Ambassador Chris Lu
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
New York, New York
May 3, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Chairman
At the outset, the U.S. delegation recognizes the men and women who serve in uniform and as civilians in United Nations operations around the world. We especially pay honor to those who have given their lives in the cause of peace. Yet, even as we consider resources for peacekeeping missions during this session, we cannot forget the tragedy occurring in Ukraine right now because of Russia’s unprovoked aggression.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to start by thanking the Secretariat staff and Donna-Marie Maxfield, Vice-Chair of the ACABQ, for producing their respective reports. I would also like to thank Lionel Berridge, his team, and the interpreters who support our negotiations. Let me also join my colleagues from the EU and ASEAN in their comments on the need to find the right balance between in-person and remote meetings during this resumed session.
UN peacekeeping plays a vital role in creating the space and trust necessary to find political solutions where threats to international peace and security exist. The Fifth Committee’s role is to provide policy guidance and resources to allow these missions to efficiently and effectively carry out the mandates established by the Security Council. We are therefore deeply concerned that this Committee has been unable to adopt a cross-cutting policy resolution since the 70th General Assembly, even as the landscape of UN peacekeeping has changed in the last six years, with many critical issues requiring our attention. We thus strongly support discussing all cross-cutting policy issues within the context of a cross-cutting resolution.
We are also carefully examining the Secretary-General’s budget request of $6.5 billion. We will closely review the assumptions that feed into the SG’s budget proposal to see if they are valid. We will also carefully examine the ACABQ’s recommendations, and note that in past sessions, the ACABQ chair has been available during Q&A sessions to explain the rationale for his committee’s recommendations. We also believe that we should discuss peacekeeping missions holistically rather than mission by mission and that we should avail ourselves of Secretariat expertise on mission distribution.
In addition to peacekeeping operation policy and budgets, we will also discuss the quadrennial rates of reimbursement for troops contributed to peacekeeping operations. General Assembly Resolution 67/261 on the reimbursement rates for troops remains a watershed agreement that strengthens the peacekeeping partnership. We thank the Secretariat staff and the troop-contributing countries that contributed to the survey as we study the results to determine whether an increase is justified.
This session we will also consider special measures for preventing sexual exploitation and abuse. The United States reaffirms its commitment to a zero-tolerance policy, a survivor-centered response, accountability, especially for senior management, and prevention measures that attack the root causes of SEA. We also positively affirm zero-tolerance for sexual harassment. Every member of our diverse UN community should feel safe in their workplace with full confidence in a system that will hold perpetrators at all seniority levels accountable for their actions.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.