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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Jun Yamazaki
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda: Organization of Work
Second part of the resumed session of the Sixty-Eighth Session of the Fifth Committee
Of the United Nations General Assembly
5 May 2014
Before touching on the subject matter to be dealt with in the second resumed session, my delegation would like to join the other delegations in expressing our profound condolences on the loss of our dear colleague, Mr. Alan Shaw, of the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations. His death is mourned by all of us at the Mission of Japan as well as by the Government of Japan. Over the past three years, we all benefited deeply from Mr. Shaw’s knowledge and leadership during negotiations in the Fifth Committee, and were truly aided by his wisdom and insights. We honor Mr. Shaw’s dedication and contribution to the work of this Committee and wish that his soul may rest in peace.
Now, since this is the first opportunity for my delegation to address the Fifth Committee in the second resumed session, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the chairman, the facilitators and the fellow delegates for the successful work of this Committee in the first resumed session, wherein fourteen out of seventeen agenda items were agreed on.
Furthermore, my delegation highly appreciates the fact that the first resumed session ended on time as scheduled. Notwithstanding the fact that we will need to tackle a number of difficult issues during the second resumed session, I believe we really should reaffirm our strong resolve to maintain this productive working habit under the wise guidance of the chairman and strictly observe the scheduled end date of this session, which is 30 May. As the leading body to demand organizational efficiency, the Fifth Committee should demonstrate that it can finish its business in time. Our delegation looks to all the other delegations and the Secretariat, as well as to the ACABQ, to be united under this common goal and spare no effort to achieve it.
Regarding our deliberations on the peacekeeping budget proposals, I would like to say that my delegation is of the view that the Member States should be prepared to provide adequate capacity and resources to the peacekeeping operations for the successful implementation of their mandates to maintain international peace and security. At the same time, the need for an efficient, effective and accountable management of these operations cannot be overemphasized, not only due to difficult financial situation in many Member States, including my own, but, more importantly, because experience shows that redundant resources without proper management does not lead to effective operations and long-term sustainability of this Organization.
My delegation is committed to working on each and every item in the proposed budgets so that this Committee could reach agreement on budget levels which would neither exceed nor fall short of the requirements to implement each mission’s mandate, in particular through examining the levels of civilian staff costs and operational costs, including achievements of efficiency measures.
My delegation regrets the fact that the overall picture for the 2014/15 PKO budget will not become clear until the main part of the sixty-ninth session. This is due to the half-year request of UNMISS and the as yet to be requested budget of MINUSCA. In addition, the Secretary-General did not present as a budgetary request the work done on the new survey as recommended by the Senior Advisory Group (SAG) and in accordance with General Assembly resolution 67/261.
We have strong concern that potential increase in the troop reimbursement costs combined with other increases, including those of MINUSCA and UNMISS, could lead to total PKO budget for 2014/15 greatly exceeding its historical high of 8 billion dollars. We say this in light of the extremely tight domestic financial situation.
With regard to the implementation of the SAG report, our delegation intends to present our views in detail when this item is introduced. I would just like to emphasize that we must strike a delicate balance between fair reimbursement for the troops that are deployed and the financial sustainability of peacekeeping operations as a whole.
The huge potential surge that is before us would not be compatible with the sustainable development of UN peacekeeping operations. Member States will need to tackle with a sense of urgency the question of how to manage the PKO budget in a reasonable and practical manner. In light of this challenge, we should carefully assess the requirements of the current PKO missions, and especially those that are in the phase of drawdown and closure, which are aiming to right-size based on changing field situations.
Last but not the least, I would like to assure you, Mr. Chairman, that my delegation will be engaged in this Committee’s discussions in a positive and constructive manner, and looks forward to working with all the other delegations toward achieving consensus agreement on all the items by the scheduled end of this session.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.