Budget Committee Approves Resolution on Culture of Accountability, Change Management by Recorded Vote of 93-47-5, as Resumed Session Concludes

2 April 2012
GA/AB/4026

Budget Committee Approves Resolution on Culture of Accountability, Change Management by Recorded Vote of 93-47-5, as Resumed Session Concludes

2 April 2012
General Assembly
GA/AB/4026
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

30th Meeting (Night)

Budget Committee Approves Resolution on Culture of Accountability, Change

 

Management by Recorded Vote of 93-47-5, as Resumed Session Concludes

 

Second Approved Draft Notes Cost Overruns at Capital Master Plan, Requests Audit;

Other Texts Concern Joint Inspection Unit Report Follow-Up; Deferred Agenda Items

Following two weeks of protracted, closed-door discussions, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this evening concluded the first resumed part of its sixty-sixth session by approving a resolution that stressed the importance of promoting a culture of accountability in the United Nations Secretariat and called on the Secretary-General to improve his reporting on progress to that end.

But, delegates argued over his Change Management Initiative, with some expressing confidence in the Secretary-General’s ability to use that tool to enhance the Organization’s performance and management efficiency, while others faulted it as a unilateral step on his part that circumvented the General Assembly and reflected the views of just a few select Member States.  Several lamented that the text had been put to a vote.

Before approving that text as a whole, the Committee voted down an amendment to it presented by the United States, which would have replaced language stressing the need for the Assembly’s prior approval of any amendments to the overall departmental structure and the format of the programme budget with language that welcomed the Change Management Initiative and the efforts of those working on it.

The Committee also rejected the United States’ subsequent proposal to consider the draft in two separate parts, respectively on “progress towards an accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat”, and on “change management initiatives”.

The Committee then approved the text in its entirety by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 47 against, with 5 abstentions ( Mexico, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Ukraine).

Among other things, the draft, would stress the importance of promoting a culture of accountability, results-based management, enterprise risk management and internal controls through senior-level leadership in the Secretariat, and ask the Secretary-General to develop clearly defined, well-documented steps to that end, as well as to submit an annual progress report on their implementation.

Furthermore, the Assembly — noting the Secretary-General’s report lacked sufficient evidence to enable a clear understanding of the comprehensive review process or of the system of delegation of authority, as well as any real proof that senior managers’ compacts were truly enhancing accountability — would ask the Secretary-General to pursue concrete measures to address deficiencies in those areas.

The United States’ representative strongly rejected the text, which he viewed as an attempt to hobble the Secretary-General’s Change Management Plan before it had even begun, erode the Organization’s culture of accountability and weaken the Secretary-General efforts to drive management reform.

New Zealand’s representative, who also spoke on behalf of Australia and Canada, also objected to the changes and attempts to challenge the Secretary-General’s authority and trust.  “It is not the role of this Committee to micromanage the Secretariat,” he said, expressing full confidence and trust in the Secretary-General and his ability to deliver on his reform agenda.

Similarly, Denmark’s representative, who spoke on behalf of the European Union, and voted against the text, noted the Union’s strong support for the Change Management Plan and the Union’s repeated stance during the negotiations that proposals to that plan were not part of the Committee’s agenda item.  She deplored the fact that the Union’s efforts to achieve compromise with the “Group of 77” developing countries and China had been rejected, and worried that the latter was using its majority in ways that might undermine the work of the United Nations and the Committee itself.

But Algeria’s representative, who spoke on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, rejected such claims as false.  On the contrary, the Group was in favour of a culture of accountability, and it had worked constructively and had pressed for consensus on the matter right up to the last minute.

Nicaragua’s representative said that consensus and flexibility were a “two- way street”.  Delegations that had argued that change management was not on the agenda had endorsed the relevant report when the Committee had begun its work.  Clearly, the Secretariat must do more to erase the “climate of mistrust”.  But, the move to covertly insert political language into the Assembly’s resolution last year on the biennium budget and subsequently into the Change Management Report had further undermined trust.

