Closing Statement at the First Resumed Part of the 72nd General Assembly

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
Minister Counselor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 29, 2018


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

At the outset of this session, my delegation highlighted the positive pace and atmosphere gained over recent sessions in this Committee. We would like to thank all delegations for working constructively and achieving progress on several key agenda items in a relatively short amount of time.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to mention a few of the session’s outcomes that illustrate this Committee’s work to support the momentum on the broader UN reform agenda.

The Committee took action to support fiscal discipline within the Organization while supporting high priority issues, including furthering the important work on the fight against tuberculosis. The Committee also took an important decision to eliminate first class air travel for all UN staff. This decision serves as a positive example of the Committee exercising its authority to affect sensible policy changes and is a step in the right direction toward proper management of resources. As we have seen, inefficient and ineffective policies damage the Organization’s credibility and its operations, and often result in the misuse of limited resources. While the Committee was not able to reach a decision to eliminate first class accommodation for non-staff across the UN system, the General Assembly encourages non-staff, including the Secretary-General, Presidents of the General Assembly, and International Court of Justice judges to voluntarily downgrade to business class. We look forward to discussing this item further next session so that we may properly and fully address these gaps.

By urging increased coordination among the UN’s oversight bodies and highlighting the importance of timely consideration and implementation of the Joint Inspection Unit’s recommendations, the Committee also reaffirmed its commitment to oversight of the UN system. The effective functioning of the UN oversight bodies enhances the Organization’s transparency and accountability frameworks.

Mr. Chairman, this Committee took decisive actions during this session that promote the broader reform agenda, the United States is concerned that the Committee delayed an important opportunity to improve the ability of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to more effectively promote and protect human rights. The United States remains supportive of the Secretary-General’s proposed restructuring, which enables the organization to enhance services to the field, and we commend the High Commissioner for putting forward a cost-neutral proposal. We look forward to discussing the substantive aspects of this issue in the future, and we remain committed to advancing the important work of the OHCHR.

Mr. Chairman, the United States would like to congratulate you on the successful completion of the first resumed part of the seventy-second session, and we look forward to working with all delegations in just a few short weeks, where the agenda for the second resumed part is significantly more challenging.

In closing, we would like to thank Sharon von Buerle and her wonderful team, as well as the interpreters, the sound engineers, and all who helped facilitate this session. We would also like to thank the members of the Secretariat for their expertise and availability in informing the Committee’s discussions. We could not have reached these outcomes without all of your hard work.

Thank you very much.