Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, Agenda Item 136: Proposed Programme Budget: biennium 2018-2019 , Main Part of the Seventy-second Session of the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

(As delivered)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
 
          At the outset, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Secretary-General for his introduction of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019.  I would also like to thank Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chairman of the ACABQ, for introducing their reports.
 
          Japan attaches great importance to the financing of the UN, in order for this Organization to function properly. Japan fully supports the UN in delivering its mandate; I cannot emphasize this any more strongly.
 
          However, at the same time, I cannot also emphasize more that every single dollar spent by this Organization comes from the taxpayers of the Member States for the service of humanity. Effort toward a more efficient and leaner UN, and ultimately a stronger UN, should always be the basis for the consideration on the programme budget.
 
Mr. Chairman,
 
          I recall that in December last year the Fifth Committee agreed on a budget outline of 5.395 billion dollars. Japan notes that Secretary-General proposes the level of 5.405 billion dollars for the 2018-2019, before recosting, and add-ons.
 
          The preliminary recosting for the 2018-2019 budget as is estimated in the Secretary-General’s proposal is at 127.6 million dollars. As the Organization has started to enter into a forward contract in foreign currencies, respectively of Swiss francs and euros, to manage exchange rate fluctuation and inflation, my delegation expects to receive the Secretary-General’s report on the revised estimates in this regards that reflects such efforts.
 
          My delegation takes note of the proposed staffing level of 9,998 established and temporary posts for the biennium 2018-2019 under expenditure section. We note, however, ratio of D-1 and higher posts to Professional level posts, as well as to combined Professional and General Service posts remains high or even increasing.  My delegation is concerned with the trend that the reduction of posts mainly focusing on junior levels is presented as overall cost reduction efforts and efficiencies. A more efficient and leaner organization needs to be less top-heavy.
          
          The Secretary-General’s reports on management reform contain a number of proposals concerning the changes to the basic budget formulation, its machinery and the budget implementation.  While we keep close eyes on the discussion on that matter, my delegation will continue to base ourselves on all current rules and regulations, the provisions of relevant resolutions, as well as strict budgetary discipline, in the consideration and discussion of the 2018-2019 proposed programme budget before us.  My delegation wishes to once again emphasis that the importance of strict implementation of the provisions of GA resolution 41/213 and 42/211, and will give close and necessary scrutiny to the budget proposals and add-ons requests to come, including examinations on adherence to the relevant rules and provisions, their priorities, programme performance so far, as well as in the light of avoiding duplications, and identifying rooms to absorb the additional requirements. My delegation also wishes to emphasis the importance for the Member States to take informed decisions in the relevant committees or entities, and in this regard, the Secretariat is requested to provide the Member States of information on the implication of the decisions by such entities over the programme budget in timely and appropriate manner.
 
          Finally, Mr. Chairman, my delegation is committed to participate positively and constructively in the negotiations toward achieving consensus on this important agenda item under your esteemed leadership.
 
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.