Remarks by Stephen Lieberman, Minister Counselor for United Nations Management and Reform, On Agenda Item 130-Capital Master Plan--At the Main Session of the 67th General Assembly

Stephen Lieberman
Counselor for UN Management and Reform 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 5, 2012


Good afternoon and thank you, Madam Chair,  The United States looks forward to discussing the Secretary-General’s tenth annual progress report on the Capital Master Plan (CMP) and the associated ACABQ, OIOS and Board of Auditors reports. My delegation would like to thank Mr. Yukio Takasu, Under Secretary-General for Management; Mr. Michael Adlerstein, Assistant Secretary General and Executive Director of the CMP; Mr. Carlos G. Ruiz Massieu, Vice-Chairman of the ACABQ; Mr. David Kanja, the Assistant-Secretary-General for Office of Internal Oversight Services; and Mr. Yu of the Board of Auditors, for their respective reports.  The United States reaffirms its strong support for the CMP and acknowledges the significant progress made to date, including the nearly-complete reoccupation of the Secretariat Building and rehabilitation of the Conference Building. We appreciate the dedicated efforts of ASG Adlerstein and the Office of the CMP in achieving these crucial milestones.  Madam Chair,  My delegation welcomes the Secretary-General’s report but notes that the current CMP budget shortfall still stands at $399 million. While this is $30 million less than earlier this year, it is still too high. While we note the Secretariat’s responsiveness to the concerns raised by Member States and that he did not request an additional assessment, the United States continues to insist that the CMP be delivered on time and on budget and that there be no further assessments for the project. We welcome the Secretary-General’s proposals to reduce this shortfall and will further explore these options in informal sessions. We also welcome any additional value engineering and other efforts to produce real savings.  Madam Chair,  To ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget, my delegation believes that the CMP must use industry best practices, processes and oversight to estimate the expected completion costs for the project and to execute against those projections. My delegation notes that the ACABQ, OIOS and the Board of Auditors have concluded that this has not always been the case and believes that the Secretary-General should do everything possible to apply the analysis, recommendations and lessons-learned set forth in their reports. In this regard, my delegation concurs with the ACABQ that the Secretary-General should seriously investigate options for flexible working arrangements that maximize the use of all work spaces.  Madam Chair,  Finally, on behalf of my delegation, I want to express our appreciation for the offers of assistance made by the Secretary-General and the UN staff to the Host Country in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as well as for the kind words offered by our Fifth Committee colleagues today, and to convey my hope that everyone in the UN family has emerged from the storm relatively unscathed.  In addition, we extend our sincere sympathies to the people and governments of our Caribbean neighbors who also suffered great losses from this storm. Thank you, Madam Chair.

PRN: 2012/251