Cuba’s representative added:  “No one asked us what our opinion was on this” and that “the G-77 was now being blamed for not wanting to make commitments or compromises” concerning the Change Management Initiative.  Changes in Secretariat reform were unacceptable, she said, expressing hope that the Secretary-General and his Change Management Team would return to neutrality, as was mandated.

In another text, approved without a vote, the Committee took issue with the sudden and unexplained cost overruns of the massive overhaul of the Organization’s Headquarters, known as the Capital Master Plan.  By its terms, the Assembly would express deep concern over the projected increase of 23 per cent of the total approved budget for the Plan, the lack of transparency and timely information on that evolution, and the lack of clarity on the renovation plans of the Library and the South Annex buildings.

It would ask the Secretary-General to give the Assembly in the context of the tenth annual report, information on progress in renovating those two buildings.  The Assembly would decide to authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to $135 million for resources required for the Plan project, including associated costs through 2012, and to later report to the Assembly on practical options to reduce or offset costs and to finance such commitments within the approved budget.

Furthermore, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to entrust the Office of Internal Oversight Services with urgently undertaking an in-depth technical construction audit of the Plan, focusing on the circumstances that led to the projected $433 million cost overrun, and to report the results to the Assembly at the beginning of the main part of its sixty-seventh session.

The Committee also approved a consensus text on the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) that would have the Assembly reiterate its request to the JIU to continue to focus its reports on important priority items.  It would ask the JIU to submit, as part of its annual report, additional comments and recommendations on its experience with the system of follow-up to the JIU’s reports, and ask the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its sixty-seventh session and subsequent sessions on implementation of the web-based follow-up system.  Moreover, the Assembly, noting with concern that some Member States did not abide by its resolutions on issuing visas for official travel of some JIU inspectors and staff, would ask Member States to extend, without conditions, the requisite facilitation to enable the inspectors and staff to carry out their tasks.

Additionally, the Committee approved a draft decision that asked the Assembly to defer several items on the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 to its sixty-seventh session — including the Secretary-General’s reports on the feasibility study on the United Nations Headquarters accommodation needs 2014-2034, the conclusions of the High-level Working Group on Programme Criticality, and the proposals for a more effective and efficient utilization of resources for air travel, as well as the related Advisory Committee’s reports — as well as the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on a proposal on the dissemination and distribution of audit reports.

Further to that draft, the Assembly was asked to defer until its sixty-eighth session consideration of the Secretary-General’s report on conditions of service and compensation for officials other than Secretariat officials:  comprehensive review of the pension schemes for the members of the International Court of Justice and judges of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as well as the related Advisory Committee’s report, and a letter dated 1 February 2012 from the President of the International Court of Justice addressed to the Assembly President.

Carmen Lapointe, Under-Secretary-General for Oversight, also spoke this evening.

Michel Tommo Monthe ( Cameroon), Committee Chairman, made closing remarks.

Also speaking this evening were the representatives of Norway, Solomon Islands, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Eritrea.

Background

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met today to conclude the first part of its resumed sixty-sixth session and take action on all related draft resolutions.

By the terms of the Committee’s draft resolution on the Joint Inspection Unit (document A/C.5/66/L.29), the Assembly would reiterate its request to the Unit to continue to focus its reports on important priority items, identifying concrete managerial, administrative and programming questions aimed at providing the Assembly and other legislative organs with practical and action-oriented recommendations.  The Assembly would ask the Joint Inspection Unit to submit, as part of its annual report, additional comments and recommendations on its experience with the system of follow-up to the Unit’s reports.

By other terms, the Assembly would invite the Secretary-General and other executive heads of participating organizations, in cooperation with the Joint Inspection Unit, to identify the appropriate substantive agenda items of the Assembly and other pertinent organs and bodies under which the thematic reports of the Unit should be listed.  It would ask the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its sixty-seventh session and subsequent sessions on implementation of the web-based follow-up system.

Additionally, the Assembly, noting with concern that some Member States did not abide by its resolutions on the issuance of visas for official travel of some Joint Inspection Unit inspectors and staff, would ask Member States to extend, without conditions, the requisite facilitation to enable the inspectors and staff to carry out their tasks.

