Statement at the Conclusion of the First Resumed 73rd General Assembly

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
April 5, 2019


Thank you, Madam Chair.

My delegation would like to express its sincere gratitude to you for your continued leadership as Chair of this Committee. This Committee continues to benefit greatly from your wisdom and guidance in facilitating important and responsible decisions. Thank you as well to Ms. Sharon Van Buerle and her team as well as those Secretariat officials who helped facilitate our discussions.

Madam Chair, at the outset of this session, my delegation highlighted the opportunity before this Committee to help make the UN a more nimble, responsive, and accountable organization, and one that can better deliver on its mandates. We are grateful to all delegations for their commitment to achieving progress on some of these important agenda items this session, including my own team. Unfortunately, we did not achieve consensus on all matters, and we look forward to continuing those discussions at the appropriate time.

Effective implementation of UN reform is not possible without a robust internal accountability system. Fittingly, this Committee reaffirmed its commitment to a strengthened accountability framework by highlighting results-based management initiatives, the value of the newly-created Business Transformation and Accountability Division, and improved senior managers’ compacts. The Committee additionally expressed its support for the Joint Inspection Unit and encouraged the participating organizations to meaningfully engage the Unit on its work.

Nevertheless, our work was not without its challenges. We regret that the Committee was unable to take a decision on a key reform to establish an appropriate number of shared service centers. The United States will continue to push for this reform and for realization of the associated efficiencies and cost savings. My delegation further regrets that the Committee could not reach consensus in improving the UN’s travel policies that perpetuate the outdated practice of first class travel for a number of UN officials. As the JIU and ACABQ has indicated, first class travel has no place in the UN. We look forward to correcting this measure, along with establishing a single threshold that produces efficiency and cost-savings for the Organization at the next opportunity.

In terms of positive outcomes though, this Committee managed to find common ground in several important areas, including responsible resourcing decisions in support of Security Council mandates for two new Special Political Missions, the UN Mission to Support to Hodeidah Agreement in Yemen and the Somalia Panel of Experts. Although we regret that the Committee did not grant the Secretary-General his request in full, we also ensured continued funding for the UN Monitoring Mechanism in Syria to provide life-saving humanitarian relief. This budget decision should in no way be interpreted as lack of support for the Monitoring Mechanism in implementing all aspects of its mandate. The United States underscores its unequivocal support for the Mechanism and its efforts in facilitating cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid, as authorized under Security Council resolution 2449.

As we conclude this session, we know that the second resumed session is just around the corner, where we will take up important items related to the resourcing of UN peacekeeping. In this regard, we encourage the ACABQ to continue to take a technical approach to the Secretary-General’s proposals, as called for by in its mandate, and to produce its reports as expeditiously as possible so that we can conduct our work in a timely and orderly fashion.

Madam Chair, in closing, my delegation would like to reiterate its gratitude to you and your able team for the leadership and support that made these outcomes possible. I thank you very much.