UN: EU Statement on Programme Budget for 2006-2007

UN: EU Statement on Programme Budget for 2006-2007

UN 61st Session; V Committee, Agenda Item 117: Programme Budget for 2006-2007

New York, 6 November 2006

Statement by Ms. Sinikka Koski, Adviser, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

Mr. Chairman,

The EU would like to thank Mr Urbain Zadi, Director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Programme Management for the Economic Commission for Africa and Mr Rajat Saha, Chairman of the ACABQ for their introduction and remarks in respect to the action plan to enhance the role of the subregional offices of the Economic Commission for Africa, contained in the report A/61/471.

Mr. Chairman,

The EU is pleased to learn that the Economic Commission for Africa has already launched the implementation of the OIOS recommendations presented last year and achieved initial practical results. For instance, the Commission has started an initiative to computerise the sub-regional offices to facilitate knowledge management and networking among the partners at the sub-regional level as well as to promote regular and reliable interaction between the Commission headquarters and the five sub-regional offices.

As clearly stated in report A/60/120, the aim is to enhance the sub regional offices of ECA particularly through a more focused programming of their activities, the creative dissemination of information emphasizing electronic means and better horizontal and vertical coordination.

The action plan in this report demonstrates that the reform of ECA is under way. In this context, we would like to welcome the efforts and commitment of Mr Abdoulie Janneh, the new Executive Secretary of ECA, to refocus the mandate and the mission of the ECA and its subregional offices.

Mr. Chairman,

The action plan endeavours to support regional integration in Africa while simultaneously paying attention to the specific priorities and initiatives of each subregion. Strengthened partnerships and more active intergovernmental subregional co-operation would, we agree, help to create beneficial synergies for African societies and economies. We also welcome the aim of reviewing the use of regional advisory services in order to improve their work programme to better respond to the needs of Member States.

We acknowledge that some stages of restructuring the work of the Commission and its subregional offices will require continuous review and follow-up activities. It should be also kept in mind that this process ought to be conducted within the broader context of the ongoing reflexion on the system-wide coherence.  Building local and regional capacities is a task that requires a realistic and balanced focus. In line with the ACABQ report, ECA needs to continue to define the role of subregional offices and we hope to discuss this further during the informals. Some of the issues we come to consider next year in the context of the budget for 2008-9, on which we also support the ACABQ recommendation. Meanwhile, we look forward to discussing this report in more detail in the following informals.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

*) Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.