Statement by Stephen Lieberman, Minister Counselor for UN Management and Reform,on Civilian Capacity in the Aftermath of Conflict, before the Fifth Committee

Stephen Lieberman
Counselor for UN Management and Reform 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
Washington, DC
December 7, 2012


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

At the outset, we would like to thank Ms. Sarah Cliffe, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Advisor for Civilian Capacities, for presenting the report of the Secretary-General on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict and Mr. Carlos Ruis Massieu, Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for presenting the related report of that committee.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation is committed to the process agreed by the General Assembly in resolution 66/255 and recognizes that the civilian capacity review is a cross-cutting issue that also falls within the purview of many different intergovernmental bodies beyond the Fifth Committee. My delegation regrets that the debate on civilian capacity originally scheduled in the General Assembly for 28 November was postponed. We continue to believe that, given the cross-cutting nature of this issue, it is necessary to have a general discussion of civilian capacity in plenary before the end of the year in order to frame the overall consideration of this issue in advance of more detailed discussions that will occur in various subsidiary bodies on the elements under their respective purviews. We are therefore pleased to see that the debate has been re-scheduled. We believe that guidance on the civilian capacity review should come in the form of a single outcome document negotiated in plenary before the end of the sixty-seventh session which takes into account the recommendations of all the relevant subsidiary bodies.

My delegation will provide general comments on the overall civilian capacity review in that forum. As such, we will limit our remarks in the Fifth Committee to administrative and budgetary issues.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation is encouraged by the measures undertaken by the Secretary-General to improve and expedite the organization’s response to peacebuilding requirements in the aftermath of conflict. We believe that the Secretariat should make full use of the tools at its disposal to ensure the timely deployment of the requisite capacities, including existing capacities drawn from the Global South.

As noted by the Advisory Committee, the report of the Secretary-General on civilian capacity which is under consideration this session is one that is more conceptual in nature. Indeed, the Secretary-General does not make any proposals for approval by the General Assembly in his report, but instead outlines progress in the overall civilian capacity initiative and previews a number of proposals, including an emergency staff deployment facility, that will be presented to the General Assembly in the future for its consideration. We expect that, when presenting those proposals, the Secretary-General will outline related administrative and budgetary implications for consideration by the Fifth Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States looks forward to working closely with all delegations in the Fifth Committee during the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly to provide observations on the administrative and budgetary aspects of the civilian capacity initiative to provide input into the negotiations in plenary on this important cross-cutting issue.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.


PRN: 2012/286