EU Statement – UN General Assembly 5th Committee: Organisation of Work

6 March 2023, New York - Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union delivered by Mr. Thibault CAMELLI, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Fifth Committee First Resumed Session: Organization of work

Mr. Chair,


I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.


The Candidate Countries Türkiye, North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*, Albania*, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Bosnia and Herzegovina*, the potential candidate country Georgia, as well as Andorra, and Monaco align themselves with this statement.


Let me first thank you and the members of the Bureau for your tireless efforts, continued engagement and diligent guidance to conclude our previous session. Allow me to extend our gratitude to the members of the Secretariat, in particular the 5C-team, for enabling our work so we can adopt the best decisions for the Organization, its staff, and the people it serves – now more than ever, the world needs a functional United Nations that delivers its mandates.


Allow me to congratulate the Republic of Cuba on assuming the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China. We look forward to enhancing the  good collaboration we have maintained with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and all precedent chairs of the Group, whom we would like to thank for their efforts towards continued, trustful, and constructive cooperation.


I would also like to congratulate the newly appointed members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. The Member States of the European Union trust that, collectively, the ACABQ Chair and its members will continue to do their utmost to ensure that the advisory committee fulfils its technical mandate: the neutral, evidence-based, and transparent expertise that the Advisory Committee should provide, as well as the timeliness of its reports, are instrumental to enrich the discussions and work of our Committee.


Mr. Chair,


It bears repeating that the 5C First Resumed Session was established to address non time-bound items deferred from the main session, without hampering the important programme of work of the session dedicated to Peacekeeping. As a result, it is only normal that during this session, our Committee resumes consideration of several critical items for the United Nations' efficient and effective functioning. We would like to highlight three areas of particular importance in this regard.


1. The European Union and its Member States continue to attach great importance to supporting the Secretary-General in his ongoing efforts to modernize and reform the UN. We therefore look forward to concluding our discussions on peacebuilding and meet the expectation the plenary session of the General Assembly tasked us with in its resolution 76/385. We also look forward to resuming our review of supply chain activities, an instrumental part of Management Reform, and commend the progress achieved so far as we believe that these reforms will lead to a better and more responsive Organization. Conversely, we remain concerned with the continuous attempts to undercut the independence of supervisory bodies and hamper their investigations. In that regard, we reiterate our strong commitment towards a robust accountability framework. A cornerstone of Management Reform, and an integral part of the delegation of authority, accountability of the Secretariat staff and its stakeholders, is key to foster a culture of ethics and transparency, and to prevent and address any type of misconduct.


2. Our Committee is also called to decide on structural budgetary matters: as we take on the biennial review of standards of accommodation for air travel, we will be able to reflect how these standards are aligned with the culture of the Organization and how the situation post COVID-19 pandemic and factors as environment invite us to rethink our ways of working. In both ICT strategy and capital investment, we will also be able to reflect on the importance of adequate IT tools and data, from their use to the protection of data, with a view to improving mandate delivery.


3. Last, but certainly not least, our Committee will resume its discussions on Human Resources Management. We remain staunch supporters of more modern, equal and more effective human resource policies at the UN, and would like to underscore the necessity to continue to strengthen a work environment that leaves no place for any form of misconduct, most notably so discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual explotation and abuse: UN staff are instrumental to deliver the Organization’s mandates while upholding its principles and values. It is high time we guaranteed them an updated and improved labour framework: while we regret that the new reports do not contain more on mobility or training, which we all acknowledge are instrumental for the agile workforce the Organization needs, we have high hopes to build on the momentum of our decision last year to set aside the old reports on which we were blocked and start afresh. Building upon our past efforts, and the understanding of all positions in the Committee, the European Union and its Member States will endeavour to find consensus on all aspects of the HRM package.


In closing, Mr. Chair, and while looking forward to our discussion on our working methods, the European Union and its Member States endeavor to work constructively with you and every group and delegation. Despite the heavy agenda before us, we are confident that, under your stewardship, we can conclude our negotiations on time and by consensus.


I thank you, Mr. Chair.


* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.