Statement by Mr. Ken Mukai
Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
On the Capital Master Plan

Fifth Committee
23 October2007

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Let me begin by thanking the Under-Secretary-General, Ms. Alicia Barcena, for her introduction of the fifth annual report of the Secretary-General on the Capital Master Plan (A/62/364), Mr. Roland Rey for introducing the report of the Board of Auditors (A/62/5 (Vol.V), and the Chairman of the ACABQ, Mr. Rajat Saha, for introducing the report of the Advisory Committee (A/62/490). We welcome new Assistant-Secretary-General, Mr. Michael Adlerstein and look forward to working with him.

My delegation fully understands the importance and urgency of the Capital Master Plan. Clearly, it is necessary to have a safe and secure environment for staff and delegates working at United Nations Headquarters. That is why, in General Assembly resolution 61/251, which was adopted last December, we agreed to the plan on a fast-track basis. We, therefore, were disappointed to hear that the project was about one year behind schedule, and that this delay has increased the total expense by 219.6 million US dollars over the approved budget of 1.8767 billion dollars. We are concerned that further delay might reduce the trust that Member States have of the Secretariat for its planning and management capabilities.

My delegation understands that the main objective of the proposed accelerated strategy IV, is to come up with a credible plan and make up the time lost because of the delay. The most pressing task is to ensure that the estimated cost overrun is absorbed within the approved budget of 1.8767 billion US dollars, thereby avoiding any further cost overruns.

We strongly urge the Secretary-General to keep his commitment to stay within the approved budget level and maintain the current schedule of assessments. Based on these two elements to be secured, my delegation supports the accelerated Strategy IV and stands ready to render its utmost support.

My delegation is willing to take part in the informal consultations to follow, through which we would like to clarify such issues as actual contents of the value engineering exercise, the timing and amount of a series of Guaranteed Maximum Prices (GMPs), the reliability of forward pricing of cost escalation, and the replacement of furniture and equipment.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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