Statement by Mr. Ken Mukai
Counsellor of Permanent Mission of Japan
On agenda item 151: Financing of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT)

Before the Fifth Committee
Sixty-first Session of the United Nations General Assembly
21 March 2007

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation would like to thank Mr. Warren Sach, UN Controller and Mr. Rajat Saha, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for introducing their reports (A/61/759) and A/61/802) relating to the financing of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).

Timor-Leste is going to hold important national elections later this year, the second election since its independence. At such a critical juncture, it is clear that the country needs strong continued support by the international community, of which UNMIT activities constitute a major component. Japan therefore supports the Security Council's decision to extend the mandate of UNMIT for one year. Japan was a strong supporter upon the adoption of the resolution to establish UNMIT. We intend to continue to support UNMIT towards effective implementation of its mandate, which is to promote peace and reconciliation, to strengthen key governmental institutions, and to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2007.

Mr. Chairman,

Turning to the proposed budget of UNMIT, my delegation fully concurs with the approach taken by the ACABQ and wishes to see further adjustment to the level of assessment. We also share with the ACABQ on a number of observations and recommendations regarding the administration and management of the Mission and opportunities for savings.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation would like also to draw your attention to the fact that, as of 5 March 2007 since 25 August 2006, only 40% was spent against the approved commitment authority of $170.2 million. We share the recognition of the ACABQ that this represents a significant underexpenditure. According to this past spending pattern, it is natural to estimate the projected expenditure for the period from 6 March to 30 June 2007 will be $16.9 million, which is much lower than the envisaged unencumbered balance of $126,953,000 in the Secretary-General's report. We also doubt the capacity of the Mission to utilize all the requested resources. We will decide the level of apportionment, depending on further clarifications and justifications that would be provided by the Secretariat.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation finds that the structure of the Mission is in want of clear justification. We share the cautions of the ACABQ against routinely using a standard template in determining the structure and staffing levels of missions, including the number and grade levels of posts.

My delegation is not convinced about the need for grade levels of posts such as ASG for two Deputy Special Representatives, D-2 for the Chief of Staff, D-1 for the Chief Political Affairs Officer and D-1 for two Deputy Police Commissioners. My delegation is neither convinced about the staffing of the Conduct and Discipline Team and the Internal Oversight Office.

We fully agree with the ACABQ that care should be taken to avoid any duplicating functions and structures which already exist within the country team. We should utilize the strong presence of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Timor-Leste. In this regard, we would like to hear in more detail the expected areas of cooperation between the mission, country team partners, as well as bilateral and multilateral partners.

Given the presence of UN Funds and Programmes and bilateral donors in the field, we have doubts about rationale for provision of Quick Impact Projects. We are concerned about the lack of comprehensive policy and legal basis on QIP.

We look forward to fruitful informal consultations to obtain further information on the above-mentioned points.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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