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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2009

United Nations General Assembly: Fifth Committee, Sixty-Third Session. Agenda Item 120: Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations

Statement by Paul Ballantyne on behalf of Australia, Canada and New Zealand, Friday 22 May 2009


Mr Chairman

I have the honour to speak today on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  We thank the Under-Secretary-General for Management, Ms Angela Kane, for her presentation on May 15 on the Financial Situation of the Organisation and the controller, Mr Jun Yamazaki for the update he has provided today. These regular updates not only provide Member States with a candid picture of the state of the Organisations finances, but also allow us to take a broader view of the UN’s finances and assess how we, as Member States, are acquitting our responsibilities to the Organisation

Mr Chairman

CANZ is encouraged to see the slight increase in the number of Member States that paid their regular budget assessments in full by the end of 2008 compared with 2007.  We note however that at the end of 2008, 46 Member States had not made payment in full - this equates to almost one-quarter of the UN membership.  We again remind Member States of the need to fulfil their Charter obligations to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without condition. 

Our delegations find it unacceptable that a number of Member States regularly fail to meet their obligations.   We are particularly concerned to once again see a negative trend emerging in 2009 across all funds in the number of Member States fully meeting their obligations.

Mr Chairman

We are mindful that some governments find it difficult to fulfil all of their financial obligations.  All governments feel these pressures, especially in the current global financial environment.  But we call on the membership to break the cycle of under and non-payment which not only puts at risk the implementation of the mandates we have set, but also penalises both Member States who have paid in full and on time, and troop contributing countries who are left waiting for the reimbursement of costs they have incurred.

At a time when Member States are asking the Organisation to do more, and the regular and peacekeeping budgets have reached record levels, we need to ensure that the UN’s programme of work is organised and implemented as effectively and efficiently as possible. We should continually look for ways to eliminate waste and duplication, to rationalise activities and redeploy resources, and to streamline the administration of the Organisation.

To conclude, we express our gratitude to those Member States who are meeting their Charter obligations, and we again implore others to do the same.

Thank you Mr Chairman.

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