5C: General Debate Organization of Work

Statement on behalf of Norway by Counsellor Lill-Ann Bjaarstad Medinan in Fifth Committee on General Debate Organization of Work, 7 May 2018.

| Fifth Committee

Thank you for giving me the floor, Mr. Chair. A warm welcome to you, to Madame Controller, the Chair of the ACABQ and the Secretariat of the Fifth Committee in particular. 

The Fifth Committee is embarking on what might be the most decisive session in decades. Critical decisions will have to be made on two comprehensive and interlinked reforms. Both reforms are essential to improve the UNs way of working, not least in response to challenges to international peace and security. We have to make important choices for the global service delivery model and for UNs accountability systems.

We should remind ourselves that at this moment everybody relies on this Committee. Now is the time to decide on the organizational and budgetary changes that are needed to prepare the ground for a major shift in the working culture of the UN. And now is the time to respond to the Secretary-General’s call for Action for Peacekeeping.

Even if this is the special year of reforms, the negotiations on the budgets of the peacekeeping operations are no less important. My delegation will participate actively, as all member states have a shared interest in ensuring that missions are properly equipped and resourced.

Norway will focus our efforts on the peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, Mali and Haiti, as well as the UN support office in Somalia and the special political mission in Afghanistan. These are missions that take place in countries in which Norway has a had a long-term engagement.

This does not mean that we will disengage from the negotiations on other PKOs or on the crosscutting issues. All missions are equally important in right-sizing the overall budget. Norway has always supported a robust budget for UN peacekeeping. We share the Secretary-General’s commitment to budgetary discipline and to optimizing peacekeeping resources, but we would also like to echo his warning against arbitrary budget cuts that undermine efforts to implement ambitious and comprehensive mandates.  

Mr. Chair, We are facing a heavy agenda, but we all know that the Fifth Committee can do magic when there is political will. However, we do need sufficient time to be able to include and conclude all items. My delegation therefore urges you to work with your Bureau to ask for a formal extension of the session.

Mr. Chair, The Committee needs your good, strong and able guidance. Please be assured of my delegation’s full support in joining forces to bring this session to a successful end.  

I thank you.