Sumario: EU Presidency Statement - United Nations: Programme of Work (5 March 2007: New York)
Statement on behalf of the European Union by Mr. Peter Woeste, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Germany on the Programme of Work; United Nations General Assembly, 61st Session, Fifth Committee.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Coun-tries Croatia and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Serbia and Albania as well as the EFTA countries Norway and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.
Mr. Chairman, dear colleagues,
Welcome back to this first resumed session of the Fifth Committee! The members of the Bureau, as well as the Committee Secretariat deserve all our appreciation for the hard work they have accomplished during the last weeks to prepare a successful session. Thank you!
We have four weeks and a considerable agenda before us. By working constructively with all delegations the EU is looking forward to reaching a successful outcome of this session by March 30th. The EU stated time and again that it should be possible for the Committee to complete its agenda by this date without the need for meetings outside regular working hours, since we, the Fifth, are the very Committee that is charged with promoting efficient management practices and use of resources. We think this to be particularly important to the openness, transparency, inclusiveness and quality of the decision making process of the Fifth.
Hopefully all documentation in six official languages will arrive on time in order to have a meaningful discussion on the issues.
We are faced with a demanding programme of work. I would like to use this opportu-nity to touch briefly upon what the EU sees as the three main themes of our agenda:
1. The first one I would like to call "Our responsibility towards UN staff". By that we understand different subitems: First and foremost the EU looks forward to discussing the reform of the UN system's Administration of Justice. This item was discussed during the 59th session already. Then there was neither suffi-cient time nor knowledge to start a substantive discussion on this issue. Now we get back to it together with the Sixth Committee. And we are getting back with a definite feeling of urgency. The effective and speedy implementation of the reform decisions is a key priority for the EU during this session.
We will also discuss other proposals for better staff conditions. We have a responsi-bility to ensure the safety and security of the UN staff. Safe working conditions are required to help maintain and enhance the wellbeing and productivity of UN staff. Priority should as well be given to funding the assessed liabilities of After Service Health Insurance.
2. The second theme I would label ""Peace and Security"". We need to decide on the requested allocations for Special Political Missions as well as the fund-ing of peacekeeping budgets that are on our agenda.
3. Finally, this organization, our organization, is confronted with a multitude of tasks and expectations. "Transparency, accountability and internal con-trols" are therefore vital to the United Nations. A well-established mandate and the effective functioning of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee and the strengthening of the operational independence of the Office of Internal Oversight Services should be one of our main priorities.
The European Union looks forward to working closely and in a constructive manner with you and all Member States in the coming weeks.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.