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Statement by Mr. Jun Yamada
Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 132: Administrative and Budgetary Aspects of Financing UN PKOs: Support Account for PKOs

Second Resumed Part of the Sixty-third Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
18 May 2009

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to thank Mr. Jun Yamazaki, the Controller, Mr. Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Ms. Susan McLurg, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and Mrs. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, Under-Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services for introducing their respective reports. In the following statement, I wish to briefly present the views of my delegation on the reports on the Support Account for Peacekeeping Operations.

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to touch upon the report of the Secretary-General on the new structure of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support (A/63/702). We share the view of the Secretary-General the ACABQ and the OIOS that the length of time that has so far elapsed since the inception of the new structure is not sufficient enough to realize the objectives of the reform, which we envisioned at the outset of the restructuring. We also share the opinion of the ACABQ that significant strategic and operational benefits accrued thus far are not evident so far.

Having said this, in my delegation's view, what seem to have emerged now after one and a half years following the proposal of the Secretary General to separate the support structure from the peacekeeping department include the following two points:

First, as pointed out by the ACABQ, as the Department of Field Support implement support service to both the peacekeeping missions and the special political missions, whose clear distinction is no longer discernible, a logical step to be taken next would be to consolidate the duplicative functions between Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Political Affairs and streamline outdated supporting structures in response to developments on the ground.

Second, as also pointed out by the ACABQ, the function and the purpose of integrated operational teams (IOTs); whether to deal with challenges in a start up phase or in any phase of a mission including well established ones, whether being an advisory body to the Departments or a unit in the line of command under the original structure of the Office of Operation, are not clear. The need for an integrated approach seems to be better served through an open minded collaboration among the Offices of Operation, Military Affairs, Police, as well as the DFS. We look forward with great interest to the results of the follow-up assessment on the functioning and impact of IOTs which will be undertaken by June 2009.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation wishes to point out that the proposed budget for the support account for 2009/10 represents a 15% growth from the apportioned budget for the period 2008/09. This is approximately the same level of growth of peacekeeping operations presented in the overview report of the Secretary-General, creating a growth of the support account in tandem with the mission budgets. In this respect, we note the analysis of the Board of Auditors in its report (A/63/5 (Vol. II)) that there was no defined formula showing the relationship between the complexity of peacekeeping operations and the level of the support account. Adequate size of the backstop function including those outside the head quarters in NY, should be a product of serious in-house discussions based on experience of the departments in charge, rather than a result of studies carried out by external consultants.

My delegation is therefore of the view that, at this stage of transition, we need to exercise utmost prudence in discerning the optimal size of the support account to finance the backstopping activities of peacekeeping operations. We should make sure that efforts be exerted in recruiting and appointing staff in a prompt manner, to make full use of the approved posts and positions rather than requesting for new ones. We believe that requests for additional resources for the support account should be accompanied with clear goals and objectives, after careful adjustment on the existing resources in pursuit of efficiency under a clear line of command. Careful examination of the lessons learned from the establishment of the IOTs, or a serious review on the dual reporting lines in a number of peace operations are cases in point.

In closing my statement, I would like to reiterate that my delegation will actively participate in the discussions during the informal consultations on all aspects of the support account including the issue of the evaluation of the restructuring of the relevant departments.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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