Office of the President of the Millennium Assembly
55th session of the United Nations General Assembly

Statement by
President of the General Assembly

To the Fifth Committee
7 December 2000, 3 pm.

As you know, I met with a limited number of Permanent Representatives from various regions on Friday to express my concern about the delay in being able to conclude the regular session of the 55th General Assembly.

I told the Ambassadors that I fully recognize the difficult nature of the scale of assessments, both for the regular budget and for peace- keeping operations. After all, they involve fiscal resources of member Governments and, for the peace-keeping operations scale, involve a major reform of an outdated system.

However, I also told the Ambassadors that in all of the history of the United Nations, the Secretariat has never been in a position of initiating a fiscal year without knowing how much to assess each Member State as part of a pre-established scale of assessments. Now, as before, we must come to an agreement so as to allow the Organization to go about its business.

I think we had a good meeting on Friday and have been told that there has been some progress since then. Yet, very little time remains. The General Assembly will recess on this coming Friday and a decision must be reached in the Fifth Committee well before that.

I also wish to underline that a decision must be reached by consensus.

I therefore call on this Committee to redouble its efforts to reach a substantive negotiated agreement on this as well as on the other remaining issues. Ambassador Rosenthal and I need your support. The decision lies in the hands of the Fifth Committee, not in the President's office.

- Reaching agreement will certainly also require close involvement by the Permanent Representatives. I will send this note to all of them later this afternoon. We must not fail, because if we do, the United Nations will have to live with the consequences.