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Statement by Mr. Ken Mukai
Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 157: Financing of activities arising from Security Council
resolution 1863 (2009)
At the Fifth Committee
The First Resumed Part of the Sixty-third Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
25 March 2009
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
My delegation would like to join others in expressing its gratitude to Ms. Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Ms. Catherine Vendat, Director of Peacekeeping Financing Division and Ms. Susan McLurg, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), for introducing their respective reports.
By its resolution 1863 (2009) of 16 January 2009, the Security Council expressed its intent to establish a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia as a follow-on force to AMISOM, subject to a further decision of the Council to be taken by 1 June 2009. The Council requested the Secretary-General to provide a United Nations logistical support package to AMISOM, effective until 1 June 2009 or until a decision is taken by the Council, whichever is earlier.
Allow me to make comments on the following five issues: the relevant rules and procedures, ensuring adequate oversight and transparency, staffing structure, avoiding duplication of functions and planning assumptions for the support office.
First, the Secretary-General indicates in paragraph 5 of his report A/63/758 that in the interim, and pending the further decision of the Security Council referred to above, resources are needed immediately to support and strengthen AMISOM. Accordingly, the Secretary-General is requesting, pursuant to section IV, paragraph 2, of General Assembly resolution 49/233 A, commitment authority with an assessment for the period from 1 May 2007 to 30 June 2009 in the amount of $80, 906,900. My delegation is of the view that the relevant rules and procedures should apply to this commitment authority and the foreseeable budget for the 2009/2010 period.
Second, as for a means for ensuring adequate oversight and transparency, my delegation understands that logistics support to AMISOM will present a number of challenges with regard to ensuring the transparent and effective use of United Nations resources. My delegation concurs with ACABQ in stressing the importance of early conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between the United Nations and the African Union and the necessity of establishing a robust mechanism to ensure effective management and accountability and internal control procedures.
Third, regarding the proposed support office, my delegation shares the concern of ACABQ that the proposed staffing structure is top-heavy and that the template approach for providing logistics support to PKOs should be avoided. My delegation also concurs with the observations of ACABQ on the Secretary-General's staffing assumptions and agrees that the 204 posts proposed should be established as temporary positions until such time as a fully justified budget is presented to the General Assembly.
Fourth, my delegation also shares the concern of ACABQ about the possible duplication of functions between the two existing planning teams in Addis Ababa and New York and the staff of the proposed new support office. My delegation urges the Secretary-General to integrate some of the functions of the two freestanding teams into the staffing structure of the support office itself in the next budget submission.
Fifth, my delegation notes that the Security Council has requested the Secretary-General to submit, by 15 April 2009, a report regarding a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia, to include developments in the situation in Somalia, progress towards the full development and strengthening of AMISOM with a view to transition to a United Nations peacekeeping operation, progress in the political process and security conditions on the ground. My delegation therefore is looking forward to receiving a detailed and realistic assessment from the Secretary-General on the security and political situation on the ground. My delegation expects that necessary refinements will be made on the planning assumptions for the support office in the context of a budget submission for the 2009/2010 period. Moreover, this assessment should provide the basis for a budget submission of United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) for 2009, as was pointed out in paragraph 18 of the ACABQ report (A/63/779). My delegation concurs with the statement of ACABQ in paragraph 20 of its report (A/63/780) that future submissions should provide an integrated presentation of all the resources required for planning activities with regard to Somalia.
Let me conclude by reiterating that Japan will continue its active participation in the informal discussions on this important agenda item.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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