By a text on progress towards an accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat (document A/C.5/66/L.30), the Assembly, endorsing the conclusions and recommendations in the related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), would stress the importance of promoting a culture of accountability, results-based management, enterprise risk management and internal controls through senior-level leadership in the Secretariat, and ask the Secretary-General to take appropriate steps to that end.  The Assembly would also ask him to give more details on accountability measures, submit an annual report on progress in implementing the accountability framework and improve the content of future progress reports by providing more complete, transparent information, including key accountability performance indicators and statistical data to substantiate results.

Further, the Secretary-General would also be asked to develop a clearly defined, well-documented plan with clear objectives, responsibilities and a timeline for accomplishing specific actions to strengthen accountability in response to the present resolution and Assembly resolution 64/2. 

Concerning delegation of authority, the Assembly would note that the information in the Secretary-General’s report is insufficient to enable a clear understanding of the comprehensive review process, or of the system of delegation of authority, and stress the need for the Secretary-General to urgently address continued deficiencies in the system by promulgating well-defined roles and responsibilities on individuals to whom authority is delegated, systematic reporting mechanisms on monitoring and exercise of delegated authority and actions to be taken in cases of mismanagement or abuse of authority. 

Regarding personal and institutional accountability, the Assembly, noting with concern that there was little evidence that senior managers’ compacts have had any real impact on enhancing accountability, would ask the Secretary-General to pursue concrete measures to ensure that the compact system becomes a powerful instrument of the accountability system.  Recalling the Advisory Committee’s report on the mismanagement of the Umoja project, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to fully implement the project’s governance structure, as mandated by Assembly resolution 66/246, as a matter of priority.

Additionally, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to review his enterprise risk management policy, stress that the Assembly is responsible for determining the Organization’s risk tolerance and express concern over the lack of detailed analysis by the Secretary-General concerning the United Nations key risk areas.  

Concerning change management initiatives, the Assembly would stress that proposals to amend the Secretariat’s overall departmental structure, as well as the format of the programme budget and the biennial programme plan, are subject to the Assembly’s review and prior approval.  It would stress the need for the Assembly to participate in the budget preparation process from its early stages and throughout the process.  Furthermore, it would note the recommendations in the report of the Secretary-General’s Change Management Team and ask him to submit for its consideration and prior approval any proposals or measures related to implementing recommendations contained in paragraphs 8, 11, 15-18, 27-28, 30, 34, 37-41, 43 and 49-61 of that report. 

By a text on special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.31),the Assembly, stressing that accountability is a central pillar of effective and efficient management, would express deep concern about the sudden and unexplained increase in the cost overrun of the Capital Master Plan project, which represented a projected increase of 23 per cent of the total approved budget.  It would also express deep concern over the lack of transparency and timely information provided to the Assembly on the evolution of the project budget, forecasts, risks and projected overruns, and the lack of clarity on the renovation plans of the Library and the South Annex buildings.  It would ask the Secretary-General to give the Assembly, in the context of the tenth annual report, information on the progress achieved in renovating those two buildings as provided within the overall scope of the Plan.

The Assembly would decide to authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to $135 million for resources required for the Plan project, including associated costs through 2012, and to report to the Assembly at the beginning of the main part of its sixty-seventh session, in the context of the tenth progress report, on practical options to reduce or offset the overall projected costs and to finance such commitments while remaining within the approved budget and scope of the project.  The Assembly would ask the Plan to brief the Assembly no later than the second part of its sixty-sixth session, as well as in the early part of its sixty-seventh session.

The Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to entrust the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) with urgently undertaking an in-depth technical construction audit of the Plan, focusing on the circumstances that led to the projected $433 million cost overrun, and to report the results to the Assembly at the beginning of the main part of its sixty-seventh session.   The Secretary-General would also be asked to make available the necessary resources to OIOS to carry out the audit.  He would also be urged to expedite efforts to manage the costs pertaining to the early termination of the swing space with a view to optimizing, as much as possible, the renegotiated rental contracts, and to report accordingly to the Assembly in the tenth annual report, including detailed information about their duration and payments.

