Statement by Mr. Yasuo KISHIMOTO
First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda items 129 and 130: ICTY and ICTR
Fifth Committee
Sixty-first Session of the United Nations General Assembly
29 May 2007

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like at the outset to express our gratitude to the representatives of the Secretariat for introducing the relevant Secretary-General report to the Committee. I should like to thank the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Mr. Rajat Saha, for his Committee's report.

Mr. Chairman,

The report of the Secretary-General A/61/824 presented to us does not address the conclusions and recommendations contained in the previous ACABQ report, A/61/591, which was endorsed by the General Assembly during the main part of its sixty-first session. Assurance must be given that the Secretary-General proposal for introducing the retention bonus ensures the strict compliance of the completion strategy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The agenda has huge implications in terms of human resources management. Even if the intension of the proposed retention bonus is to ensure an ad-hoc body to carry out its mandate in time, it will clearly be deemed as the precedent for other current and future UN operations. If we were to make any move on this issue, careful consideration should be given to the implications of this proposal to the UN common system.

Secretary-General does not give us presumed case for the settlement in the Tribunals by 2010. Precise cost-benefit analysis is not provided based on the projection. The financial implications in the report are not persuasive. For example, why can we assume that annual turnover rate of 20 percent would be reduced by 10 percent if a retention incentive were introduced?

My delegation finds it necessary to reiterate the view that cost estimates should be determined precisely, on the basis of the drawdown plan for the Tribunals which clearly defines the expertise, functions and posts that will be required during the foreseeable phases of the completion strategy. Secretary-General should provide us the entire picture of the anticipated post reductions for the biennium 2008-2009 in line with completion strategy.

The current proposal in which the retention bonus is applied to every job category has to be reexamined. We believe that the scope should be more narrowly focused on those staff members whose expertise makes their retention essential to the Tribunals' fulfilling their mandates on schedule.

Without providing the necessary basic information mentioned above, my delegation does not support the reports of the Secretary-General or the ACABQ.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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