22 October 2015, New York – Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Mr. Francesco Presutti, Minister Counsellor at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, 70th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee Item 136. Improving the financial situation of the UN
– 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 Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, let me thank Mr. Yukio Takasu for his presentation, as Under-Secretary-General for Management, on 15 October, as well as his update of this morning, which provided us with useful information on the financial situation of the United Nations as well as on how Member States fulfil their obligations under the UN Charter to contribute to the financial expenses of the Organization.
As the United Nations celebrates its seventieth anniversary, a strong and effective Organisation at the heart of the multilateral system is more relevant and more needed than ever, to address the multitude of challenges to the international order. As we recalled in our statement on the organisation of work on 8 October, to ensure the sound management of UN financial resources continues to be a priority for the EU Member States. To achieve this goal is a joint responsibility of the Member States and the Secretariat. They both have to take their respective responsibilities seriously, and provide and utilise funding in a responsible manner.
We have learned from Mr. Takasu that, as at 2 October 2015, the number of Member States that had paid their assessments to the regular budget in full had slightly increased since the same time last year, but the significant level of outstanding assessments remained a concern. Conversely, we have been informed that the number of those that had paid all peacekeeping and tribunals’ assessments had decreased since the same time last year. In this regard, we welcome the recent payments that have been received since that date, as reported by Under-Secretary-General Takasu this morning.
Equally importantly, the presentation by Mr. Takasu, reminds us that, while the financial indicators for 2015 are generally positive, they are such for all categories, except the regular budget, that the level of cash available for the regular budget is currently low and that the situation is expected to tighten even further in the upcoming months. As we hear that the final outcome will largely depend on incoming contributions in the remaining months of the year, we encourage Member States to pay their assessed contributions in full and as soon as possible. At the same time, we wish to reiterate that it is imperative that concrete steps are taken, at all levels, to spend more wisely, to deliver in new ways, and to ensure that the Organization lives within the agreed budget levels. This applies to all activities of the UN, from peacekeeping, to construction, to the regular budget.
As we made clear in our first statement of 12 October, the Member States of the European Union are committed to providing the Organisation with the necessary resources to conduct its work, while firmly believing that there is still substantial room for improving its operation by taking new approaches that can lead to further savings and efficiencies not least to allow a meaningful reprioritisation of activity and delivery of results.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
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