Statement by Ambassador Orlando Requeijo, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, at the informal meetings of the UNGA (chapter V of the draft outcome document, rev.1) New York august 1, 2005.
My delegation joins the statements of the delegations of Malaysia and Jamaica on behalf of NAM and G-77, respectively. Nevertheless, we would like to state the following:
It should be clearly stated on paragraph 117 the need for the UN strengthening process to be based upon the strict respect for the principles and purposes enshrined in the UN Charter.
We propose the phrase ¨should not duplicate their work¨ be eliminated from paragraph 118 for its endorsement may imply a reinterpretation of the legitimate and comprehensive mandate that the UN Charter entitles the General Assembly with.
A mention of the necessity to provide the Organization with all necessary human and financial resources in a timely, complete and unconditional way shall be included in paragraph 119, allowing it to accurately fulfill all mandated programs and activities pursuant to the priorities established by Member States.
The first section of paragraph 121 should be drafted just as it appears in the Millennium Declaration.
In paragraph 123, the stated coordination among UN principal organs shall be carried out within the framework of their corresponding mandates according to the UN Charter.
As regards the reform of the Security Council, we reiterate the necessity to properly take into account the concrete proposals made by NAM.
We consider that paragraph 127, devoted to working methods, shall contain a more determined and ambitious language which responds to the common interests of the great majority of Member States on this issue.
We do not see any actual comprehensive or novel proposals regarding the strengthening of the role of the ECOSOC, despite the so-called ¨functions¨ being planned for this organ, because in most of the cases the Council, in a way or the other, already deals with almost all these issues and matters through the segments currently structuring it and also through the mandate of resolutions such as 50/227 and 57/270B.
The language used in paragraph 128 to describe these proposals is not clear enough and somehow ambiguous, that is:
" In item 1 nothing new seems to be proposed.
" In item 2 the way Member States would inform about their compliance with the Millennium Development Goals is not clear neither what the monitoring of such compliance would consists of.
" In the first phrase in item 3 the ¨commitments¨ mentioned are not specified, although one could infer, based on the context of the paragraph, that these are related to development.
" In item 4 several elements, with no apparent interrelation among them, are interwoven by means of complicated drafting which brings about several questions. First of all, we would like to know what relates the proposed annual ministerial-level policy-coordinating meetings to the current annual ministerial meetings held at the high-level segments. On the other hand, we do not understand the way and implications of the proposed pilot process of voluntary peer reviews of progress. Moreover, we consider that the proposal to convene timely meetings in order to support international efforts aimed at addressing emergencies and natural disasters does not properly relate to the prior content of the paragraph, thus it should be relocated. As regards this proposal we do not appreciate the usage of the phrase ¨threats to development¨, It is not a clear and established concept that may cover many other circumstances which may be beyond emergencies and may also bring about many interpretations.
" We are concerned, in the last item, about the implications of the alleged strengthening of the linkage between the ECOSOC and the Security Council. We propose to include at the end of this item a phrase explicitly stating that the ECOSOC would play its role in promoting long-term economic and social development in countries emerging from conflicts.
We consider necessary to have detailed information about some of these proposals which imply changes in the structure of the Council's sessions, in order to analyze them all and avoid in such a way unnecessary duplications of the work of the ECOSOC and that of the General Assembly and also that of other UN system organs.
Human Rights Council
In paragraph 130 we propose to eliminate the last sentence for it seems to prejudge future debates on this issue and it also reinforce the position of those Member States interested in unbalancing the way this Organization tackles all socio-economic topics that interest the International Community.
We consider that the formulations enshrined in paragraph 131 would guarantee the prolongation in time of contradictions and the lost of credibility of the current Commission on Human Rights. Thus, we propose to eliminate this paragraph and include in paragraph 132 a reference to the need of Member States to negotiate during the 60 UNGA the details for the creation of the Human Rights Council, including the issues related to its mandate, size and composition.
Mr. President, I'd like to make a brief reflection on the section related to the Human Rights Council. We think the drafters of this new version of the draft outcome document disregarded some amendment proposals especially, as expected, those of a group of delegations, including ours; for these proposals disturb the interests of those self-elected human rights inquisitor judges and proprietor of the reform of the Human Rights Council.
