STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. TOSHIRO OZAWA
AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
INFORMAL CONSULTATION OF THE PLENARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON MANDATE REVIEW
5 JUNE 2006
Thank you for providing us with the initial informal summary of Member State proposals as well as the other attached addenda in your May 25 letter. We note that you and the Secretariat will be making revisions to these papers. My delegation has already submitted proposals which can be added to the initial summary list.
We think that we are approaching a critical juncture. After revising and then reviewing the list of proposals before us, we should perhaps initiate negotiations as soon as possible in order to reach agreements on what our short-term achievements can be, and also to draw a "roadmap" for midterm and long-term actions. To facilitate such negotiations, many parts of the informal paper could be developed into a working paper with a view to adopting a GA resolution by the end of June.
In our view, such a draft resolution should comprise for short-term achievements the following three elements:
- Streamlining and consolidation of reporting;
- Institutional reforms; and
- Measures for better custody of mandates.
Also in our view, proposals for short-term agreements can be the politically less sensitive ones.
We also note that some Member States have strongly argued that savings achieved in the cluster of "promotion of sustained growth and sustainable development" be reinvested in the same cluster. Such programmatic reorientation, either when arising within the same area or between different areas, should be justified in terms of relevance, effectiveness as well as appropriate oversight.
In this regard, we also note a proposal of a Member State that savings from the area of development be reserved in the Development Account. The Development Account has a relatively well designed framework of project planning, implementation and evaluation.
We note that some Member States prefer at this stage to address only those mandates that were created more than five years ago and have not been renewed. We find such argument difficult to accept. "Renewal" without the substantial revision of mandates does not justify such exclusion.
We support, in principle, the idea of preparing "core reports" on a regular basis. We will consider whether such core reports meet the following conditions:
- They subsume a considerable number of existing reporting requirements;
- They do not require additional resources;
- The theme of the report conforms to UN's comparative advantage;
- A horizontal perspective to be provided by core reports should not duplicate with contents of existing reports / publications; and
- Certain page limits be considered.
On additional suggestions from Member States and the Secretariat for consolidation of reports, my delegation supports all of these suggestions.
We also support the suggestions related to the use of the website and web-based fora. We support all suggestions for changes on frequency of reporting.
We note that each and every observance day, year and decade has its unique value and that it can be a valuable vehicle for advocacy. At the same time, most of them are related to very specific issues and concerns of certain entities within the UN system. This being the case, it would be helpful to limit the number of those days and years which are formally observed by the UN at headquarters.
On issues related to better custody of mandates, we believe that the General Assembly should be well informed when making decisions and that all future mandates should be accompanied by information on (1) the effectiveness and implementation of related mandates,(2) complementarity with other mandates and (3) how the mandate relates to organizational goals. While suggestions contained in Addendum A are not sufficient in this regard, they are good initial steps, and my delegation supports them in principle.
In addition, we would like to request the Secretariat to provide input referred to in Addendum A based on its day-to-day work related to the implementation of mandates entrusted to them. We believe that such input should be prepared by the Secretariat as an integral part of its work, rather than to be commissioned to consultants who are not quite familiar with the day-to-day work of the Secretariat.
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