Japanese Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino suggested the need to create a consensus to build up a solid basis upon which the Secretary-General can bring forward detailed UN reform proposals in May 2018.
Main points made by Ambassador Toshiya Hoshio on the Secretary-General`s proposals for the UN management reform and the biennium 2018-2019 budget:
- Japan supports the initiative taken by the Secretary-General toward UN reform but emphasizes that budgetary discipline should also apply to the reform initiative.
- Japan attaches great importance to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the UN Secretariat, and especially to ensuring full transparency and accountability to the Member States.
- The reduction of posts mainly focusing on junior levels is presented as overall cost reduction efforts and efficiencies, but a more efficient and leaner organization needs to be less top-heavy.
- Strict budgetary discipline should be exercised in the consideration and implementation of the proposed budget for the biennium 2018-2019.
The following are key statements made by Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino in the General Assembly in 2017.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
On behalf of Japan, I would first like to thank Secretary-General Guterres for presenting his proposal on UN Management Reform. Mr. Secretary-General, Japan supports and will continue to support your initiative and leadership toward the realization of impactful UN reform in the areas of peace and security, development, and management. I would also like to thank Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chairman of ACABQ, for introducing the Committee’s report.
Japan attaches great importance to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the UN Secretariat, and especially to ensuring full transparency and accountability to the Member States. My delegation believes that the Secretary-General’s commitment and engagement toward management reform will lead the United Nations in such a direction, while maintaining a proper balance between flexibility and discipline.
Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. Chairman, fellow colleagues,
UN reform is long-awaited, and we feel that the momentum is here. Therefore, let us ask ourselves, “What is our role as Member States to support the Secretary-General’s vision?” My delegation believes that our fundamental role is to create a consensus, to build up a solid basis upon which the Secretary-General can bring forward detailed proposals in May so as to continue to act on his commitment to lead the effort on UN management reform. For that purpose, my delegation is ready to actively and constructively engage in the discussion.
I thank you.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
At the outset, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Secretary-General for his introduction of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019. I would also like to thank Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chairman of the ACABQ, for introducing their reports.
Japan attaches great importance to the financing of the UN, in order for this Organization to function properly. Japan fully supports the UN in delivering its mandate; I cannot emphasize this any more strongly.
However, at the same time, I cannot also emphasize more that every single dollar spent by this Organization comes from the taxpayers of the Member States for the service of humanity. Effort toward a more efficient and leaner UN, and ultimately a stronger UN, should always be the basis for the consideration on the programme budget.
I recall that in December last year the Fifth Committee agreed on a budget outline of 5.395 billion dollars. Japan notes that Secretary-General proposes the level of 5.405 billion dollars for the 2018-2019, before recosting, and add-ons.
The preliminary recosting for the 2018-2019 budget as is estimated in the Secretary-General’s proposal is at 127.6 million dollars. As the Organization has started to enter into a forward contract in foreign currencies, respectively of Swiss francs and euros, to manage exchange rate fluctuation and inflation, my delegation expects to receive the Secretary-General’s report on the revised estimates in this regards that reflects such efforts.
My delegation takes note of the proposed staffing level of 9,998 established and temporary posts for the biennium 2018-2019 under expenditure section. We note, however, ratio of D-1 and higher posts to Professional level posts, as well as to combined Professional and General Service posts remains high or even increasing. My delegation is concerned with the trend that the reduction of posts mainly focusing on junior levels is presented as overall cost reduction efforts and efficiencies. A more efficient and leaner organization needs to be less top-heavy.
The Secretary-General’s reports on management reform contain a number of proposals concerning the changes to the basic budget formulation, its machinery and the budget implementation. While we keep close eyes on the discussion on that matter, my delegation will continue to base ourselves on all current rules and regulations, the provisions of relevant resolutions, as well as strict budgetary discipline, in the consideration and discussion of the 2018-2019 proposed programme budget before us. My delegation wishes to once again emphasis that the importance of strict implementation of the provisions of GA resolution 41/213 and 42/211, and will give close and necessary scrutiny to the budget proposals and add-ons requests to come, including examinations on adherence to the relevant rules and provisions, their priorities, programme performance so far, as well as in the light of avoiding duplications, and identifying rooms to absorb the additional requirements. My delegation also wishes to emphasis the importance for the Member States to take informed decisions in the relevant committees or entities, and in this regard, the Secretariat is requested to provide the Member States of information on the implication of the decisions by such entities over the programme budget in timely and appropriate manner.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, my delegation is committed to participate positively and constructively in the negotiations toward achieving consensus on this important agenda item under your esteemed leadership.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At the outset, my delegation would like to congratulate you and the other Bureau members on your election. I would like to especially commend the Chair for assuming a very important position. I believe that we collectively owe it to you to work together so that we can get the work of this Committee done within the allocated time. My delegation looks forward to working closely with you and the other Bureau members.
In this main session, we are scheduled to consider the 2016-2017 budget, as well as the 2018-2019 budget proposal. In order to ensure strict budgetary discipline, and stressing that the UN’s assessed budget is borne by the taxpayers of the Member States, my delegation will carefully analyze and judge the appropriateness and affordability of all potential additional requirements, as well as the proposed programme budget.
Also in this session, we have before us many other complex agenda items, especially those related to UN management reform. Japan attaches great importance to the increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the management of the UN Secretariat, and especially to its full transparency and accountability to the Member States, and in this regard supports the initiative taken by the Secretary-General toward UN reform. My delegation is ready to carefully analyze relevant reports once introduced to this Committee. Having said that, at this stage, my delegation would like to draw the attention of my fellow colleagues of this Committee and emphasize that budgetary discipline should also apply to our discussions on the reform initiative. At the same time, my delegation is ready to negotiate the 2018-19 proposed budget based on the provisions of relevant resolutions, as well as all current rules and regulations.
Allow me to conclude by saying that my delegation will engage in all the discussions of this session in a positive and constructive manner with a view to achieving consensus on all agenda items by the scheduled deadline.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.