Statement by Mr. Katsuhiko Imada, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, On Agenda item 134: Accountability, Second resumed session of the Fifth Committee

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Mr. Chairman,
          At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to Mr. Christian Saunders, Assistant Secretary-General, and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chairman of the ACABQ, for introducing their respective reports. I wish to present Japan's views on the issue of accountability in the United Nations Secretariat.
          First of all, let me reiterate that, like many other Member States, Japan places great importance on enhancing the accountability and transparency of this Organization, bearing in mind that the work of the Secretariat is funded by our collective investment, and is ultimately borne by the taxpayers of the Member States. This aspect is of critical importance, especially when the Secretariat is undertaking structural reform. We strongly support the ongoing reform initiative, and at the same time we ask for clear accountability both throughout the reform initiative and as a primary goal of the reform initiative.
Mr. Chairman,
          My delegation would like to remind the other delegations and the Secretariat that the current system of accountability in the Secretariat was launched following the experience of the Oil-for-Food Program case, the final report on which was released in 2005, wherein the UN Procurement Division suffered from a bribery, which was tolerated by a weak segregation of duties.
Mr. Chairman,
          Let me touch upon the issue of accountability for the activities performed by entities other than the United Nations Secretariat, including any misconduct of theirs, including, inter alia, sexual misconduct. Some Member States may ask: Is it relevant to demand accountability of the Secretariat for activities that are not performed by the Secretariat? The answer of my delegation is: Yes, if those activities are funded by assessed contributions.
          As I mentioned earlier in this statement, the work of the Secretariat is funded by our collective investment — the assessed contributions of the Member States. Accordingly, in cases where the Secretariat provides funds for activities implemented by any other entities, including Funds and Programs and non-governmental organizations, we the Member States are in a position to demand accountability of the Secretariat derived from such provision of funding. It is the understanding of my delegation that in cases where the Secretariat provides funding to other entities, OIOS will cover how the Secretariat manages arrangements with entities which receive said funding.
          In this connection, my delegation believes it is worthwhile for the Secretariat to consider establishing a proper accountability framework to hold each Secretariat entity accountable for the performance of activities by entities other than the Secretariat when they are funded through transfers from the assessed budget of the United Nations. Should cases of misconduct arise in relation to such activities, the normal expectation is that those who were responsible for the transfer of funding should be held to account.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.