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Statement by Ms. Reina Tomita
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 128: Estimates in respect of Special Political Missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and /or the Security Council
Sixty-second Session of the United Nations General Assembly
26 March 2008
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My delegation would like to thank the representatives of the Secretariat and the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for introducing their respective reports (A/62/512/Add.6 and A/62/7/Add.37).
At the outset, my delegation would like to express its concern regarding the late introduction of relevant reports on special political missions. Introducing this substantive item as the session now draws to a close makes it difficult for this committee to discharge its responsibility to carefully deliberate on proposed budgets. We expect that this committee would not be put in such awkward situation in the future deliberation on SPM budgets.
No one can deny that the rapid growth of the SPM budget has been one of the driving forces for increasing the UN regular budget in the recent years. It is feared that constant expansion of the SPM budget could nurture a misguided conception that the expansion of the regular budget is inevitability. We would like to examine the proposal carefully to pursue the lean and efficient budget.
Regarding UNMIN, my delegation wishes first to express its sincere condolences to the families and colleagues of the mission staff members who lost their lives in the recent accident.
As to the Mission's proposed budget, elections are scheduled to take place in mid-April, after which the Mission's substantive component will be drawn down by the end of July 2008. In this regard, my delegation believes that further rational for new positions at this juncture is not yet made available to this committee. Given the current vacancy situation of 159 positions and the length of times of recruitment, we believe that the new proposed positions should be accommodated through redeployment and flexible use of vacant positions.
Concerning the operational costs, we would like to have detailed information of facilities and infrastructure, especially about the breakdown of some equipment, to ensure the sound planning and mitigation of the future risk.
(Special Envoy of the SG for Lord's Resistance Army- affected areas)
On the budget concerning Special Envoy of the SG for Lord's Resistance Army- affected areas, we intend to consider the proposed budget, taking fully into account the role that the UN may play following the signing of the final agreement. To this end, we would like the Secretariat to provide us with detailed information on the specific role the UN is to play in support of the implementation of the final peace agreement.
As ACABQ points out, due to the complex security situation on the ground, my delegation believes that the recruitment of new staff should be evaluated in the context of the security situation and that the deployment of staff be based on operational requirements. We also would like to seek detailed explanation as to how UNPOS would play its role from Nairobi to address the situation of Somalia.
My delegation believes that the recruitment and deployment of staff should be carefully planned and phased on the basis of realistic assumptions and accurate understanding of each stage during and after a conflict situation. We should bear in mind that an integrated approach may not be the optimal solution for every situation. My delegation would like to be assured that the activities currently undertaken by other entities in the UN system in Somalia should in no way be hindered by a premature deployment of this Mission.
Finally, my delegation hopes that an intensive discussion under this agenda item will bring about results that will meet the mandates of the SPMs as well as our concerns.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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