Furthermore, the Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations in the Advisory Committee’s related report on limited budgetary discretion and its related report on financing of unforeseen and extraordinary expenses arising from resolutions and decisions of the Human Rights Council. 

By a draft decision on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/66/L.32), the Assembly would decide to defer until its sixty-seventh session consideration of the following:

·         Report of the Secretary-General on the feasibility study on the United Nations Headquarters accommodation needs 2014-2034 (A/66/349) and related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (A/66/7/Add.3)

·         Report of the Secretary-General on conclusions of the High-level Working Group on Programme Criticality (A/66/680) and related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (A/66/720)

·         Report of the Secretary-General on proposals for a more effective and efficient utilization of resources for air travel (A/66/676) and related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) (A/66/739)

·         Report of OIOS on a proposal on the dissemination and distribution of audit reports (A/66/674)

Furthermore, the Assembly would decide to defer until its sixty-eighth session consideration of the following:

·         Report of the Secretary-General on conditions of service and compensation for officials other than Secretariat officials:  comprehensive review of the pension schemes for the members of the International Court of Justice and judges of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (A/66/617) and related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (A/66/709)

·         Letter dated 1 February 2012 from the President of the International Court of Justice addressed to the President of the General Assembly (A/66/726)

Action on Drafts

The Committee first took up a draft resolution on the Joint Inspection Unit, contained in document A/C.5/66/L.29, adopting that text without a vote.

Next, delegations took up a text on Special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2012-20-13, in particular the financing of unforeseen extraordinary expense of the Human Rights Council; the Capital Master Plan; and limited budgetary discretion, contained in document A/C.5/66/L.31

Before action was taken, CARMEN LAPOINTE, Under-Secretary-General for Oversight, said that the Office of Internal Oversight Services followed international standards regarding international auditing, including obtaining competent assistance to carry out any engagement required.  The nature of the in-depth technical construction audit would require OIOS to contract specialized skills to conduct the relevant audit.

The Committee approved that resolution without a vote.

Next, a draft resolution on Progress towards an accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat (document A/C.5/66/L.30) was introduced by the representative of Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China.  He said the text was divided into two parts; the first on accountability and the second on the “Change Management Team”.  He said that delegations had been working together to reach agreement on the text, but the Group could see that it had “mixed” certain issues, including the competencies of Member States and the Secretary-General.  He said mixing the competencies of “Pierre and Paul” bore responsibility to the outcome.

Speaking next, the representative of the United States introduced a six-point amendment to that text, which replaced its entire second paragraph.  It would welcome the Secretary-General’s initiative and the work of the Change Management Team and the Change Management Plan, encourage the Secretary-General to engage closely with the Assembly on his vision for a modern, efficient and accountable Secretariat and note his recognition that several recommendations will require close, in-depth consultations and direction from Member States.  Further, it would request that the Secretary-General revert at the second part of its sixty-sixth session with an analysis of the recommendations within his purview and those that required Member States’ review and approval in line with the provisions of the current text.

The representative of Algeria, speaking again on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, called for a recorded vote on the amendment.

Next, Denmark, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that her delegation supported the amendment, as it contained a very balanced reflection of the discussion that had taken place in the Committee.  It took into account the views of the Secretary-General and those of Member States.  It also reserved the prerogatives of the General Assembly.  She urged all delegations to vote for the text.

The representative of Norway said that her delegation also supported the amendment, as it presented a balanced view of both sides.  It also was reflective of the efforts to obtain compromise on the issue.

The amendment was defeated by a recorded vote of 47 in favour to 88 against, with 5 abstentions (Liberia, Mexico, Panama, Serbia and Ukraine).

The United States then proposed that delegations consider the draft in two separate parts, respectively on “progress towards an accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat,” and on “change management initiatives”.

The representative of Cuba asked for clarification about the next steps, quoting rule 129 of the General Assembly’s Rules of Procedure regarding the division of resolutions.

The motion to separate the resolution was rejected by a vote of 48 in favour to 91 against, with 4 abstentions ( Serbia, Mexico, Panama, Ukraine).

The representative of Solomon Islands said that her delegation had voted against the motion.