Some cosmetic changes that do not change the idea of creating an elite group of inquisitors are introduced in the language regarding the proposed Human Rights Council -- promoted by those responsible for the discredit and political manipulation of the works of the CHR and especially by those who torture and murder innocent civilians on the name of false freedom. Cuba, will not participate in the conspiracy to totally destroy the international system for the promotion and protection of all human rights for all peoples.
Cuba timely presented some proposals, faced by the new selectivity being attempted to impose, that intended to create a new body, no matter its name, with higher democracy standards, where some of the geographical inequalities would be corrected, for these have undermine the Commission on Human Rights for years.
The new version of your document, Mr. President, should have had at least a sort of compilation of proposals received, for it is already know that there is no current consensus to take a final decision regarding the reform of then CHR. As our opinions have been antidemocratically unheard, we have here today at your disposal copies of a possible draft resolution elaborated by the delegation of Cuba as a contribution to the debate. We would like to make clear that we are convinced this issue shall be negotiated in details during the 60 UNGA in order reach consensus among all Member States.
We reiterate that the CHR needs to be re-founded so it may face the challenges and higher objectives which motivated its foundation. The credibility crisis the Commission faces is not resulting either from its structure or its proceedings.
The nature of the problems affecting the CHR is essentially political. It is urgent to overcome double standards affecting its work. Nevertheless, the political manipulation of the works of CHR or the body succeeding it; is not a matters that could be overcome by decree or through ¨magic¨ proposals. New concrete alternatives to facilitate impartial and objective treatment for situations in countries are needed, for this is the agenda item where the most evident double standard and political manipulation examples are shown.
Secretariat and Management reform
The drafting containing this section is not balanced, and as a matter of fact disregards, the considerations expressed by numerous Member States including G77+China. Therefore, we take this opportunity to reiterate the following:
" The proposals presented attempt to provide the Secretariat with a corporate approach, while trying to implement old Secretariat reform proposals, previously analyzed and rejected by the General Assembly. It seems that this is all about disregarding decisions adopted by Member States during thorough analysis of these issues, in order to achieve their approval in a more general context.
" The practice of reviewing the mandates set in full accordance with the articles of the Programme Planning Regulation should be kept. The proposal, in Paragraph 138, of reviewing all the mandates lasting more than five years to ascertain its effectiveness, known as "sunset provisions", has been rejected whenever it has been submitted to the General Assembly.
" The prerogatives and mandates of this Assembly to consider all budgetary and administrative issues, including its absolute authority to allocate and reallocate financial and human resources, and to set the recently agreed priorities of the Organization in resolutions 59/275 and 59/278 on Programme Planning and Budget Outline for the biennium 2006-2007. That's why we propose that any resource available as a result of the reform process should be directed to increase the resources of the Development Account, which have remained immutable ever since the approval of the account.
" On the issue of the optional retirements (paragraph 142), we consider necessary to provide the Member States with further information before making decisions. We request an explanation concerning the scope of the proposal, the number of posts involved and the geographical distribution, programs that could be affected, the way to carry out the activities of the posts that would be eliminated, the amount of resources involved, the implication concerning the number of permanent contracts in the Organization, among others. Furthermore, we would like to know the reasons why current staff members cannot adapt to the so called current needs, taking into account the numerous training programmes being carried out by the Secretariat.
" We also consider unnecessary the proposals concerning an extensive review of the rules related to budget and human resources, and a thorough review of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to enhance its independence and authority.
" It should be remembered that the General Assembly passed the resolution 59/266, by means of which the Member States carried out a thorough review of the management of human resources. There are no reasons to make changes on this issue when the implementation of this resolution is still in the making. The same thing happens with the recently passed amendments to the financial regulation, and we do not understand why they should be changed.
" Any review of the (OIOS), previously consented by the General Assembly, should be carried out only by the external oversight bodies of the Organization, in accordance with the terms of the resolution 59/272. Furthermore, we understand that only a few months after the adoption of that resolution and the recent approval of resolution 59/287 that strengthens the research functions of the Office, a new review is unnecessary.
