Closing Remarks at the 2nd Resumed Part of the 73rd UN General Assembly

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
July 3, 2019


Thank you, Madam Chair.

My delegation would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to you for your leadership as Chair of the Fifth Committee this session and the 73rd General Assembly overall. Your guidance and commitment were essential in helping the Committee navigate some very important and complex agenda items. We also would like to thank all members of the Bureau for their hard work, as well as all members of the UN Secretariat, in particular the Fifth Committee secretariat.

Madam Chair, the United States strongly supports UN peacekeeping as one of the core pillars of the Organization. We firmly believe that UN peacekeeping remains one of the most important political tools available to assist conflict-affected countries reach political solutions. However, our utmost goal and what we have pursued this session throughout all of the distinct negotiations is to ensure UN peacekeeping remains effective and operates efficiently.

In adopting a peacekeeping budget for 2019/2020 in the amount of $6.5 billion, a 1.8% reduction of the Secretary General’s request, this Committee provides adequate funding for full mandate implementation and strengthens key capabilities such as the strategic planning capacity in MINUSMA and the mediation capacity in MINUSCA. We call on the Secretary General to maintain fiscal discipline throughout the year and continue to improve the functioning and performance of UN peacekeeping operations.

In support of this call, we are pleased that the Committee provided additional peacekeeping financial management mechanisms to the Secretary General to address some of the liquidity issues facing the Organization. But we continue to support overall improvements to the budget methodology and look forward to considering those elements at a later session.

Madam Chair, this Committee also traditionally provides policy guidance to UN peacekeeping on matters such as supply chain management, combatting sexual exploitation and abuse, environmental measures, field service delivery, and medical support. But we were unable to do that this session. It is deeply disappointing that certain Member States put their parochial national interests above the broader good of improving peacekeeping and ensuring the United Nations is a relevant entity in advancing peace and security.

Madam Chair, this session also highlighted significant shortcomings in how the Committee works including by blowing past a real deadline of a fiscal year. While it may not be felt in New York, the impact of our late decisions has an effect on operations in the field and injects unnecessary uncertainty and disruption to peacekeeping operations. We must do better.

In closing, my delegation continues to recognize and pledge our support to all UN personnel who serve in peacekeeping, and we pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

Madam Chair, we wish you continued success as your term comes to an end as Fifth Committee Chair and we wish all of our departing Fifth Committee colleagues the very best in their next ventures and wish everyone an enjoyable summer. Thank you very much.