Statement by Mr. Katsuhiko Imada, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, at the conclusion of the second resumed part of the Seventy-second Session of the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

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 Mr. Chairman,
          First and foremost, at the conclusion of the second resumed session, I would like to express my congratulations for the work we have achieved during this session.
          My delegation has been positively engaged in the negotiations in a constructive manner, showing necessary flexibility throughout. We were glad to see the constructive engagement and flexibility of the other Member States as well, leading us to the conclusion of this session. While acknowledging each other's differences in the negotiations, we have been respectful to each other and have earnestly explored creative solutions on which all sides are able to stand together.
Mr. Chairman,
          My delegation has been engaged in the negotiations on the peacekeeping budgets with a view to achieving evidence-based efficiency for all Missions, noting that there are a few highly efficient Mission, such as MINUSCA, in contrast to some other Missions. As we indicated in the informal consultations, the analysis conducted by my delegation shows that the overall peacekeeping budget for 2018/19 could be well below the agreed level, less than 6.6 billion dollars, with a six-month arrangement for UNAMID. My delegation is of the view that the overall peacekeeping budget which we have adopted, including its allocation to each Mission, is the result of a compromise at the expense of efficiency.
Mr. Chairman,
          Also during the informal consultations on peacekeeping budgets, my delegation attached particular importance to enhancing the accountability of the Secretariat in the use of assessed peacekeeping budget resources, bearing in mind that in some cases resource are transferred by the Secretariat to finance activities of non-UN Secretariat entities, including Funds and Programmes and non-governmental organizations.
          My delegation is of the view that neither the Security Council nor the General Assembly has ever mandated the Secretary-General to transfer assessed peacekeeping budget resources to Funds and Programmes and non-governmental organizations. If the Secretary-General believes that the transfer of assessed peacekeeping budget resources to such entities that are legally out of his control is justified by his authority entrusted under Article 97 of the Charter of the United Nations, then the Secretary-General should have ensured and proven that a proper accountability mechanism was in place to cover the performance and misconduct of such entities out of his control before transferring any resources thereto.
          While my delegation was disappointed that we were not able to reach a consensus on a cross-cutting resolution at this session, we still believe that following paragraph, which the Committee agreed to ad referendum, marks an important step:
          Requests the Secretary-General to propose an accountability framework for performance and misconduct of entities that are not part of United           Nations peacekeeping missions, including UN agencies, funds and programs, when they perform activities funded through peacekeeping                     assessed budgets, excluding the provision of goods or services through contractual arrangements;
          My delegation trusts that the Secretary-General will take adequate measures to address the lack of accountability regarding the transfer of assessed peacekeeping budget resources accordingly.
Mr. Chairman,
          The Committee agreed upon two important resolutions on UN reform: namely, management reform and peace and security pillar reform. I would like to share Japan's views on these two reform agendas.
          First, with respect to the dual-reporting line to be created under both management reform and peace and security pillar reform, we understand the intended merit of this arrangement with a view to promoting integration between DMSPC and DOS, and between DPPA and DPO. However, my delegation believes that further consideration may be necessary. For example, according to the written answer provided by the Secretariat to the Committee in the context of peace and security pillar reform, quote: “the USGs of DPPA and DPO would jointly evaluate the regional ASGs in accordance with their respective areas of responsibility”, end quote. My delegation is interested to know how such a joint performance evaluation of one staff would function.
          Second, regarding the allocation of procurement function under DOS, while we endorse its allocation as proposed by the Secretary-General, my delegation would like to emphasize the high level of risk inherent in United Nations procurement activities as we have agreed in the draft resolution on management reform. In this regard, my delegation would like to stress the critical importance of the segregation of duties for procurement functions. Noting the last sentence of paragraph 38 of the report of the Secretary-General, my delegation expects the Secretary-General to “keep the requisitioning and procurement responsibilities allocated separately and ensure an effective firewall for the procurement function within the Secretariat”, as described in my delegation’s proposal for the draft resolution, which is based on the written answer provided by the Secretariat to the Committee.
          Finally, while my delegation continues to support the Secretary-General’s initiative for United Nations reform, I would like to point out the burdensome influence of introducing the non-peacekeeping budget items during the second resumed session to the workload of the Member States and the Committee as a whole. My delegation was disappointed that our discussion of the reform agenda continued into July, sacrificing our discussion on a cross-cutting resolution, which is important to provide guidelines to the Secretariat on the use of assessed contributions for peacekeeping.
Mr. Chairman,
          As I will soon be leaving New York for a new assignment and this is to be my last statement before this Committee, I would like to take a moment to conclude it by thanking all my colleagues in the Committee for their constructive spirit, collaboration and friendship. Because of you all, my time in New York will be a cherished memory, which I will never forget.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.