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The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

18 March 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Mr. Jan De Preter, First Counsellor at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, 70th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee First Resumed Session on Item 134 g. Special Political Missions: (i) Burundi

– As delivered –

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the member states of the European Union. At the outset let me thank Mme Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Controller, for introducing the report on Agenda item 134, Special Political Missions, Cluster I, Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Burundi. We would also like to thank the Chairman of the ACABQ, Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, for introducing its subsequent report on the same item.

Mr. Chairman,

Three weeks have passed since the start of this session. We regret that important issues like Burundi are only now introduced while some others have not yet been introduced at all. Some of these items, like the revised estimates for the resident coordinator system are of crucial importance for the delivery of mandates in the field, in particular related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Other items, like the amendments on staff regulations and rules are time bound, as was explained to us by ASG for OHRM Carol Wainaina in person. Through you, Mr. Chairman, we would therefore like to ask the Secretariat, what the exact reasons are for the delays we are confronted with. Also through you, Mr. Chairman, we would like to ask the chair of ACABQ to elaborate on the measures ACABQ is taking to expedite its work so as to honor the program of work of the fifth committee.

Time and again, the member states of the European Union have recalled the importance of timely submissions of all required documentation in all official languages which is key to facilitating the quality and speed of our discussions, on an equal basis among Member States.

The fact that we are now confronted with these delays, 3 weeks after the start of our session, reflects badly on the image of the committee. On the 23rd of December 2015, in our Resolution GA 70/247, we requested the Secretary-General “to transmit reports to the Advisory Committee no later than two weeks in advance of its scheduled consideration of items so as to ensure that the Committee will, in turn, provide its advice to the General Assembly no later than two weeks in advance of formal introduction of an item, with an exception for revised estimates and programme budget implications arising in the course of the main part of the session of the Assembly”. Today, barely 3 months later, we have to acknowledge that we cannot abide by our own resolutions.

We were also led to believe that there is an informal understanding in the committee and the bureau that items cannot and should not be introduced during the last week of our session. We have reached that point today. Question is now, Mr. Chairman, what to do next. We are looking for your guidance, taken into account that the member states of the EU are not in a position to extend the session under any circumstance or under any condition and that we would like to abide by our own resolutions.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Ref: EUUN16-029EN
EU source: European Union
UN forum: Fifth Committee
Date: 18/3/2016

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