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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]

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Statement on behalf of the European Union to the 5th Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, Item 127: Financing of MONUC

Date of Speech : 24-03-2005

Place : New York

Speaker : Karl Van Den Bossche

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour 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, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.

We thank Mrs. Pollard for the introduction of item 127 on the financing of MONUC, as well as Mr. Kuznetsov, Chairman of the ACABQ, for his views on the matter.

Before we comment on the budget proposals, the EU wants to pay tribute to the 9 peacekeepers belonging to the Bangladeshi contingent, who lost their lives on the 25th of February. These events underline the deadly risks and challenges that have become a daily part of life in this PKO. The international community owes due respect to these men. This premeditated and appalling attack merely underlines the continued support that we all must show in respect of MONUC.

Turning to the budgetary aspects of today's discussion, we want to express our concern about the quality of the revised budget for this PKO. The inadequate justification of many of the proposed additional elements does not allow us to measure effectively the requests, nor does it provide us with a clear logic of action. The many pertinent comments of the ACABQ report must guide us in this delicate matter, taking into account however the fact that the mandate of this mission has changed substantially. In this context, we are concerned by the slow rate of recruitment of civilian police; they play a key role in securing the environment of the coming elections. We expect a full justification for additional resources in May, while allocating to the mission, at this stage, the resources necessary for its efficient operation.

Equally, we expect a certain level of ambition in May both from the secretariat and ACABQ, to identify proposals for further rationalization. In this regard, we recall the important provisions of par10 of the UNSC Resolution 1565 (2004). This resolution requested the Secretary-General to ensure coordination of activities of MONUC and ONUB, in particular by pooling their logistic and administrative resources, to an extent that does not prejudice the ability of these missions to carry out their respective mandates and in order to ensure their maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. We would expect to see concrete efficiencies in both missions as a result of this coordination.

On a separate but related issue, MONUC has been in the spotlight because of grave allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse. The EU condemns categorically all such abuses, wherever they occur. The report that was requested by the C34 will guide us during the May session. No effort can be spared to tackle these grave abuses and the impunity, not least because they tarnish the image of the UN and PKOs, as well as undermine credibility with the local population. We await with great interest the future proceedings to be able to discuss this serious matter in an informed and swift manner.

Once again, the EU is committed to the efficient functioning of MONUC and will engage constructively in the coming informal discussions.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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

This page was last modified on : 06-04-2005

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