The representative of Canada then requested a recorded vote on the text as a whole.

Speaking before action, the representative of Denmark, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that her delegation regretted that the Committee had been unable to reach agreement on the relevant agenda item.  The Union’s Member States had worked assiduously to reach agreement.  Those delegations had repeatedly stressed that proposals regarding the Change Management team were not part of the agenda item.  The European Union believed it was necessary to improve the Organization’s performance and, in that regard, expressed full confidence in the Change Management Plan and in the Secretary-General’s work as the Chief Executive of the United Nations.

Throughout the negotiations, the European Union had reached out to the Group of 77 and China, but its efforts at compromise had been rejected and that move should be deplored.  She was concerned about the working methods of the Committee, especially the fact that a large majority of States used that majority in ways that might undermine the work of the United Nations and the Committee itself.  She urged delegations to vote against the text.

The draft resolution was adopted by a vote of 93 in favour to 47 against, with 5 abstentions (Mexico, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Ukraine)

After that vote, the representative of the United States said that during the current session, the General Assembly had had an opportunity to enhance the United Nations accountability framework.  Yet, despite the fact that common ground had been reached on many issues, the current text sought to hobble the Secretary-General’s Change Management Initiative, “before it has even begun, and which was not even on the agenda for this session”.  He said that the resolution could hinder efforts of the Secretary-General and his successors in that area.

The United States welcomed and appreciated the Secretary-General’s commitment to forge mutual trust and promote accountability, and trusted that he would continue to consult with Member States on relevant matters in the months ahead.  He said the United States strongly opposed and had voted against the draft resolution, as it eroded the Organization’s culture of accountability and weakened the Secretary-General efforts to drive management reform.  Characterized by broad “overreach”, the text undermined approximately 50 per cent of the Secretary-General’s initiatives aiming to enhance management.  The United States had both substantive and procedural objections to the way the resolution was handled, especially as some Member States had not tried to follow the long-standing procedure of the Committee towards achieving consensus.  Legitimate decisions of the Fifth Committee were reached by consensus, he said, and stressed:  “This is not consensus.”

The representative of Japan appreciated the efforts of Member States to achieve consensus.  But, Japan had voted against the resolution just adopted.  Japan had submitted language requesting the Secretary-General to present more information on his Change Management Initiative to the Committee’s next session, which started next month.  He expressed serious concern that a vote was called for, despite ongoing efforts to reach consensus.  He hoped that during the Committee’s next session, delegations would work harder to find consensus.  Japan supported the report of the Change Management Team initiative.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said the issues before the Committee today were directly related to efficient management of the Secretariat.  He expressed disappointment that the Committee resorted to voting instead of reaching consensus on the resolution on accountability.  Accountability should be coupled with discretion and flexibility.  That was why his country had voted against the text.

The representative of New Zealand, also speaking on behalf of Australia and Canada, expressed deep disappointment that the Committee was unable to reach consensus on the agenda item.  A consensus solution was within the Committee’s grasp, and he was ready to take it up.  He deeply regretted that others were not so prepared.  As the report of the Change Management Team was an internal document of the Secretariat, inclusion of language of the Change Management Team was never going to be appropriate.  “It is not role of this Committee to micromanage the Secretariat,” he said, expressing full confidence and trust in the Secretary-General and his ability to deliver on his reform agenda.  He did not regard it as appropriate to instruct him to take action on matters within his authority.  “This is not the time or place to challenge his confidence, authority or trust,” he said. 

The representative of Switzerland regretted that, after dynamic negotiation efforts, consensus had not been reached by the different parties.  A resolution of such a significant nature for the Organization should be acted upon by consensus, and not put to a vote.  For the United Nations to be strong, effective and modern, it must have significant room for manoeuvring.  The resolution clearly did not meet those requirements.  That was why Switzerland decided to vote against it.

The representative of Norway said consensus on the text was within reach.  She regretted that was not the case and that a vote had been forced.  Therefore, Norway had voted against it.  She also regretted that it had not been possible to amend the text.  

