30 October 2009
Ambassador Eshagh Al-Habib
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran of Iran to the United Nations
at the Fifth Committee of the 64th Session of the General Assembly
on Agenda Item 132: Proposed Programme Budget for Biennium 2010 – 2011
(New York, October 30, 2009)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to thank the Secretary General for presenting the proposed program and budget for 2010-2011 and the Chairperson of ACABQ for introduction of the related Advisory Committee’s report.
My Delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Distinguished Representative of the Sudan, on behalf of Group 77 and China under this agenda item.
Proposed program budget is the flagship document of this Organization. It is designed and implemented in the framework of the legislative mandates, the provisions of the charter and should represent the international character of the organizations. The presentation of this program and budget should reflect how the concerned departments in the Secretariat should work around a set of predefined objectives and expected accomplishments, along with the activities and outputs required to achieve those objectives. It also provides justification for resources to be engaged.
Resources requested in the proposed programme and budget should be in full conformity with the activities needed to be undertaken. We are of the view that the level of resources should enable the Secretariat for effective and efficient implementation of all mandates and activities without resorting to extra-budgetary resources. At the same time, we support the budget discipline and measures to achieve greater efficiency through optimal use of available resources. Any attempt by the Secretary General to ask for a cut or to put an arbitrary ceiling to the budget level has no legislative mandate from General Assembly and constrains the organizations capacity to implement all mandated programs and activities or at least may jeopardize the quality of implementation of the activities approved by Member States, specially in the areas that are already under resourced such as development pillar.We have noticed that, in the Proposed Programme Budget for Biennium 2010 – 2011, the Secretary General, for the third time, is proposing a budget level with 0.05% real increase over the last biennium. This repeating figure seems to be more a political wish of few Member States than an adding up accident. My Delegation would like to emphasize that it is the prerogative of General Assembly to set the level of resources for the Organization and Evidently, This level must be commensurate with mandates and activities.
The proposed allocation of resources for the budget sections as contained in document A/63/6/Rev1, once again, clearly demonstrates that strengthening the Organization’s capacity to implement the development agenda does not constitute a major priority for the drafters of this document . The World Summit document of 2005 reaffirmed the United Nation’s central role in promoting development. The Organization has repeatedly failed to honor this commitment. In each and every Proposed Programme Budget, my delegation along with the majority of the Member States have asked for putting an end to systemic discrimination and apartheid towards development activities in UN budget. Indeed, the proposed allocation of resources for the budget sections for Programme Budget for Biennium 2010 – 2011 seems to be another disappointment for developing countries.
Development is the corner stone of this organization. The General Assembly resolution A/63/260 demonstrated the strong political will of the Member States to strengthen the Development pillar of the United Nations. It is a legitimate expectation to see that, in the first proposed program and budge, how the provisions of that Resolution have been translated into concrete proposals by the Secretary General, but to our surprise, the proposed allocation of financial resources for the next biennium, as shown in the table in page 8 of Document A/64/6 (introduction), seems nothing but repeating the past:
The figures are self-explanatory: %2.4 increases for international cooperation for development, %0 for development account against 5.2% for human rights and Humanitarian affairs and 3% for Political Affairs. These proposed allocations, once again, indicate that “Development” is not a priority in terms of the financial and human resources for the Secretariat.
The situation of the Development account is another vivid example. The proposed Program and Budget shows, once again, that the efficiency gains over the last several biennium periods have been used by the program manager to implement their own priority and nothing left for development.
In terms of the proposed posts, the figures speak for themselves: the main concentrations of the new proposed posts for human rights (9.37%) for new partnership for Africa’s Development (7.4%) for political affairs (3%) and for development 2.3% accordingly. This is another source of deviation from the priority areas as defined by the General Assembly. Moreover, lack of transparency and accountability in the recruitment of staff at the United Nations, especially in the senior positions constitutes another matter of concern to my delegation. As repeatedly suggested, equitable geographic representations in all recruitments and the rotation of senior positions among Member States is the best approach to address this concern and to preserve the universal character of the organization. To improve the recruitment from successful candidates of the National Competitive Exams also can help to rejuvenate the Organization and to improve the current imbalances with regard to geography in the Secretariat. My Delegation also is concern about the unprecedented use of consultants. According to the information provided by the Secretariat, UN spends millions of dollars each year from the Regular Budget to pay for consultancy services and private contractors especially in the areas that are considered as core activities of this organization.
The Department for Public Information should revitalize its role in promoting the organizations image through dissemination of the United Nations achievements in all fields. The role of DPI should transcend damage control and focus more on the benefits of multilateralism.
On procurement: Following the approval of additional resources to improve the governance management and the procurement process, we expect that the business opportunities for the developing countries show a genuine improvement. The main indicator of achievement here is not necessarily the number of seminars but the real increase in the business between the UN and the companies in the developing world.We do not accept the introduction of any new criteria in procurement process without the prior approval of the General Assembly.
Regional Commissions play an important role in implementing development agenda, the allocation of financial and human resources to the regional commissions should be in a manner to enable them to implement their core mandates without reliance on extra Budgetary resources. It is very important that equity be ensured in allocation of resources among the four duty stations of the United Nations and the regional commissions. My Delegation has noticed that the modest increase of 2.4% has been projected for ESCAP, as the largest economic and social commission.
In conclusion, my delegation would like to emphasize the importance of open, transparent and inclusive negotiations on the proposed program and budget for 2010-2011. We believe only constructive approach from all parties during the negotiation on this important item will strengthen our organizations and harmony among its Member States.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.