STATEMENT OF THE G-77 AND CHINA AT THE SIXTEENTH RECONVENED
SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 29-30 NOVEMBER
2007 DELIVERED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR SAYED ELAMIN, PR OF SUDAN
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and I am pleased to convey to you our pleasure in seeing you presiding over the 16th reconvened session of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Commission (CCPCJ). I also take this opportunity to thank the Secretariat for the preparation of this resumed session and particularly for the preparation of the consolidated budget document.
The Group would like to make some preliminary observations on the main item of the agenda for this session, that is, the consolidated budget of UNODC for the biennium 2008-2009.
The Group of 77 and China welcomes the adoption of result-based budgeting by UNODC in its consolidated budget for the biennium 2008-2009, and the harmonization of the consolidated budget with sections 16 and 28F of the proposed programme of the United Nations budget. The Group also welcomes the incorporation of the UNODC medium term strategy into the consolidated budget for the biennium 2008-2009. The Group requests the Executive Director to include in future budget documents a glossary of budget terminology to make it easier for delegations to understand the technical terminology used for the budget.
The Group notes that the regular consolidated budget has increased by about 6% over the previous biennia. We share the concern about the continuous increase in the share of earmarked funds and the decrease of the general purpose and programme support costs funds as indicated in the Consolidated Budget for the biennium 2008-2009. The over-reliance on extra-budgetary resources and in particular earmarked funding has led to highly fragmented, unpredictable, constrained funding patterns, and encouraged duplication and inefficiency. In addition, it limits the UNODC ability to make strategic decisions and leads to donor priorities rather than multilateral mandates determining the actions of UNODC, which undermines country ownership. Therefore, the Group of 77 and China reiterates the importance of providing UNODC with sufficient and predictable funding and determining technical assistance programs in accordance with national and regional priorities.
The Group reiterates that the core activities of UNODC should be funded from the regular budget. While not discouraging provision of voluntary funding to the UNODC, there should not be heavy reliance on the extra-budgetary resources to finance the core activities.
The Group of 77 and China takes note of the continuous expansion of the crime prevention and criminal justice programmes and requests the Executive Director to continue his efforts in order to provide these programmes with adequate funding to fulfill the priorities agreed by Member States, in particular in the field of technical assistance for the implementation of relevant conventions and protocols.
The Group of 77 and China has noted the findings of the Independent Evaluation Unit, OIOS and the ACBAQ and substantially agree with their findings, particularly relating to the Field Offices (FO). The Group of 77 and China agrees with the Independent Evaluation Unit report that the UNODC does not really accommodate the evolution, operations and growth of Field offices. They tend to operate as add-ons to the organization and seem to have evolved much outside the organization and overall culture of UNODC headquarters.
The Group of 77 agrees with the Independent Evaluation Unit that the UNODC does not have a coherent strategy for supporting Field offices to develop projects and raise funds for their implementation. Divisions and Field offices within the Organization tend to compete for funds from the same group of donors. There is a lack of synergy between the fund raising efforts of the Field offices and those of headquarters.
The Group of 77 and China notes with concern the statement of the Independent Evaluation Unit that most of the Field offices have "survived" because they have been innovative and responsive to some of the constraints to their operations and that the headquarters bureaucracy has not always supported their innovations. This is indeed an unfortunate situation and we urge the headquarters bureaucracy to be far more responsive and pro-active to the needs of those innovative field offices that are doing commendable jobs, despite constraints.
The Group of 77 and China also note with concern that the UNODC does not have a strategy for building the human resources base of its Field offices. Field offices and Human Resources Management Section (HRMS) have not really identified long term staffing needs, nor have they put in place a strategy for acquiring and retaining the best available expertise. HRMS has not provided the necessary leadership, guidance and support to field offices to ensure that their staffing needs are met. Staffing is managed on an ad hoc basis around short term needs without a long term focus.
In the light of these findings, the Group of 77 and China agrees with the Independent Evaluation Unit recommendations that UNODC should:
- Review and reform its organizational and communication mechanisms,
- Streamline responsibilities and accountability between Field Offices and Headquarters,
- Urgently take a decision and clarify the roles and responsibilities of Human Resources Management Section (HRMS) and Field Offices in relation to the implementation of projects and provision of technical expertise to Member States.
