11 October 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Ms. Simona Pilleri, Counsellor at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the 71th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee on Item 145. Administration of Justice
— As Delivered —
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
We would like to start by reiterating the importance of the timely and simultaneous submission of all required documentation in all official languages. This is key to the much needed inclusivity and transparency that will help us reach a successful negotiated outcome. We therefore strongly regret that the ACABQ report was only made available 24 hours before the introduction of this very important agenda item and urge the Secretariat to make every effort to provide Member States with appropriate documentation on time. We would also kindly request the fifth committee bureau to stand ready to postpone the introduction of upcoming agenda items – if need be – in order to avoid similar situations to occur during this session.
We would like to thank the members of the Interim Independent Assessment Panel on the system of administration of justice at the United Nations for their report contained in A/71/62/Rev.1. The recommendations provided in this report, which will be discussed by the General Assembly, suggest a number of options to improve the system of the Administration of Justice. We welcome in particularly the examination of both the formal and informal justice systems. We would also like to thank the Secretary General for his recommendations on the report, contained in A/71/163, which we look forward to examining in more detail.
We share the view of the Panel and of the Secretary-General that the system to a great extent meets its objectives and is an improvement over its predecessor. We welcome the findings that the internal justice system put in place in 2009 continues to improve in performance and efficiency and is delivering measurable benefits for staff. We also note that the system continues to evolve and we welcome recommendations to improve its internal operations and efficiency. We reiterate the need to ensure the system embodies the principles of independence, transparency and professionalism, which should always be the cornerstone of the United Nations Justice System.
We also take note of the interesting observations and recommendations provided by the report of the ACABQ. We see the merit in their conclusions that further analysis and internal evaluation should be conducted to fully examine any requests for additional resources and expanding the capacity of the internal justice system.
We recognize that the informal resolution of disputes is a crucial element in the administration of justice. It improves access to the justice system while reducing the need for expensive procedures and time-consuming litigation, which benefit neither staff nor the administration. In this sense, we are encouraged to see that outreach activities have raised staff awareness of the informal system. We also note that the prevention of conflicts and access to information ahead of taking formal justice routes could be further strengthened within the system of justice.
In our view, it is important that improvements to the system of justice are viewed in the context of wider human and budget resource requirements. We call on the General Assembly to ensure that any changes are justified in terms of real need and clear qualitative outputs in line with the goals for the justice system.
I thank you Madam Chairperson.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
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