Remarks by Ambassador Chris Lu at Fifth Committee Meeting on 2024 Proposed Budget

Ambassador Chris Lu
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
New York, New York
October 10, 2023


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’d also like to thank the Secretary-General for joining us for the introduction of the budget.

First, let me express our strong condemnation at the terrorist attacks on Israel, the deaths of innocent civilians, and the taking of hostages. We extend our heartfelt condolences for the lives lost and reaffirm our support for Israel.

Mr. Chairman, the 2024 regular budget request of $3.5 billion amounts to a 5% increase over last year’s budget. The U.S. will work with our Fifth Committee colleagues to scrutinize new funding requests and explore ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of ongoing programs.

Let me highlight a few priorities today:

First, the U.S. fully supports increasing resources for the protection and promotion of human rights – a fundamental pillar of the UN that disproportionately receives less funding than the development and peace and security pillars.

Second, in an era of constrained resources, all organizations must learn to do more with less. Emerging technology can improve productivity and decrease costs, so we encourage the UN to explore how new technologies like artificial intelligence can improve its work, for example, in translation services.

Third, we support the Secretary-General’s proposal to use assessed funding for peacebuilding activities, and we are committed to working with our colleagues to achieve a resolution of this issue.

Fourth, the United States supports a diverse workforce. The human resources resolution that we passed in March did just this by greatly expanding the number of posts where nationals from unrepresented and underrepresented member states that receive hiring preference. We are deeply disappointed that the ACABQ ignored this resolution and has instead used a different standard that has no definition or basis in General Assembly mandates.

Finally, it is unfortunate that the Committee for Programme and Coordination was unable to provide conclusions and recommendations for 10 program plans during its most recent session. We continue to emphasize that the purpose of the CPC is to ensure that mandates are being implemented properly. It is not a forum to change or delete mandates. We look forward to properly addressing programs that received conclusions and recommendations – as well as those that did not – in the Fifth Committee.

Thank you.