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

Organization of Work

Fifth Committee
Second Resumed Part of the Sixty-third Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
11 May 2009

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my delegation wishes to join the previous speakers in expressing its appreciation to you, your staff, the distinguished members of your bureau and the Secretariat for the preparations you have made for this second resumed session.

As the members of this committee are aware, the total proposed budget for peacekeeping operations for 2009/10 is approximately $8.2 billion, a sharp increase over the budget for 2008/09, which was $7.3 billion. Just as last year's budget set a record, so too will this one if it is approved, despite the fact that the world is facing financial and economic challenges not seen in many decades. It is therefore important for the United Nations to engage in strengthened oversight, management and financial control commensurate with this dramatic rise in the budget.

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to touch upon the major organizational items before us.

The agenda for the second resumed session has to do with peacekeeping budgets. We were informed from the Chairman and the Bureau that there was no consensus on the Programme of Work with suggested amendments. Given this fact, and the limited time allocated for the consideration of 19 agenda items related to PKOs and 2 agenda items related to non-PKOs during the second resumed session, my delegation supports the original PoW distributed earlier (posted on the web) as was recommended by the Chairman.

Since we have only four weeks, all documents should have been available to us well in advance of the start of the session, all the more so since the total budget proposal is as high as it is. Unfortunately, although there have been improvements since last year, we do not have everything we need. We must therefore emphasize once again how important it is that all necessary documents be submitted in a timely manner and that more care be exercised in drawing them up. We have been told that there is a chance that all the reports of the ACABQ will not be finalized and ready for consideration, as required under the draft programme of work. From a Member State's viewpoint, this makes our job, which is to study and consider large and complex PKO budgets, such as those of MONUC, MINURCAT and UNLB, much more difficult. Submission of the reports on these items should not be delayed beyond the 29th of May. My delegation hopes that communication between the Bureau and Secretariat of the committee and the Chairperson of the ACABQ can be enhanced so that our work will be better synchronized.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation acknowledges that during the Advisory Committee's winter session, which was originally intended to be devoted exclusively to the consideration of peacekeeping budgets and related questions, it was necessary also to address a number of subjects unrelated to peacekeeping as well as separate requests for commitment authority. Such an excessive burden on the machinery of the General Assembly is creating a real problem, in that it delays submission of some of the ACABQ reports to the Fifth Committee on PKO budgets. The late submission of PKO documents highlights the issue of the schedule for the first and second resumed sessions of this committee. Due effort should accordingly be made to rationalize both the winter session of the Advisory Committee and the spring and summer sessions of this committee, so that we may deal with peacekeeping issues in the most efficient manner possible. My delegation believes it is high time to consider shortening the first resumed session in March and extending the second resumed session from May to June, while remaining within the overall limit of the conference resources of this committee, which permit us to meet for a total of eight weeks.

Mr. Chairman,

During the next four weeks, my delegation assures you that it will make a substantial contribution to the discussion on all agenda items, with a view to steering the Organization towards greater efficiency and effectiveness.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Related Information (UN PKO and other International Peace Cooperation)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site other site

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