Remarks at the Opening of the First Resumed Session of the UN’s Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committee

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 11, 2019


Thank you, Madam Chair. I would also like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to all those affected by the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 tragedy. We mourn the lives of all 157 victims, including at least 21 of our UN colleagues. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and loved ones.

I would like to express my delegation’s sincere gratitude to you as chair of this committee for your leadership, guidance and commitment to the committee’s work. I would like to recognize with appreciation Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General and Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget, and Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the ACABQ. I would further like to thank the Executive Secretary of this Committee, Ms. Sharon Van Buerle, and her dedicated team along with all of the staff, including the interpreters and sound engineers, who make our negotiations possible. We look forward to working with all of you this session.

Madam Chair, this session, Member States have an important opportunity to ensure the critical reform initiatives that member states have endorsed and that the organization has committed to continue to develop and thrive. The shifting of the management paradigm, the restructuring of the peace and security architecture and the repositioning of the United Nations development system will make the organization more effective, accountable, and more responsive. We cannot lose sight of the overarching goal of ensuring that the UN delivers better on its mandates.

We have many important agenda items to consider this session, including those that will advance these important reforms, if done right and ensure that the UN is more fit for purpose and fiscally responsible, including the Global Service Delivery Model, procurement, accountability, the information and communications technology strategy, and standards of accommodation of air travel. We will further consider budgets for the Somalia Panel of Experts and the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement, where my delegation will look to ensure that resources match the mandates. Structurally, we will ensure that any proposed amendments to the Financial and Staff Regulations and Rules make sense and respond to the evolving needs of the organization.

In closing, Madam Chair, we look forward to working with all partners this session in reaching a consensus that reflects the best course of action on the matters before us. Thank you.