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Statement by H. E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, at the Fifth Committee of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly, on the Proposed Program Budget for the Biennium 2008-2009 (Agenda Item 128)
26 October 2007

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon for his introduction of A/62/6, and Mr. Rajat Saha, Chairman of the ACABQ for their respective interventions. The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Pakistan on behalf of G77 and China. With regard to the proposed program budget for 2008-2009, I would like to highlight the following observations and suggestions:

1. On the budget increase. We note that before recosting, the overall expenditure in the 2008-2009 proposed program budget was 4.195 billion US dollars, a 0.5% increase over the budget of 2006-2007 in the amount of more than 21million US dollars. After recosting and the addition of other expected expenditures, the total level of the program budget for the next biennium may well exceed 4.6 billion US dollars. In recent years, the UN activities in areas such as peace and security, development and human rights are steadily expanding, resulting in increasing heavy tasks. A proper increase of the budget will be essential for the smooth functioning of the UN, and in particular, for ensuring adequate funding for mandated programs and activities. Meanwhile, in formulating the budget, the UN must bear in mind the principle of matching resources with actual requirements and the need to practice economy, and take into full consideration the paying capacity of member states so as to avoid an excessive increase in resources.

2. On resource allocation. We support the priority items identified by the GA for 2008-2009 and hope that our limited resources can be used in areas of the most urgent need. We are of the view that within the limited amount of overall resources, administrative and management costs should be drastically reduced and more resources devoted to development so as to bring benefit to the developing countries which form the majority of UN membership and enable them to enjoy the "dividend" from the UN's activities for development.

We have noticed that in the proposed program budget for 2008-2009, compared with the proposed increase of resources earmarked for human rights and monitoring, there is only minimal proposed resource increase for activities related to the promotion of economic development and regional cooperation on issues such as environment, trade and African development. The Secretary General should take effective measures to maintain a balanced resource input, so that the priority programs related to the economic development of the developing countries can receive sufficient attention and guaranteed resources.

3. On improving management and reducing waste. We have noticed the concerns expressed by the ACABQ regarding the piecemeal approach to the budgetary process. We hope that the Secretary General will take effective measures to make sure that future proposed UN program budgets reflect to the greatest possible extent all the requests for the biennium. The ACABQ recommends that there should be systematic efforts to foster deeper cooperation and coordination within the UN system with a view to bringing about synergy, enhancing complementarity and removing avoidable redundancies. We note with concern that there are still waste and mismanagement in the utilization of resources by the UN. The Secretariat needs to employ the resources provided by member states in a scientific and rational manner to achieve optimal efficiency and put a resolute stop to any form of waste. In order to conserve resources and increase efficiency, budget managers and program managers need to strengthen effectively their communication and cooperation, always bear in mind the need of budget management, formulate specific and feasible performance indicators, and put a timely stop to outdated and inefficient outputs, so as to ensure the full and effective implementation of program activities in priority areas.

Mr. Chairman,

The 2008-2009 biennial program budget is an important item of this session of the GA. The Chinese delegation attaches great importance to this item and will participate in all related consultations in a positive, cooperative and constructive manner. We hope that all countries demonstrate pragmatism and flexibility as we work to ensure that the consideration of the budget will be marked by efficiency and high quality.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.