Statement by Mr. Toshiro Ozawa
Ambassador of Japan
At the Informal Consultation of the Plenary of the United Nations
On Secretariat and Management Reform
15 February 2006
We thank Mr. Orr for his update. My delegation would like to briefly reiterate our basic ideas on mandate review, and also make some comments on the forthcoming S-G report and perhaps some words of further encouragement to Mr. Orr and his staff.
First, we believe that the objective of mandate review is to revitalize the UN through the review of mandated activities. More specifically, we should review and evaluate the relevance, importance and priorities of the mandated activities undertaken by UN bodies and the Secretariat. We should do so by taking into account the current situation and contemporary requirements of Member States, and with the aim of strengthening the Organization by updating the activities of the Organization.
As my delegation has said many times, the focus of mandate review is therefore neither solely cost-cutting per se nor the elimination of activities. The more important priority should be the reallocation of resources for our activities.
Second, we expect the following results to be accomplished through successful mandate review:
(1) Enhancing UN's capacity to tackle new activities, by facilitating decisions on reallocation of resources tied to low-priority or duplicative activities;
(2) Providing opportunities to divert additional resources towards existing activities that deserve greater attention; and
(3) Enhancing the policy relevance of the activities of the UN.
We firmly believe that a successful mandate review aimed at strengthening UN's activities will serve the collective interest of all Member States in particular the developing countries.
Third, in our view, it is important for the Member States to make decisions so that:
(1) Some tangible results which entail programmatic-shifts can be achieved by mid-June, and
(2) Such results are duly reflected in the 06/07 Regular Budget.
On the forthcoming S-G report, we would like to reiterate that the S-G report should be prepared so that it would facilitate Member States' consideration of possible programmatic shifts by focusing on mandated activities. In this regard, we would like to comment specifically the following:
(1) The database should include information on outputs and resources involved as much as practically possible, and it should enable Member States to sort relevant data according to activities. While we understand Mr. Orr's staff is "flat out" now, we hope that his staff will continue to work to improve the database in this direction.
(2) The SG report should include analysis and recommendations on duplications and other possible opportunities for programmatic-shifts. We are happy to hear from Mr. Orr that this will be done.
(3) We should not overlook the possibilities for programmatic shifts on activities initiated by the Secretariat without specific mandates.
Furthermore, the S-G report also should include recommendations on how the GA plenary can cooperate with other relevant organs such as the Security Council and the ECOSOC, with a view to achieving tangible results by mid-June.
We believe that these considerations are necessary to be taken into account in order for the Secretariat to deliver what our leaders requested for consideration by the Member States, i.e. "to facilitate mandate review with analysis and recommendations, including on the opportunities for programmatic shifts."
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