At the outset, let me thank Under-Secretary-General for Management, Ms. Alicia Barcena, and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. B. Lynn Pascoe for the presentation of the Secretary-General’s report on Strengthening of the Department of Political Affairs (A/62/521). Let me also thank the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), Ms. Susan McLurg, for her presentation of the committee’s related report (A/62/7/Add.32).
Iceland aligns itself with this statement.
Norway believes in a UN that formulates and coordinates collective responses to global challenges. The General Assembly has on many occasions recognized the need to strengthen the UN’s ability to carry out its responsibility in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. The efforts to strengthen the Secretariat’s capacity for analytical work, preventive diplomacy and mediation must continue. Norway therefore supports the Secretary-General's desire to reform and strengthen DPA.
A prerequisite for the strengthening of any part of the UN family must be an assurance from the Secretariat that existing resources are being utilized fully. Possible efficiencies and/or savings must be explored in any exercise to strengthen a department. Training and mobility of staff are important prerequisites for the best possible utilization of existing personnel.
My delegation agrees with the report from the ACABQ on the need to broaden the Department’s collaboration with the rest of the UN system. A strengthening of the regional divisions of the DPA must be carried out with the view to secure further collaboration and avoid duplication with work already being done by others in the UN family or by other organizations. Norway believes, however, that the regional divisions are overstretched and agrees with proposals to reform and strengthen the regional divisions. This should be done while keeping in mind the need for DPA to work closely with the whole UN system.
Norway shares the view of the ACABQ that the respective roles of the DFS and the DPA in the support of special political missions need to be clarified. An update on the efforts of DPA and DFS to establish terms of reference to govern their cooperation on field mission would be most welcome.
We would welcome the development of a methodology for support arrangements to special political missions. This methodology must be done with a view to support the overall efforts to reform the UN system and strengthen the collective field efforts. It is in our opinion important to have “best practices functions” to help the Department in its efforts to secure a result-based working culture. We would welcome further clarification on how this is intended to be implemented by the Department.
Norway would also like to stress the need to use this effort to reform and strengthen DPA to improve the work to reach gender and geographic targets. This occasion must be used to ensure a better gender balance with an ambitious recruitment of women to all levels of the Department – from entry level positions to the top level management/heads of mission level. Some countries, including my own, continue to be underrepresented in the Department despite repeated calls for meeting geographic targets. These issues must now be rectified.
We welcome the proposals to establish a Policy, Partnership and Mediation Support Division. A robust Division should be able to improve DPA’s work in these vital areas and it is important that this work receives firm support from the office of the USG. Norway expects the Policy and Partnership Unit to have close working relations with similar units in PBSO, DPKO, UNDG, DESA and other parts of the UN system.
Norway recognizes the clear need for an expansion of the UN’s mediation support and would like to remind members of the newly established standby force for peace mediation in the MSU.
Norway expresses strong support for an expanded ESA division to support the demand of Member States for electoral assistance. The important work of ESA should be closely linked to the work being carried out by the UNDP electoral division to utilize resources in the best possible manner.
Finally Mr. Chairman, let me assure you, of my delegation’s commitment to reaching an outcome on this important item. We will work constructively in the committee’s deliberations ahead.
Thank You, Mr. Chairman.
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