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

Organization of Work
The Fifth Committee
Sixty-third Session of the United Nations General Assembly
October 3, 2008

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my delegation would like to join others in welcoming you, as the new Chairman of the Fifth Committee, your staff and the new bureau members. My delegation would also like to express its appreciation to Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General for her introductory statement. My delegation also welcomes the new senior management of the Secretariat, Ms. Angela Kane, Ms. Catherine Pollard, and Mr. Jun Yamazaki. We are ready and willing to cooperate and work closely with you and the new team.

Mr. Chairman,

This is the year of Human Resources Management (HRM). My delegation concurs with the Secretary-General that the human resources are the UN's most precious resources. We should, therefore, devote adequate time on this item. The issues of contractual arrangements and condition of service, important as they are, have to be considered in conjunction with key aspects of human resources policies, which include mobility, geographic distribution, career development, performance evaluation, and accountability. Our goal is to make current human resources management functional. Common system and pension need also to be discussed in a synchronized manner with the HRM.

Accountability is a key for the effective management. What we are asking over the years is not just to "explain and justify," but to take responsibility for action or lack of action.

Mr. Chairman,

As was often stated since last year, we are concerned with the piece-meal approach of the budget requests. Even today, proposals on HRM, Information Communication Technology /Enterprise Resource Planning /Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, and Secretariat reforms are submitted literally in a piece-meal manner, one after another without fully complying with the established budgetary process. We are concerned over the lack of comprehensiveness of the budget proposals on these items. Such an approach hinders the predictability for the Member States and seriously erodes the budgetary discipline of the United Nations. We strongly request the Secretariat to refrain from making further budgetary proposals through this approach.

My delegation is committed to the necessary reform of the Organization and is ready to discuss any proposals. However, we should not forget that the high price tags attached to the reform proposals are raising the stakes of investing into these proposals. We need to minimize the price tags by carefully examining the costs and benefits of each reform proposal. And the coherence and clear line of command are prerequisites for such deliberations.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation would also like to request the Secretariat to submit the budget documents on Special Political Missions, ITY and ICTR, the Budget Outline for 2010-11, the First Performance Report of this current biennium and the Programme Budget Implications in due time for proper consideration.
At the same time, Article 5, Part C of ANNEX of the General Assembly resolution 42/211 clearly stipulates that a deadline should be set for the consideration of statements of programme budget implications and proposals for revised estimates. Without such deadline, the Fifth Committee may see endless submission of PBI statements, belated issuance of the consolidated statement of all PBIs, and a detrimental impact to the Programme of Work at the end of this main session.

As for the proposals to strengthen the Department of Political Affairs and the Development Pillars of the Organization, my delegation believes that these proposals should be considered strictly on their own merits.

Mr. Chairman,

Japan places great importance on the issue of the scale of assessments. We can assure you that my delegation will engage in these negotiations with good faith.

During the next three months, we face daunting challenges. Timely submission of documents is essential for us to do any meaningful work. My delegation, on its part, assures you that it will engage in negotiations in a constructive manner, with a view to steering the Organization towards efficiency and effectiveness.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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