Statement by Stephen L. Lieberman, Minister Counselor for United Nations Management and Reform, on the Conclusion of Work of the Fifth Committee, at the Second Resumed Session of the 66th General Assembly

Stephen L. Lieberman, Minister Counselor
New York, NY
June 12, 2012


Thank you Mr. Chairman.

I join others in welcoming Ms. Amira Haq to her role as Under Secretary General for the Department of Field Support (DFS). I would also like to join her in thanking Ms. Susana Malcorra for the fine job she did as Under Secretary General for DFS.

Mr. Chairman, my delegation would also like to join others in thanking you, the bureau and all the coordinators for leading us to a successful conclusion of this session. I would also like to thank the Secretariat, and particularly Rick Martin, for their support and making themselves available at all hours of the day and night to facilitate our discussions.

Mr. Chairman, at the beginning of the session my delegation emphasized the importance of reaching real consensus in this committee. Our last several sessions have been contentious and unfortunately we were not able to reach consensus on some key issues. In contrast, this session has demonstrated that the Committee is able, when it chooses, to tackle very difficult and complex issues and reach consensus.

Mr. Chairman, while there are inevitably parts of this resolution that are not as we would have written them, we believe that the outcome of this session is a win for all member states and for the global peacekeeping partnership. For example, even in these very difficult financial times, we have recognized the contribution of TCCs with a supplemental payment and agreed to consider the results of the Senior Advisory Group on Reimbursement Rates and Related issues in the coming year. At the same time we have identified significant savings and efficiencies that will not diminish the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. We are also pleased that the Committee agreed to reverse the cuts proposed to the nascent political mission in Libya, which would have significantly impacted the ability of the mission to fulfill its difficult—and crucial—work in areas such as human rights and electoral support. In addition to these financial achievements, we have agreed on significant policy initiatives including reiterating our unified support and commitment to fully implement the Secretary-General’s zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse.

Mr. Chairman, my delegation is encouraged by the significant improvements that the Secretary-General has made in responsible budgeting for operational costs in peacekeeping. We are hopeful that this trend will continue and that in coming budget requests we will see similar improvements in the management of civilian personnel. We believe that the in-depth review of civilian staffing in missions called for by this resolution represents a real milestone; along with continued progress in implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy, it should result in sustained improvements in both effectiveness and efficiency.

Finally Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank all my colleagues in this room for the constructive spirit in which we have approached this session and I would like to wish all our colleagues who will be leaving the Fifth Committee this summer best wishes for success and happiness in their new assignments.


PRN: 2012/149