Norway would like to thank the Secretary General for his presentation of the Proposed Programme Budget for 2014-2015, as well as the related report for the ACABQ.
Norway supports the Secretary General’s reform agenda, including the need for a mobility reform. We also believe that there must be a balance between the resources allocated to the United Nations, and the tasks that we as member states asks the UN to carry out.
Last December the General Assembly reached an agreement on the budget level for the next biennium which represented both a nominal and a real decrease. Under these challenging circumstances, Norway wants to applaud the efforts done by the secretariat to present a proposal which is consistent with the level agreed some months ago.
Norway agrees with many of the points made concerning the need for the UN secretariat to be constantly searching for efficiency gains. The UN should creativity look for new and less costly ways to accomplish the mandates and tasks assigned. The current economic situation in many member states makes these efforts all the more important.
In the upcoming budget deliberations in this committee, we should nevertheless remember to try to use this budget process to make the UN better equipped for the tasks and challenges of tomorrow. With regards to cuts, we need to be strategic, and should not pursue a general cut across the board-principle. This would for instance imply that allocations to Human Rights, already minimal, would be disproportionately affected.
We are also concerned about the low level of entry-level positions.
Regarding the budget process, Norway would like to make a broader point. Today we have before us literally thousands of pages, and this creates unnecessary much work for both the secretariat and the Member states. The whole budget process is too complicated, and needs to be simplified.
Norway would therefore welcome ideas on how to make the budget process more effective. We believe that the role of this committee should be to provide strategic guidance, and it must avoid, as we have stated before, to try to micromanage the secretariat.
Mr. Chairman, in closing, Norway looks forward to constructive discussions in the coming weeks in order to reach a forward-looking budget for the next two years.
I thank you.