Statement by Mr. Jun Yamada
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Item 118: Improving the effective and efficient delivery of the mandates of development-related activities and revised estimates relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009

Fifth Committee
Main Session of the Sixty-third Session of the General Assembly
14 October, 2008

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

I would like to start my statement by thanking Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, the Deputy Secretary-General and Ms. Susan McLurg, the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for introducing their respective reports on this agenda item. My delegation wishes to take this opportunity to commend the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and the relevant officials across the United Nations, for their dedicated efforts to enhance the development pillar of the Organization.

The General Assembly adopted its resolution A/RES/62/236 last December, which recognized the need for strengthening of the development pillar of the United Nations Secretariat and the importance of strategic planning. The resolution further requested the Secretary-General to provide a comprehensive proposal with a view to improving the effective and efficient delivery of the mandates of the development-related activities of the Secretariat. As we embark on the mission to consider the output of the Secretary-General, my delegation would like to underline the three essential keywords of this resolution: comprehensive; effective; and efficient. Allow me, Mr. Chairman, to expound my views on these keywords which represent the essential aspects that should be taken into account during our consultations.

First of all, through this proposal, my delegation would like to see a comprehensive picture of the coherence and consistency within development activities of the United Nations system as a whole. During the consultations, we would like to hear answers to the questions that will be raised in this regard, such as the frequently-asked question on the relation between the UN and the UN Funds and Programmes. We believe that the current resources and capacities of the UN Funds and Programmes should be fully exploited and furthermore, believe that the areas to which the Secretariat should commit its activities are, for example, in the area of normative activities and advocacy. In this regard, taking into account of the fact that the Funds and Programmes are given the major role of implementing operational activities in the field, and as we believe that the current resources and capacities of these agencies should be first exploited, the distinctive and respective roles of DESA, UNCTAD and the regional commissions should clearly be identified.

Secondly, we should examine how this proposal will bring effectiveness to the development pillar of the Organization. For instance, my delegation believes that an essential means to improve the effective delivery of development mandates is to avoid overlaps of posts and activities. We recognize that certain areas in the proposal of the Secretary-General have come under the attention of the ACABQ as areas where further coherence should be explained, such as climate change, gender and statistics. While the ACABQ views that such effort for streamlining should be addressed in the context of the next biennium, my delegation is of the view that overlaps of posts and activities should be dealt with during the current biennium as well. We also recognize that the proposal of the Secretary-General is composed of a large number of additional post requirements which are spread thinly across the entire range of departments and bodies. My delegation is resolved to examine every request by the Secretary-General based on their own merits, and to ensure that unnecessary overlaps shall not occur.

Thirdly, my delegation wishes to stress the utmost importance of examining the efficiency of the proposal from a budgetary perspective, as this is the appropriate Main Committee of the General Assembly entrusted with the responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters. In this regard, we should recall that the proposal before us represents additional requirements on top of the initial program budget for the biennium 2008-2009. The established budgetary procedures provide for the way to handle additional expenditures which are not provided for in the initial programme budget. Additional expenditures that exceed resources of the Contingency Fund can only be included in the budget through redeployment of resources or modifications of existing activities. Otherwise, such additional activities will have to be deferred to a later biennium. Therefore, the additional requirements presented to us should be carefully selected on the basis of strict prioritization and assessment on whether the requirements are of immediate needs to be met before the next budget cycle.

Mr. Chairman,

In closing my statement, my delegation wishes to express its commitment toward participating in constructive discussions of this agenda item and hopes that the views expressed in this statement will help give guidance to the forthcoming discussions.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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