Statement by Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella, U.S. Representative to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform, on the Plenary Adoption of Key Fifth Committee Resolutions

Ambassador Joseph M Torsella
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform 
New York, NY
April 12, 2013


The United States welcomes the adoption today in the General Assembly of several important new measures that will make the United Nations more transparent, accountable, efficient, and—especially important during this period of global economic difficulty—more fiscally responsible. This session achieved notable progress on several major reform initiatives the United States has championed for many years, which I outlined last year in the Administration’s UN Reform Plan. Member states came together to take responsible action across a range of issues that benefit both taxpayers and the United Nations.

After advocating this key transparency and accountability measure for several years, the United States is pleased that the UN’s internal audit reports will at last be made publicly available by the UN. Public disclosure of these reports will give UN managers a greater impetus to effect change and will enhance the reputation of the UN by demonstrating that the organization squarely addresses its challenges. We also applaud the adoption of many of the Secretary General’s proposals for air travel reform, especially those that restrict the overuse of business class travel. The General Assembly’s embrace of much needed human resources reforms, including advancement of whistleblower protections and the commissioning of major studies that will help to rationalize staff costs—the primary driver of UN budget growth over the last 10 years—is also a positive step.

As President Obama made clear just yesterday, when the United Nations is at its best, America’s security and prosperity benefits. For this reason, we will continue to press for the highest standards of transparency, accountability and economy at the UN, and we welcome these major steps toward those goals.


PRN: 2013/050