Remarks at the Fifth Committee, 2nd Resumed Part of the 71st UN General Assembly

Cherith Norman Chalet
Minister Counselor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
May 1, 2017


Thank you, Madam Chair, and it is very good to see you and all colleagues.

My delegation does look forward to working with you and other colleagues in the weeks ahead. I would also like to thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu for being here today. I would also like to thank Ms. Sharon van Buerle and her team for their support to the Committee’s work.

I have a few preliminary comments regarding the issues that this Committee will consider during this second resumed part of the 71st session.

My delegation pays its respect to those men and women who have served the United Nations, including those who have given their lives in the cause of peace.

Peacekeeping is an important tool for maintaining international peace and security. Just as security challenges become increasingly complex, the United Nations must continue to adapt. My delegation welcomes the commitment of Secretary-General Guterres to reform the United Nations, including peacekeeping, to make it more effective and efficient.

We support the SG’s efforts to make peacekeeping more flexible and agile, in order to better respond to changing conditions on the ground, as well as imminent threats. We remain committed to initiatives that improve performance in the field, including generating required capabilities, as well as accountability for poor performance and misconduct, particularly sexual exploitation and abuse. We continue to support efforts to strengthen mission leadership, improve planning and analysis, and to integrate modern technology. We also look forward to the Secretary-General’s proposals on how best to reconfigure the United Nations peace and security architecture to better plan, manage, support, and transition missions in the field.

Madam Chair, my delegation will continue to take a close look at each peacekeeping operation to ensure it is fit for purpose. Peacekeeping missions must be able to effectively implement their mandates, and these mandates must be realistic, achievable, and aligned to realities on the ground. Where peacekeeping is not the most appropriate means for promoting our collective security interests, we need to consider other options. In the many contexts where there is a real need for peacekeeping, missions must show concrete results, and demonstrate the value of the significant investments made by Member States.

In this regard, we will also carefully examine the Secretary-General’s budget request for FY 17/18 of $7.97 billion, noting that this is an overall increase of one percent over the current budget. We have a responsibility to ensure that peacekeeping budgets reflect actual requirements, are driven by realistic planning assumptions, and reflect efficiencies from ongoing management initiatives. This budget request reflects expansions in several of the most challenging, insecure missions – but it also includes several long-standing missions that, in our view, are ripe for change.

Madam Chair, my delegation views UN peacekeeping as essential for leveraging international support to address challenges to international peace and security. We look forward to working closely and constructively with all delegations to reach consensus on all issues under consideration this session, and emphasize our willingness to do so within the time scheduled for this session.

Thank you.