the sources of funds for TC programmes. We encourage UNIDO to carefully examine together with the countries concerned the full portfolio of UNIDO activities and in this context also take a close look into integrated programmes and country service framework planning figures.
7. The European Union takes note of the recommendations of the External Auditor, in particular those related to fraud awareness (par. 92-99), the clarification of the responsibilities and implementation of adequate procedures for stock-taking at Field Offices and for technical cooperation (par. 102), the establishing of a comprehensive systems of quality management (par. 111), the interaction between headquarters and the Geneva and the New York Offices (par. 128), and the efficiency of internal control mechanisms (par. 129). The EU looks forward to the Director General’s report on these issues to the Board at its twenty-seventh session.
8. We are pleased to note that thanks to the hard work of the Organisation’s staff, financial stability, technical cooperation delivery and quality of services offered through more focused activities continue to improve.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.