Supporting financial health of United Nations

Thank you Mr Chair,

I would like to thank Under Secretary-General Catherine Pollard for her presentation last week on the current financial situation of the United Nations.

The United Kingdom shares your concern about the severe liquidity problems that the United Nations continues to face for both its regular budget and peacekeeping operations. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of the United Nations having the right resources and tools needed to deliver effectively its mandates and programmes, in particular in support of the 2030 Agenda.

This Committee spends a lot of time every year carefully evaluating and agreeing the United Nations’ budgets. It is therefore incumbent on us all to follow through with that commitment and meet our financial obligations to the United Nations. We owe it to the Organisation and the people it serves. We call on all member states to pay their assessed contributions in full and in good time. Those member states with arrears, we encourage you to take steps to address these.

The financial situation this year looks comparatively better than this time last year. Although a modest improvement, this is nonetheless welcome. We hope to see this improve further.

The United Kingdom commends the Controller and the rest of the Organisation for their efforts to prioritise how the United Nations uses it resources to keep mandate and programme delivery on track. We would welcome an evaluation of the impact of these measures on mandate and programme delivery.

We welcome the Secretariat’s pledge to use the funds entrusted to it in a cost-effective manner. In this regard, we encourage the Secretariat to continue to prioritise and use its resources effectively, and where necessary agilely in response to new and emerging challenges and priorities.

We were pleased to hear that the measures that this Committee agreed in July last year for peacekeeping budgets have improved the overall liquidity of active peacekeeping operations and reduced the need for the Secretariat to resort to drawing on the money sitting in closed peacekeeping missions accounts. We are pleased also that these measures have enabled you to reimburse more promptly troop- and police contributing countries their contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

We regret that it was not possible last year to agree any measures to help address the issues faced with the regular budget. We encourage the Secretary-General to come back to us in the near future with new and innovative proposals for measures that could help alleviate the liquidity challenges faced by the Secretariat and address their underlying causes.

Finally Mr Chair,

Let me reassure you that the United Kingdom remains committed to supporting the financial health of the United Nations.

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