Ensuring the UN budget has the greatest impact on the ground
Thank you to the Secretary General for joining us today to present his proposed program budget for 2022. I would also like to thank ACABQ and CPC for their review work and for providing recommendations to the Fifth Committee before its own review of the proposed budget.
Member States have a duty to the United Nations and to those it serves to ensure that the Organization has the level of resources necessary to carry out the mandates we have entrusted to it, in particular to the United Nations. support for the 2030 Agenda.
We will carefully evaluate budget proposals to ensure that programs use resources effectively and efficiently, using innovation, data and continuous improvement to improve performance and mandate delivery. We will hold the Organization to account for its results and use resources to achieve real results. It is crucial that the United Nations can demonstrate how it is using taxpayers’ money to make a difference.
The UK congratulates the Organization on its response to the COVID pandemic and applauds the way the reforms you have implemented have helped it achieve this. Last year, the General Assembly requested the Secretariat to take into account the lessons learned from the new working methods in this year’s budget. We look forward to seeing how this plays out for next year, as well as for the future – it is important that the UN continues to modernize. We welcome the United Nations’ active work to build back better, including by identifying more cost-effective ways to implement mandates. At such a critical time, we encourage him to go further so that every dollar – or pound – spent by the United Nations has the greatest impact on the ground.
In his report on the Common Agenda, the Secretary-General calls for the United Nations to have more predictable and sustainable funding for its work. While we support this goal, simply transferring additional activities to the regular budget is not the solution, especially at a time when nearly all Member States’ national budgets are under pressure due to COVID and in the light of systemic budget deficits that the Organization has faced for decades. We reiterate our call on all Member States to pay their assessed contributions on time and in full. We would also like to remind Member States of the need to ensure that the work of this Organization is focused on the areas where it is most needed – to which we have all committed in the context of the revitalization of the General Assembly. It also requires the Organization to be allowed to use its resources more flexibly and to prioritize more effectively how it deploys its resources in areas where it has the most impact.
This is the third year that we will be considering an annual program budget since the adoption of General Assembly resolution 72/266. The UK remains a strong supporter of the Secretary-General’s reforms, including the move to an annual budget. Next year we will review its implementation. We encourage the Secretary-General to present a strong and evidence-based case to make it permanent, including, where appropriate, making proposals that could further improve the process.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to assure you and the Secretary General of my delegation’s commitment to work constructively with all delegations to achieve a satisfactory and timely outcome on the 2022 budget.