" We support the need to improve the management, the accountability, the transparency and the effectiveness within the Secretariat. Although we support the efforts in this field, we also consider that the General Assembly should be systematically informed about what these proposals are, so that Member States are able to express themselves and in a timely manner about them.
" We understand that the Secretary General has enough flexibility for the management of his staff. The delegation of prerogatives of the General Assembly in the Secretariat can not, in any way, be increased to the detriment of the prerogatives of the Member States.
" Because of the technical nature of these proposals, our delegation believes they should be analyzed by the Fifth Committee within the framework of the items of its agenda, as usual in previous reform exercises.
On paragraph 151, the current drafting of the third item of the section of "policies" is unacceptable to Cuba. The list of the so called main cross cutting issues, goes far beyond gender and human rights issues, and currently is subject to discussion among delegations. In addition, the mandates of every instance of the United Nations should be duly taken into account, because not all of them have to make substantive decisions on each theme.
Concerning the section Operational and humanitarian system, such title should be erased and divided into two different questions: "Operational activities" and "Humanitarian assistance". It is an old aspiration of many delegations from developed countries to mutilate de development agenda of the United Nations, when they exclusively devote the funds and programmes of the organization to deal with issues like humanitarian assistance.
The first item of this section needs to be reformulated. The presence of the different entities of the United Nations in each country should be more coherent, not necessarily unified. In this context it is not clear the meaning of the phrase "single leader", and here we clarify that any arrangement of management, monitoring and programming should make exclusive reference to the internal work in the offices of the entities of the United Nations in each country. This project should not lead to the loss of the identities of each Fund and Programmme and their respective mandates.
Concerning humanitarian assistance, we acknowledge that some elements discussed in the last substantive session of the ECOSOC have been incorporated. The language used in this section should stress the independence of the international humanitarian activity from any military, political or any other objective pursued.
We support, as a general principle, the review of the Central Emergency Revolving Fund, which should contribute to improve the issue of the poor financing for humanitarian activities, and how fast the access is to those resources.
We hope that the future contributions to the fund will not be predetermined and fairly distributed among all emergencies. We also hope that there would not be any discrimination between emergency situations and support mechanisms for affected countries, just as happened during the debate of another similar debate within the framework of ECOSOC
In the sixth item, concerning the "stand-by" arrangements, a widely discussed issue in the humanitarian segment of the last substantive session of the ECOSOC, the language used in your document, Mr. President, should be strictly adjusted the one recently agreed on in the recently adopted resolution of this Council, showing the consultative process with the States and the utilization of capacities.
On the other hand, we suggest those in charge of drafting the document to use the phrase natural disaster instead of "major "disaster.
Concerning item 7, we consider that the best coordination among the main headquarters and UN entities in the field related to the humanitarian area, should be carried out in close collaboration with national governments, approach that should be clearly stated in the first line of the paragraph. The reference to the monitoring and the accountability should be linked to the activities of UN entities that carry out humanitarian activities; in no case this should be about controlling the activities of the competent national authorities.
We consider that in the first item of paragraph 152 the reference to a greater involvement of regional organizations in the work of the Security Council shall be eliminated. Likewise, the reference within the same paragraph to the participations of these organizations in the works of Peacebuilding Commission should be subjected to a final drafting being finally allocated within the section related to this Commission
We propose the elimination of the last item of paragraph 152 for, in our viewpoint, regional operations authorized by the Security Council should be financed by regional budgets
Non-Governmental organizations and the private sector
In paragraph 154 although civil society, non-governmental organizations and private sector are all together within the same paragraph, it shall be clearly stated that their contributions and responsibilities in terms of development, peace and security and human rights are different. It shall also be added, jointly with the so called responsible practices of the private sector, a call to the private sector, especially to great multinational corporations, to strictly fulfill during their operations with national and international legislations.
Chapter XIII of the Charter about Trusteeship Council shall not be eliminated. This issue shall be analyzed more extensively and maybe its modernization could be taken into account to tackle unilateral occupation and new forms of colonialism.