The representative of Cuba said the voting had been clear on the topic.  The Change Management Team was part of the agenda because the Secretariat had put it there.  The Change Management Team issues represented a unilateral decision on how the United Nations was supposed to operate.  “No one asked us what our opinion was on this,” he said, adding that “the G-77 was now being blamed for not wanting to make commitments or compromises”.  The Secretary-General’s proposals, contrary to his own assertions, did not enjoy support from the March article.  The delegate would have preferred it if the Secretary-General had maintained his work within his mandate.  It was not transparent to deny the report to the Committee members during the discussion on the budget, after the document had been widely disseminated through a newspaper.  She expressed hope that the Secretary-General and his Change Management Team would return to neutrality, as was mandated.

Speaking next, the representative of Nicaragua said all parts of the Organization must foster trust; the Secretary-General must do its utmost to foster such trust, especially in the work of the General Assembly.  Over the past few weeks, days and hours, delegations had witnessed the arrogance of those States that believed that all delegations must agree with their viewpoint in order to achieve consensus.  But, all delegations must recognize that consensus and flexibility were a “two way street”.  Those delegations that today argued that Change Management was not on the agenda, had endorsed the relevant report when the Fifth Committee had begun its work.

He said that it was clear that the trust that those delegations had professed to place in the Secretary-General was not nearly as broad as they had claimed.  All Member States must show patience and flexibility, lest the Assembly’s work continue to be frustrated.  It was clear that the Secretariat must do more to erase the “climate of mistrust” that had crept into the Organization.  He said that political language that had been covertly inserted into the Assembly’s resolution last year on the biennium budget.  That language had, surprisingly, shown up this year in the Change Management report.  Such actions only further undermined trust.  The Fifth Committee and the decisions it took were governed by the Charter; namely “one State, one vote”.  As such, delegations could not parade around the world preaching democracy and then impede its practice at the United Nations.  In light of those concerns, he encouraged all delegations to work to bolster understanding and trust.

The representative of Algeria, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that his delegation was in favour of a culture of accountability and accusations that it was not were false.  He regretted that the Committee had resorted to a vote on the text; to suggest that the Group was not working in a constructive manner was also false.  Indeed, the delegation had pressed for consensus right up to the last minute.

Following those statements, the Committee adopted without vote a draft decision on Questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/66/L.32).

In closing remarks, the representative of the United States said that during the Committee’s resumed session, his delegation had worked long hours and had participated in good faith negotiations.  The United States was, therefore, disappointed that agreement could not be reached on some of the most important items, especially regarding the significant cost overruns for the Capital Master Plan, which had tripled since September. 

He was deeply troubled by that fact and stressed the need to determine exactly how and where those overruns occurred.  He also encouraged the Secretary-General to do more to mitigate the overruns and noted that carrying out an audit would be a solid first step to address the issue.  The United States supported giving the Secretary-General authority to commit only $135 million to the Capital Master Plan for the year, and would urge that other financing methods be considered, while ensuring that the exercise remained within the agreed parameters.  The United States wished to be very clear that its support for the Plan was conditioned on significantly improved management of its operation.  “This support does not include a blank check,” he added.

He went on to emphasize his delegation’s disappointment that other issues had not been addressed, including finding ways to control “excessive and completely unjustifiable” spending on air travel, and regarding the need to make public the reports of OIOS.  He said that reform that would ensure that interns flew “economy” rather than “business” class “is just common sense”.  Moreover, some Member States’ resistance to openness regarding the audit reports was perplexing.  It made no sense that delegates in New York could read such documents, but tax payers at home could not.  Citizens should see where their tax dollars were going.  He was deeply disappointed by that lack of action on that matter for the second consecutive session.  All Member States that professed to support transparency should take action on that “long-overdue” reform.

The representative of Eritrea, who applauded the work of the Chair, expressed serious concern about the way the Committee had conducted its business.  “The problems could be many, depending who’s counting,” but the main challenges were late submission of reports — which had improved slightly during the current session — and the lack of political will towards consensus.  He also lamented the late hours the Committee worked.  Considering the amount of time it forced members to work separated from their families, it could be considered “anti-family.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.