Statement by Ambassador Joseph H. Melrose, Jr., Senior Advisor, United States Mission to the United Nations, on the Program of Work of the Second Resumed Session of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, before the Fifth Committee

Ambassador Joseph H. Melrose, Jr.
Senior Advisor to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
May 3, 2010




AS DELIVERED

Thank you Mr. Chairman, the United States welcomes the commencement of the Second Resumed Session of the Fifth Committee. We join other delegations in welcoming you back and the other members of the Bureau as well as the Committee Secretariat and the Chair of the ACABQ.

Ambassador Maurer, we would particularly like to express our gratitude for your very able leadership of this committee over the past year and we wish you well in your forthcoming assignment.

Mr. Chairman, the United States would like to pay its deepest respects to those who have lost their lives while performing their obligations as UN peacekeepers as well as their families.

We also recognize and commend the hard work and commitment of all UN personnel – here and throughout the world – who are devoted to the difficult task that is peacekeeping.

Mr. Chairman, the second resumed session of this committee is traditionally very important because of the focus on the budgets of peacekeeping missions. During the next four weeks, we will review and decide on the financial requirements needed to sustain the Organization's peacekeeping missions with a record number of uniformed and civilian peacekeepers.  The members of this committee will examine and adopt budgets for current peacekeeping missions totaling over $8 billion - four times the one year cost of the regular budget.

The United States is firmly committed to providing the necessary resources and support services to peacekeeping operations to fulfill their important mandates of preserving the peace and protecting civilians while at the same time seeking efficiencies within the budgets requested.  Given the difficult financial climate we are operating in and the financial restraints facing each of our respective governments, we must continue to be vigilant to ensure that the resources we provide are used in an effective, efficient and transparent manner.  We are equally committed to continually improving the performance and management of missions.

While we will reserve our comments and questions relating to individual mission budget resources and post requests under the specific relevant items and in our informal discussions, we would at this time comment on one of the many issues that deserve greater attention and discussion in this committee – the proposed global field support strategy..

Mr. Chairman, my delegation believes that the existing field support system clearly needs retooling.  While an integrated package adopted should include efficiencies and economies of scale accompanied by strengthened accountability, missions need to be deployed more rapidly with the required capabilities in order to fulfill their mandated activities.  Thus, my delegation supports, in principle, the adoption of a transformational global field support strategy. 

We look forward to working with other Members of this committee on this and other important topics on our agenda.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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PRN: 2010/086