16 November 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Mr. Jan De Preter, Counsellor at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the 71st Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee on Regional restructuring of OHCHR
– As delivered –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* 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.
I would like to thank Ms. Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, for introducing the Secretary General’s reports on the regional restructuring of the OHCHR. I would also like to thank Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing the report of the Advisory Committee.
The member states of the European Union welcome the report on the proposed regional restructuring of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We note that this report has been submitted on the basis of the recommendation of ACABQ to provide a clearer and more detailed proposal as compared to the proposal presented to us last year in the framework of the 2016-2017 proposed programme budget. We welcome the latest report and believe that it has provided the necessary clarification and level of detail as requested by ACABQ.
We are convinced that this proposal increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the Office of the High Commissioner for human rights. We note that the current proposal does not entail any change of functions, programmes or mandates of the OHCHR but is rather of a managerial and budgetary nature only. We also note that no change in location of the existing regional offices would be proposed and that no additional layers of supervision would be introduced as a result of this restructuring. We recognize the need for the regional offices to be led at the D-1 level. We note with appreciation that this exercise will be cost neutral.
To conclude, Madame Chair, we see merit in the proposal of the SG to strengthen the field presence of the OHCHR as outlined in the report of the Secretary-General and we look forward to more detailed discussions in an informal setting.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
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