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Statement by Mr. Sho Ono
Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 134: Proposed programme budget: biennium 2014-2015
On Special Political Missions (SPMs)
Main Part of the Sixty-Eighth Session
United Nations General Assembly
16 December 2013
At the outset, I wish to thank Ms. Maria Eugenia Casar, Assistant Secretary-General/Controller and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for introducing their respective reports on this agenda item. In the following statement, I wish to share my delegation’s views on these reports.
On the estimates in respect of Special Political Mission, Good Offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council; first and foremost, Japan reiterates its strong support for each of the Special Political Missions’ respective mandates. On the other hand, Japan carefully notes that the Secretary-General has proposed a budget allocation of USD 540,762,100 for 2014 for Special Political Missions, without taking into account UNSOM and the OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria. When these two missions are added, the total allocation will amount to USD 603,089,900; representing an increase of around USD 12 million compared to the approved budget for 2013, which amounts to USD 590,833,700.
My delegation would like to reiterate that the total amount of 2014 and 2015 SPM budgets should be contained within the provided amount USD 1,081 million under the section 3 by the proposed biennium 2014-2015 budget. In this context, my delegation would like to further look at the Secretary-General’s report as well as the Secretariat’s response to be presented at the informal meetings, in order to seek further efficiency in resource utilization.
My delegation welcomes the recommendations and comments presented in the ACABQ reports, which carefully scrutinized the proposed budget in a balanced and technical manner, fully taking into account the respective mandates of each Mission. We strongly believe that the recommendations of the ACABQ would be a good starting point for our discussion.
On this occasion let me touch briefly upon my delegation’s views on SPMs. Today’s world challenges us with a broad range of demands in the field of peace and security, yet the Member States’ severe fiscal constraints require responses with very limited resources. In light of this reality, the most effective approach for these challenges is to seek a right balance of UN configurations for peace and security, including both SPMs and PKOs, in order that their full comparative advantages may be employed. This also underscores the importance of timely and smooth transitions between different UN instruments, as well as thorough elaboration of transition strategy, which lead to the efficient use of the limited resources.
My delegation would also like to highlight necessity of enhanced transparency on SPMs. For the majority of Member States who are not in the Security Council, processes for the establishment of SPMs and their activities are often insufficiently clear. My delegation believes that the Member States should have the benefit of enhanced accountability from SPMs including a clear mandate, sound operations, and a clearly defined timeline of their activities. My delegation expects that such strongly enhanced transparency on the part of SPMs will contribute to better understanding on the part of the Member States of the Secretary-General’s budget proposals on SPMs as he seeks increased resources for such activities.
With respect to the funding and backstopping of the SPMs, my delegation has participated constructively in the discussion and will continue to do so with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable conclusion.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that my delegation will participate actively and constructively in the discussions on this agenda item.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.