Sommaire: November 8, 2002: Statement by Mr. Thure Christiansen, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN, on behalf of the European Union. Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services. FIFTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - FIFTH COMMITTEE: Item 122 (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Associated Countries - Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as the EFTA Countries of the European Economic Area - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, align themselves with this statement.
First of all, I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Dileep Nair for the introduction of the annual report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services covering activities for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, contained in document A/57/451, and for the outstanding work achieved by OIOS. The European Union recognises the important role of OIOS in further improving the functioning of the Organisation.
The European Union notes with appreciation the continuing efforts of the Office to improve its coordination with all members of the governing bodies as well as to coordinate its programme with other oversight bodies, including the Board of Auditors and the Joint Inspection Unit. We encourage the Office to continue its efforts in this regard.
The European Union welcomes and endorses the annual report of OIOS. We note the wide range of activities of the Office with regard to audits, investigations, evaluations and compliance monitoring. The European Union notes with interest the statistics provided on the rate of implementation of recommendations, including critical ones, and the identification of almost USD 56 million in potential cost savings and recoveries.
The European Union will closely follow future reporting on compliance with regard to a number of topics, including, among others, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian and related issues, procurement and the ad hoc Tribunals.
Let me now turn to a number of issues pertaining to the functioning of the Office. During the past year, 2,357 recommendations were issued, of which some 30% or about 700 were considered as critical to the Organisation. We note that OIOS continued its strategic planning exercise initiated in 2002 with the aim of improving internal co-ordination of oversight activities. We fully support the strategic objectives: qualified staff; a culture of continuous improvement; and improved client relations.
The European Union welcomes the intent to progressively sharpen the focus on the areas of greatest risk to the Organisation. Scarce oversight resources and limited staff are the main factors for rationalising investigative services and identifying priority issues. We encourage the Office to take up that challenge by, among others, focussing on critical recommendations in a constructive manner and on following up on the implementation of these recommendations.
The European Union supports the efforts by the Office to improve the evaluation function, including the self-evaluation capacity of departments. We support the establishment of cross-disciplinary teamwork and the decision to conduct a pilot thematic evaluation of specific activities cutting across several programmes. We look forward to receiving further reporting on these issues.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.