Statement at the Review of Efficiency – Review of the Changes to the Budgetary Cycle

Jake Sherman
Minister Counselor
UN Management and Reform
New York, New York
November 28, 2022


Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Under Secretary-General Pollard, and Mr. Bachar Bong.

My delegation strongly supports the Secretary-General’s management reforms. This session we will review the implementation of the annual budget cycle, which has enabled the Organization to respond more quickly to needs on the ground. While improvements can be made to the annual budget process, we cannot revert back to a biennial budget if we intend to move this Organization into the 21st Century and ensure it can effectively respond to existing and future global challenges.

As the Secretary-General’s report on the budgetary cycle makes clear, there are substantial benefits that have been realized over the three years of the trial period – benefits that provide a sound basis to make permanent the annual budget without delay.

First, program managers are more engaged in a results-oriented culture that contributes to more effective mandate implementation. We agree, as does the ACABQ, that there should be a strong culture of responsibility and accountability, which also ensures compliance with regulations and rules, as well as achievement of results. Based on the briefings we’ve received and the report of the Secretary-General, we understand the positive impression the annualized budget has had on program managers, who better see the link between the budget and the results they are working to achieve.

Second, the annual budget enables the UN to adjust more quickly to new mandates and evolving demands and conditions in a rapidly changing world. The Organization was undoubtedly better able to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with a more agile planning and budgetary process.

Third, the format of the annual program budget promotes greater transparency and accountability. This gives us, the Member States, a clearer picture of where our resources are being utilized and how they are making a difference.

And finally, the comprehensiveness of the annual program budget enables the General Assembly to visualize the linkage between performance and plans, and between resources and results, which allows us to make more informed decisions on the budget.

In our view, the sequential nature of the proposed program budget review processes has been preserved. As noted, there are always improvements that can be made to further streamline and fine-tune this process, and we are willing to have those conversations. However, any discussion on sequencing should be based on the fact that Secretary-General’s annual budget reforms are the only rational path forward for this Organization – reforms should be improved upon, not undone.

We look forward to engaging with other delegations to ensure a suitable path forward for the Organization.

Thank you.