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Statement by Mr. Akihiro Okochi
Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Organization of Work
Second part of the resumed session of the Sixty-sixth Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
7 May 2012
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At the beginning of this session, my delegation would like to raise several basic points to which we attach great importance in the deliberation of peacekeeping budgets proposals.
First, my delegation is of the view that Member States should be prepared to provide adequate capacity and resources to peacekeeping operations for the successful implementation of their mandates to maintain international peace and security. At the same time, the need for efficient, effective and accountable management of these operations cannot be overemphasized, not only due to the current difficult financial situations of Member States including my own, but, more essentially, because experience shows that redundant resources without adequate management often hinder effective operations and long-term sustainability of the organization.
This year, the Secretary-General indicated in his overview report that the overall budget was expected to be around 7.4 billion dollars, a 5.5% decrease from the previous year’s budget. Apparently this figure reflects the end of the surge in peacekeeping operations which characterized the last decade. The levelling-off of peacekeeping operations is demonstrated by many factors including, among others, a overall decrease in the approved troop levels. Without being complacent about this reduction of the budget proposal, our delegation is committed to working on each and every item in the budget, so that this committee can reach an agreement on a budget level which will neither exceed nor fall short of what each mission requires for the implementation of its mandate.
Second, my delegation would like to discuss the issues related to civilian personnel. The budget proposal contains an increase in civilian personnel costs by 4%, while military and police personnel costs as well as operational costs are reduced by 7% and 10% respectively. While we fully welcome the concrete positive outcomes yielded by the implementation of resolutions 63/250 and 65/248, such as reduced vacancy and turnover rates, we are of the view that posts and positions, especially those of the Support Account, should be carefully reviewed, so that we can avoid over-posting. In this regard, my delegation would like to reiterate its view that the posts and positions kept vacant for a certain period of time are demonstrably either inessential or unnecessary.
Third, my delegation acknowledges that the Secretariat has been engaging in various efficiency measures in the area of the operational costs. We especially commend the reduction of global inventory holdings by 32% as well as the overall rationalization of the air fleet, and we would like to encourage the Secretariat to continue its efforts in these regards. My delegation also notes that “resource reduction targets” were set by the Secretariat in terms of, among others, fuel consumption, rations and movements of uniformed personnel, measures similar to ones that have been effectively used by governments of many Member States which have pursued sound and balanced governmental expenditures. My delegation is committed to examining operational items, including achievements of those efficiency measures during this session.
Forth, at this session, the current status of the Global Field Support Strategy (GFSS), including several new proposals, are being presented to the Assembly for its consideration. My delegation supports the efforts of the Secretary-General to improve the timeliness and quality of service delivery to field missions, as well as to achieve greater efficiency and economies of scale. My delegation is of the view that it is now appropriate for us to examine the concrete outcomes and gains of the first two years of implementation of GFSS before we enter the remaining three years of this initiative and is looking forward to discussions in this committee in those respects.
Last but not least, my delegation will be engaged in the discussion in a positive and constructive manner and look forward to working with all the other delegates with a view to achieving consensus agreements on all the items by the scheduled end of this session based on General Assembly Resolution 41/213.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.