7 May 2003
Statement By Mr. Ali Tootoonchian Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran Before Resumed Session of the Fifth Committee of the 57th Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 126: Administrative and Budgetary Aspects of the Financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations New York, 7, May, 2003 ……………………….
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the MercifulMr. Chairman, We are pleased to see you once again presiding over the deliberations of the Fifth Committee. I would also like to thank the secretariat for documentation provided and introduced to the Committee. While appreciating the hard work of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), my delegation shares the concerns raised by the Chairperson of the Group of 77 regarding the late issuance of its reports, which has limited the time necessary for in-depth study by delegations. Mr. Chairman, Peacekeeping operation is one of the core functions of the United Nations for maintaining peace and security around the globe. This crucial task requires sound administrative and budgetary arrangements to ensure that the Secretariat is well equipped to carry out its mandates. Member States should intensify their efforts in delivering their commitments for peacekeeping operations to further help the achievement of the objectives adopted for various missions. Islamic Republic of Iran, in its turn, has resumed its participation in the peacekeeping field missions and stands ready, as in the past, to further extend its cooperation at the field level. The report on feasibility of consolidating the accounts of the various peacekeeping operations contained in document A/57/746 has put forward both advantages and disadvantages of such a measure. It is absolutely essential to examine the report carefully should we need to find more efficient procedures for the critical issue of peacekeeping operations. Informed decision on the part of delegations requires thorough consideration of the report for ascertaining its potential benefits in concrete ways such as more consistent reimbursement to troop contributing countries, as well as clarifying possible problems arise by it. At the same time, the risk of increasing the number of Member States whose right for full participation in the activities of the Organization may be undermined as a result of any new procedure should be avoided. We should not lose sight of the fact that such endeavors in improving the management of financial resources of the peacekeeping operations will prove to be insufficient if they are not accompanied with other appropriate measures. In this context, improving the human resources management of peacekeeping operations is of vital importance. In the meantime, in examination of the budgetary arrangements and, especially, determining the level of resources for this aspect of the work of the Organization, namely peacekeeping operations, the need for balanced appropriation of resources for all UN mandated activities should be taken into account. Different parts of this international machinery should work in harmony, in order for the Organization to achieve its overarching objectives. The report entitled “overview of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations” contained in document A/57/723 provides very useful overview of trends in financial and human resources management of peacekeeping operations in recent years as well as overall information on budget proposals for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004 amounting to $2.2 billion. This figure indicates 16 percent decrease comparing to the approved level for the current period and 46 percent increase comparing to the level for 1999-2000. The report describes the efforts that are being introduced for the mission budgets for 2003-2004 and the global approaches to the operational aspects of peacekeeping and the related costs. It elaborates the application of results-based methodology and the inclusion of objective-setting component in submission of the budget proposals as well as measurement of the budget performances. We are of the view that such changes should primarily aim at enhancing the ability of Member States to make fully informed decisions which is key to their continued support for peacekeeping operations. The total of proposed resources for peacekeeping operations for the financial period 2003-2004, inclusive of the support account and the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi (UNLB), is $2.2 billion, compared with $2.6 billion for 2002-2003, a reduction of 16 percent. Yet the budget for support account has increased by 15 percent partly due to changes in standard salary costs and the inclusion under the support account for 27 resident auditors which had previously been funded under individual peacekeeping mission budgets. However, my delegation, concurring with the opinion of ACABQ, believes that not all other factors contributing to the increase in the proposed level of resources for the support account are required to be adopted at this stage. Moreover, the proposed increase in the budget for UNLB could also be reassessed particularly due to the adequate amount allocated to the strategic deployment stocks in 2002. We note that the total of 10,892 posts are proposed for staff in peacekeeping missions for the period 2003-2004, compared with 13,513 for 2002-2003. It is our hope that the implementation of Galaxy will empower the Secretariat and the field missions to reflect the extended pool of candidates in order to select qualified ones from each and every part of the world. At the end, Mr. Chairman, while assuring you of the full cooperation of my delegation, I would be at miss if to conclude without reiterating my happiness in seeing the new Secretary of the Fifth Committee who has assumed his responsibility recently. I wish him success and believe that he and his colleagues will make every effort for timely preparations of our meetings. Thank you.