I thank the Secretary-General for presenting the United Nation’s Proposed Programme Budget for the Biennium 2008-2009, as well as the Chairman of the ACABQ, Mr. Saha, for presenting the committee’s report on the budget proposals.
Furthermore, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, and other members of the Bureau, on your election and reassure you of my delegation’s full cooperation and support.
The outcome of the 2008-2009 Proposed Programme Budget is of fundamental importance on the operations of the United Nations and should reflect the collective priorities of its members. The UN, in its 62nd year, has gained experience and is faced with an increasing number of important mandates. The regular budget for the next two years is the most important strategic tool for the implementation of these mandates and should provide the Organization with a clear direction based on how we believe the UN best can utilize its resources in a fiscally sound and results-based manner.
As we the member states continue to turn to the UN to find solutions to global challenges the UN must also adjust in order to meet the demands for an efficient and coherently operating UN in the 21st century. In order to have the full understanding of the real growth of the 2008-09 budget one has to consider several late add-ons. In principle, we believe that proposals to strengthen or reform parts of the Secretariat should be considered in the context of bi-annual budgets based on a consistent strategy to ensure a well-managed, appropriately funded and competent UN Secretariat.
We will carefully consider the proposal to strengthen DPA. We need to strengthen the preventive capacities of the UN and at the same time its capacity to resolve conflicts and to promote economic development, humanitarian efforts and human rights. All the pillars of the UN are interlinked. An agreed budget should reflect and balance these pillars. We will contribute to the work of this Committee based on this understanding, and will, of course, detail our positions on the various items in due course.
We would like to take this opportunity to call on all Member States to honour their commitment from the High level Summit in 2005. Also, we attach great importance to the fact that this year we are half way to 2015 and the deadline for achieving the MDGs. Negotiations on the regular budget should also be guided by these agreed targets and decisions. In this respect we further call on all Member States to honour the commitment to strengthen the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, taking note of the High Commissioner’s plan of action, through the doubling of the Office regular budget resources within five years.
Further, we need to ensure appropriate funding for the UNs assistance to meet the needs of the victims of conflict, inter alia by adequate funding of UN’s new peacebuilding architecture, including PBSO, and assistance to refugees and displaced persons, including UNHCR and UNWRA.
Norway is looking forward to constructively engaging in the forthcoming negotiations with a view to reach consensus on a well-balanced budget. These negotiations are critical in shaping and enabling a UN that can deliver as we expect it to do.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.