Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Chumakov during the main part of the 76th session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee under agenda item 138 “Proposed Programme Budget for 2022ˮ
Let me thank Mr. Guterres, Secretary-General, and Mr. Bachar Bong, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), for the presentation of the reports on this agenda item.
We would like to thank Ms. Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, for the consultations on improving the format of the proposed programme budget.
We regret once again that the long-standing practice of approving the regular budget by consensus was violated in 2019. The reason is the inclusion of illegal
so-called “investigative mechanisms for Syria and Myanmarˮ in the regular budget. Unfortunately, the proposal to finance illegal structures from the regular budget, which a number of Member States do not recognize in principle, will once again challenge our discussion.
We are convinced that following the expiration of the trial basis term for the annual budget in 2022, Member States will extremely need a cost-benefit analysis. It is important to make a balanced and informed decision: keep the annual budget or return to a biennial one next year.
We emphasize that the overall amount of the regular budget of 3 billion 119.7 million US dollars, indicated by the Secretary-General, once again does not include the costs of construction projects. As a suggestion, we would like to ask the Secretariat to include in the summary of the regular budget at least the estimated construction costs.
The most important asset is human resources which are covered by over 70 percent of the budget’s expenses. In this regard, the task is to rejuvenate the staff, because, over the past five years, the average age of the UN staff has increased from 44.6 to 46.2 years, and the share of employees under the age of 35 was only 10.4 percent at the end of 2019. We support ACABQ’s position on the progress of the Secretary-General’s initiative to rejuvenate the Secretariat (paragraphs 49 and 52 of the report on the proposed programme budget for 2022).
One of the most effective tools for hiring young talents is the Junior Professionals Officer (JPO) Programme. We joined this programme: candidates were selected according to the criteria of the Secretariat and the relevant resources were also transferred. However, there are difficulties with candidates’ work at the UN Headquarters in New York. The host country, in violation of the relevant agreement, does not issue an entry visa to a young JPO participant selected by the Secretariat. We expect active efforts from the leadership of the Secretariat to overcome artificially created obstacles to the implementation of Russian participation in this programme. We request the Secretariat to take urgent measures to eliminate such obstacles for the successful implementation of the Secretary-General’s initiative in this important area of the Secretariat’s functioning.
In conclusion, let me assure you of the Russian delegation’s commitment to constructive participation in consultations on the Proposed Programme Budget for 2022.