Statement by Mrs. Loipa Sanchez Lorenzo, Minister-Councellor, Representative of Cuba to the Fifth Committee Main Part of the 65th session of the General Assembly, agenda item 128: Review of the Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United Nations. Proposed Programme Budget Outline for the Biennium 2012-2013 New York, 15 December 2010.
My delegation thanks Controller Mr. Jun Yamazaki and the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Mrs. Susan McLurg, for the presentation of the reports A/65/560 and Corr.1 and A/65/611. We would like to express our concern over the late presentation of this information, which cannot be justified.
We endorse the statement of the distinguished delegation of Yemen on behalf of the G-77 and China. However, we wish to make some additional comments after having reviewed the proposed programme budget outline for the biennium 2012-2013, which constitutes a preliminary indication of the total amount to be approved in the future proposed programme budget for that biennium.
In this respect, my delegation wishes to reaffirm resolution 41/213 establishing the guidelines for the drafting of this important document, and views positively that this report has complied with the provisions of said resolution, as it includes:
- Preliminary estimate of resources to accommodate the proposed programme of activities during the biennium;
- The priorities that reflect general trends of a broad sectoral nature;
- The real growth, positive or negative, compared with the previous budget;
- The size of the contingency fund expressed as a percentage of the overall level of resources.
The preliminary estimate, before the inclusion of special political missions, amounts to 4,215.9 million dollars, which represents an increase of 1.4 per cent compared with the approved appropriations and related provisions for the biennium 2010-2011.
Likewise, the size of the contingency fund for 2012-2013 was set at 0.75 per cent of the overall level of the proposed programme budget outline, as in the previous biennium, which means we will be able to have 40.9 million dollars to face additional expenses in the next biennium.
In the presented outline, it is striking that the percentage of resource changes for the next biennium, concerning “International cooperation for development” and “Regional cooperation for development”, is only 0.7 per cent, which places both activities among the parts of programme budget of lower growth in comparison with the previous budget.
Our delegation is also concerned that the Development Account maintains the same levels as in the last biennium, 23.7 million dollars, which is far below the agreed level of 200 million. It is the duty of the Secretariat to promote mechanisms contributing to financing the Account, particularly if savings are projected in the budget management.
In the current part of the Fifth Committee’s sessions, various initiatives have been presented to us, through which author departments announce supposed savings, and no-one seems to have noticed the deficit in the financing of the Development Account.
In contrast, an increase of 240.2 million dollars is estimated in the financing of special political missions, setting its total in 1 240.2 billion dollars. The growth of the provisions for those missions represents 81 per cent of all additions provided by the Secretary-General in his Report A/65/560.
It is regrettable to see how the Organization’s activities relating to the assistance needed by developing countries to achieve higher levels of economic and social development have been sacrificed over time.
My delegation draws attention to recommendations in paragraph 5 of the Report of the Advisory Committee since, although it agrees on the need for the Secretary-General to continue strictly applying the procedures established to review programme inputs, it would seem there is a veiled intention of reviving the very controversial mandate review process. The recommendation seems to suggest also the relevance of programmes, for the purposes of budget cuts.
Precisely the impossibility of determining which programmes were more important than others caused the stagnation of said mandate review, after three long years of decisive deliberations.
Moreover, regarding paragraph 6 of the Advisory Committee’s report, we believe that although it is premature to estimate now a specific figure so as to face additional requirements in the biennium 2012-2013, it is positive that the Secretary-General reports in advance about additional financing to face the tasks described in paragraphs 9 and 13 of his report.
The approach adopted by the Advisory Committee in its analysis seems to be based more on concerns over budget increases, without analyzing the merits of each proposal.
We understand the proposed budget outline only establishes general indications that should be used as a basis for a future proposed budget, the total amount of which shall be established in relation to the needs set by mandates approved by Member States. Therefore, the thorough analysis on the proposals shall only be conducted when the proposed programme budget is reviewed.
We insist on the need to prevent the budget period from being used as an instrument for carrying out budget cuts.
Likewise, we consider the budget period should not be used to advance proposals that have not been approved by intergovernmental bodies. For that reason, we pay special attention to the provisions of resolution 63/266 requesting the inclusion in the proposed budget outline of some of the initiatives under consideration and of foreseeable items that have not yet been issued, which may impact the process.
We reiterate the role of the Fifth Committee, as the main committee entrusted with administrative and budgetary matters, as well as the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination and of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions in the budget process, in accordance with their respective mandates.
To conclude, our delegation states its willingness to engage constructively in the deliberations on the proposed programme budget outline. We hope the exercise beginning results in a clear improvement of the United Nations activities.