Statement by the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Mr. Dmitry Chumakov during the main part of the 75th session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee under agenda item 141 “Proposed Programme Budget for 2021ˮ
Let me thank the representatives of the Secretariat and the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Mr. Bashar Bong, for their presentations of the reports on this agenda item.
We note the improved presentation of the Proposed Programme Budget and, in particular, the consultations held by the Secretariat with Member States with a view to making the necessary changes. At the same time, we expect that the Secretary-General will continue to improve the presentation of the data contained in the draft regular budget in order to ensure greater transparency and link the requested resources to existing mandates.
It is regrettable that the UN Regular Budget, despite the practice that has developed over many years, has ceased to be adopted by consensus since 2019. We are convinced that the presence in the overall budget of appropriations that have not been approved by all Member States – the so-called investigative mechanisms on Syria and Myanmar – may pose a challenge to the Proposed Programme Budget.
We underline that the Secretariat continues to provide a recosting of the Regular Budget taking into account inflation and changes in exchange rates. Although, more precise planning, which does not require subsequent adjustments, was considered in 2017 to be one of the main advantages of transition from biennial to an annual budget cycle.
The allocation of resources should be approved primarily for those programmes for which the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) has reached consensus. We assume that decisions on resources for the eight programs that were not agreed upon at the end of the 60th CPC session will be made only after their detailed discussion, in particular, in the relevant committees of the GA.
We emphasize that the Secretary-General’s figure of 2 billion 987.3 million USD for the Regular Budget is inaccurate. The unjustified exclusion of expenditures for construction projects from this amount is a matter of concern. We are looking forward to receiving an update from the Secretary-General on the resource requirements for their implementation taking into account the constraints and obstacles caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is important not to forget about the events of UN bodies that did not take place in 2020 due to COVID-19. The lack of opportunities for Member States to meet led to the situation when necessary decisions by the relevant UN bodies for holding their regular sessions in 2021 were not taken. We are convinced that this unexpected circumstance in the form of the coronavirus pandemic should not become an obstacle to the interstate discussion.
In conclusion, Mr. Chair, let me assure you of the Russian delegation’s commitment to constructive cooperation with all participants in the upcoming discussion on the Proposed Programme Budget for 2021.