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Statement on behalfof the EU to the 5th Committee, Item 110: Financial situation of the UN

Date of Speech : 20-05-2005

Place : New-York

Speaker : Karl Van Den Bossche, First Secreatary,

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Mr Chairman,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia* , the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this declaration.

I would like to thank the Controller Warren Sach for his presentation on 12 May on the current financial situation of the UN.

It is no easy task to make another statement on this issue. Twice a year we receive a presentation. On each occasion the European Union makes a statement drawing attention to the parlous financial situation of the Tribunals and the risk to the completion strategy if Member States do not comply with their financial obligations. On each occasion we draw attention to the grave cash flow situation faced by the peacekeeping missions and urge all Member States to make a serious effort to make their payments on time. On each occasion we comment on the deficit in the Regular Budget. And yet on each occasion the following presentation by the Secretariat shows no real difference.

Perhaps there’s been a slight improvement in the cash situation, perhaps a few more Member States are fully paid up by the end of April, perhaps the deficit in the Tribunals is not as severe as the previous year.

But the reality is that we are more than a third of the way through the year and yet only 72 MS are fully paid up to the Regular Budget. We all affirm that peacekeeping is a vital function of the UN and yet arrears are already up to $2 billion, without counting the missions approved in March. Attempts to discuss incentives and disincentives are dismissed out of hand.

The EU is fully aware of the specific constraints faced by different Member States. We know the costs are heavy. We too have worried Finance Ministries in our capitals wondering where to find the extra cash. But the fact is that the UN cannot do what we wish and expect it to do if we the Member States do not equip it with adequate resources. Peacekeeping does not come free. Reimbursement to the TCCs is already several months behind schedule. The UN cannot afford to build up debt to the TCCs in case this jeopardises their ability to continue to offer troops for peacekeeping.

So once again we end this statement as we have done so many others: with a renewed appeal to all Member States to match their political will with the necessary funds. Especially in the light of this very important year to the United Nations, our words on reform will be little more than lip service if we do not pay the mandates we set ourselves.

*Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

This page was last modified on : 14-06-2005

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