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Statement by Mr. Jun Yamada
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Item 128: Report of the Human Rights Council

Fifth Committee
First Resumed Session
Sixty-second Session of the General Assembly
5 March 2008

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to start my statement by thanking Ms. Sharon Van Buerle, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, and Ms. Susan McLurg, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their respective reports on this agenda item. I wish to make some brief remarks on the Report of the Human Rights Council (HRC).

My delegation has raised concerns over the often negative impact of the programme budget implications generated by the resolutions and decisions of the HRC. As regards the programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009, we recall that last December, approximately 4.75 million dollars, required as a result of resolutions of the Council, was charged against the contingency fund. We further recall that when the resolutions in question were submitted to the Fifth Committee for its consideration, that amount was approximately 12.38 million dollars, equivalent to over one third of the total contingency fund for the biennium 2008-2009.

While we should take into account that the HRC is a new subsidiary body, its heavy dependence on the contingency fund makes it clear that it needs to further enhance its financial discipline and improve its methods of presenting its financial requirements to the General Assembly. In this regard, my delegation wishes to underscore paragraph 104 of General Assembly resolution A/RES/62/236, which requests the Council to exercise greater financial discipline, with due regard for regulation 5.6 of the Programme Aspects of the Budget, the Monitoring of Implementation and the Methods of Evaluation (PPBME), for example by seeking the most cost-effective measures to implement its mandates. Similarly, my delegation supports the view of the ACABQ that the procedure for presenting to the General Assembly the financial requirements arising from the resolutions and decisions of the Council should be improved.

Mr. Chairman,

The report of the Secretary-General shows us that the estimated requirements of the HRC activities in 2008-2009 may be as high as 2.19 million dollars, which exceeds the approved amount in the programme budget for the biennium 466,700 dollars. As we are aware that the unencumbered amount of the contingency fund is now limited, my delegation considers that requirements that exceed the authorized amount should be absorbed in the context of the consolidated statement referred to in the report of the Secretary-General. My delegation therefore strongly hopes that the Secretary-General affirm in his consolidated statement that programme budget for 2008-2009 has substantial absorptive capacity and will not reveal further financial requirements.

In closing, my delegation reiterates its hope that the discussions under this agenda item will be instrumental in enhancing the financial discipline of the Human Rights Council and its methods of presenting financial requirements to the General Assembly.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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