Ambassador Patrick F. Kennedy
Senior Advisor for UN Management and Reform
New York, New York
June 29, 2021
Let me start off by congratulating you, Ambassador Amorín, for your able chairmanship of the Fifth Committee. My delegation would also like to thank all members of the Bureau and the Fifth Committee Secretariat for their tremendous work during a challenging negotiating environment that required us to meet virtually for a second year in a row. I wish to recognize the continued strong support and engagement from our partners in the UN Secretariat, in particular Under-Secretary-General Pollard, Assistant-Secretary-General Ramanathan, and Director Van de Perre, Director of Field Operations Finance Division.
My delegation would like to reiterate the commitment of the United States to the uniformed and civilian women and men who continue to risk their lives in peacekeeping operations around the world. The Fifth Committee supports international peace and security by ensuring that peacekeeping operations are effective and efficient at meeting their mandates, including protecting and promoting human rights, among other important mandates.
We have approved a $6.38 billion budget for 11 active missions, three support entities, and one mission in drawdown, representing a $23 million reduction from the ACABQ level and $84 million below the level proposed by the Secretary-General.
We were unable to adopt a cross-cutting policy resolution this session, instead opting to put policy language in all the mission budgets. My delegation would like to reconsider this approach and work towards adopting a cross cutting resolution next year. Policy language is important because we cannot overcome the challenges facing peacekeeping with resources alone.
Nonetheless, we are pleased to call attention to the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, recognizing that full implementation of the agenda by peacekeeping missions contributes to sustainable peace and political solutions. We are also pleased to again highlight the Comprehensive Performance Assessment System and look forward to more robust impact-based performance indicators and the resources required for each mandated task.
Mr. Chair, I must note that this Committee requires each and every one of us to negotiate in good faith, to respect agreements when they have been reached, and to honor the commitments we make to one another. Trust allows this Committee to operate and to reach consensus-based
agreements. When a budgetary figure or a policy paragraph is agreed upon by all groups, that agreement should be honored, and not reneged upon later if a delegation feels that it did not achieve its goals in a separate agenda item. Nor should we weaponize ACABQ – our landing zone is always the broadest possible consensus.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the delegates and Secretariat staff for the hard work and long hours invested towards outcomes of this session by delegates and Secretariat staff. The Fifth Committee again conducted its work virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we worked together to achieve consensus on many shared priorities.
Lastly, I would like to wish all our departing Fifth Committee colleagues the very best in their next ventures, including two of my own staff, and I wish everyone a happy and healthy summer.