(Check against delivery)
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Jun Yamazaki
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Main Part of the Sixty-Seventh Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
December 11th, 2012
At the outset, my delegation would like to thank Ms. Maria Eugenia Casar, the Controller/Assistant Secretary-General and Mr. Collen V. Kelapile, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for introducing their respective reports on the proposed programme budget outline for the biennium 2014-2015. I wish to briefly outline my delegation’s views on this issue.
Last December, the Member States were able to agree on the regular budget for this biennium at the level of $5.152 billion, which is about 5% less than the previous budget of $5.416 billion. Given the fact that the economic and fiscal situation of most Member States has not significantly improved, we cannot afford to go back to the expanding trend seen in the UN regular budget, which has more than doubled over the last decade before this biennium.
If either the current or the next biennium budget exceeds the historical high for the UN regular budget, which is $5.416 billion, the Secretary-General’s and our Member States’ commitment to strengthen budgetary discipline embodied in the Secretary-General’s determination to “do more with less” would be in great jeopardy.
Against this backdrop, the Secretary-General has presented the Budget Outline for 2014-2015 that projects total preliminary estimate for that biennium amounting to $5.341 billion. As I underlined in my statement at the outset of this session delivered on October 4th, 2012, the next biennium budget should be formulated not on the basis of just extending the 2012-2013 budget, but on the basis of a true fresh look at needs. Certainly, while we welcome the fact that the estimate does include savings of $63.1 million as a result of efforts for increased cost-effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of services, this is a modest level of ambition and little real departure from incremental budgeting. My delegation shares the concern expressed by the ACABQ about the need to go beyond incremental budgeting and consider the entire quantum of resources necessary for mandate delivery.
All the more, the level indicated in the Budget Outline document could at the end represent an increase of about half a billion dollars over the currently agreed budget level, since the total estimate presented does not include expected additions for Rio+20 follow-up nor treaty body strengthening, or for that matter, any projection of inflation or exchange rate costs for 2014-2015.
Given the above situation, I would like to assure you that my delegation will participate actively in the consultations on this agenda item under your able guidance, so that the Member States can clearly convey our constraints and concerns to the Secretary-General and his senior staff, who in turn then would be able to produce for the sixty-eighth session a well thought-through proposed programme budget for 2014-2015 that reflects more efficient and effective resource deployment for the Organization.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.