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Statement by Norway on Budgets and Funding

Item 4. PROGRAMME BUDGETS AND FUNDING (ii) Biennial programme budget for 2018-2019 of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)

As delivered by Counsellor Kjetil Elsebutangen.

Thank you, Chair,

Norway thanks UNHCR for the update on budgets and funding as well as the presentation of the biennial programme budget for 2018-2019.

We regret that there was not enough time to study the ACABQ report before this meeting.

At the outset we would like to commend the administration for their able efforts in planning and implementing a budget in a situation where needs are constantly changing.

We thank the High Commissioner for informing us of developments that could have severe impacts on the budgets in the near future. Any new funding shortfall will require difficult decisions concerning priorities. We would like to take part in these discussions.

Norway contributed 118 million US Dollars last year, of which 40 million was unearmarked core funding.  We will continue to uphold large-scale support to UNHCR also in the foreseeable future.

Norway welcomes the clear commitment of UNHCR to use a multi-year, multi-partner planning approach. A move towards more multiyear financing will require more joint analysis and multiyear planning across the UN system and with multilateral development banks. It is highly important to ensure that the benefits of multi-year financing are transferred to the implementing partners.

At the same time, we must find the right balance between predictable funding and the need to retain some flexibility to respond to unforeseen events.

Norway strongly encourage all efforts to broaden the donor base. We welcome the growth in individual donors that we learned about today and we believe that there is still great potential for increased support from the private sector.

Norway reiterates its support for strong oversight and control functions. The budget document for 2018-2019 shows reductions in the budgets for the Inspector General’s Office, Enterprise Risk Management and the Office of the Controller and Director. Although this has been touched upon already, we would still like to understand better the reasons for these reductions. This point also relates to the recommendations from the Independent Audit and Oversight Committee concerning adequate resource levels for these important functions.

Thank you.