Statement by Stephen A. Ronaghan, Advisor, on Agenda Item 118: Programme Budget 2008-2009 Safety and security (A/63/605; A/63/641: A/63769; A/63/379) Before the Fifth Committee

New York, NY
May 11, 2009




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thank you Mr. Chairman.
We would like to thank Mr. David Veness, Under Secretary General for Safety and Security, for his presentation of the Secretary General’s report on a “Strengthened and Unified Security Management System for the United Nations;” Ms. Inga-britt Ahlenius, Under Secretary General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services for her related report; Mr. Ken Herman, Senior Advisor on Information Management Policy Coordination of the Secretariat of the UN System Chief Executive Board for Coordination for his related report; and Ms. Susan McLurg, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for her Committee’s report.

The United States maintains that a comprehensive safety and security policy framework for protecting United Nations staff at duty stations and in the field is vital to the functioning of the UN system and achieving the fundamental objective of the organization.

Mr. Chairman.

In resolution A/61/263 the General Assembly requested a management review of the United Nations safety and security framework to be presented at its resumed 62nd session. The report was delayed following the events of December 11th, 2007 to allow for the subsequent examinations of those events. We are now informed that the management review will be released during this session. We look forward to receiving it.

In its report on the Secretary-General’s recent request for additional resources that was before the Committee during the first resumed session the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (A/63/769) expressed the view that strengthening security arrangements for the United Nations should be dealt with in an integrated manner and it recommended that a comprehensive report on the UN safety and security policy framework be submitted to the General Assembly at the beginning of its 64th session in conjunction with the proposed program budget for the biennium 2010-11.

Mr. Chairman.

My delegation takes note of the recommendations made by the Chief Executive Board for Coordination in regard to the High Level Committee on Management at its spring session (CEB/2009/HLCM/18). We anticipate the CEB recommendations will be incorporated into the comprehensive security management report to be presented at the 64th General Assembly Session.

My delegation welcomes the appointment of Mr. Gregory Starr as Under Secretary General for Safety and Security and believes that the new Under-Secretary General should be accorded the opportunity to review and comment on the comprehensive management report before its consideration and implementation by the Committee.

In this respect the United States would like to extend its appreciation to outgoing Under-Secretary General, Mr. David Veness and wish him all the best in his future pursuits.

My delegation shares the view expressed by the Advisory Committee that strengthening security arrangements for the United Nations should be dealt with in an integrated manner. We are prepared to consider at the resumed session those security proposals that involve an immediate risk to life or otherwise require urgent consideration by the Member States.

Mr. Chairman.

My delegation believes that the Member States owe it to the many United Nations staff deployed throughout the world to provide them with the security support they need. We therefore look forward to working constructively with members of the Committee in this regard.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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PRN: 2009/101