- Review Field offices staffing needs and design a long-term capacity-building strategy,
- Design a comprehensive strategy for fund raising that secures stable and predictable funding in support of field offices as the major vehicle by which the Organization delivers technical assistance to Member states. Further, provide training and seed money to field staff to enable them to raise funds more effectively.
The G-77 and China expresses its deep concern that UNODC headquarter has not observed equitable geographical distribution in recruiting its staff, especially for senior professional and directorate levels. Therefore, the Group requests the Executive Director to pay due regard to the importance of recruiting staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, particularly from developing countries.
The Group of 77 and China strongly urges UNODC to decentralize decision-making authority to Field Offices and to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Field offices and headquarters. In this context, the Group welcomes the decision that for the biennium 2008-2009, 60 percent of the projected resources will be expended at field offices and 40 percent at the UNODC headquarters, compared with a distribution of 55 percent and 45 percent respectively for the biennium 2006-2007.
The Group of 77 and China notes the statement of the OIOS that the UNODC does not exercise caution whenever new mandates are accepted and those projects are accepted without appropriate analysis of resources implications and it does not have a prioritization scheme to effectively deliver on the approved programme of work. It is significant to note that the OIOS attempted to obtain clarity on the amount and complexity of the new mandates given to UNODC and some resource estimates to cover the needs for those mandated activities including core functions, which are claimed to be implemented with extra-Budgetary resources. However, UNODC did not have such information and analysis available and it was unclear what core functions or additional mandates did not have enough resources. The Group of 77 and China hopes that now that we have all agreed on a Medium Term Strategy document for the UNODC, the organization will be able to clearly focus on its core mandates and set aside adequate budgetary allocations for the same.
The Group of 77 and China notes the statement of the OIOS with concern that while the funding situation was precarious prior to 2004, not enough efforts have been made to redress the situation.
The Group strongly endorses the OIOIS recommendation that any decision to close down regional offices should be based on the regional needs, wider consultation
and analysis of the strategic and programmatic variables necessary to achieve UNODC goals in order to avoid gaps in support to Member States requests.
The Group of 77 and China urges the UNODC to be realistic about where its work can achieve the greatest impact. It also urges the UNODC to clarify its internal roles, take stock of its comparative advantages, strengthen and rationalize the Field Offices network to deliver the technical assistance programme in order for it to become a centre of excellence on its fields of mandate.
The Group of 77 and China believes that the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Commission should refocus its attention to its main role as the governing body of UNODC in crime related matters and requests the Executive Director to provide annual periodic reports to the Commission on:
Ways and means to improve the financial situation of UNODC, including the situation of the field offices.
The programs and initiatives that will be implemented by UNODC for the biennia 2008-2011 and how they conform with the medium term strategy of UNODC, as reflected in the strategic framework.
The Group of 77 and China stresses the importance of implementing the Medium Term Strategy of UNODC in a balanced manner and requests that programs should be formulated to implement the different aspects of the strategy without concentrating on only one or two aspects of it.
The Group of 77 and China requests the Executive Director to provide a detailed account of the exemptions and reductions provided to donors from the 13% programme support cost during the past 3 years, and the basis for such exemptions and discounts.
The Group of 77 and China expresses its concern with regard to the lack of sufficient resources for the General Purpose Fund and its effects on the operational aspects of UNODC structure. In this regard, the G-77 and China requests that any structural reorganization in UNODC and particularly in its operational sector should be done in consultation with and approval of Member States. The Group calls upon the Executive Director to ensure that this process takes into account the needs and priorities of each region.
The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate its objection to the inclusion of phrases like "subject to extra-budgetary resources" and "within existing resources'' in resolutions. This practice violates, among others, General Assembly resolutions 41/213, 42/211 and 45/248 B; for they clearly state that the "Fifth Committee is the appropriate Main Committee of the General Assembly entrusted with responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters". The CND should refrain from the inclusion of such phrases in its decisions and resolutions.
The use of these phrases impedes the budget proposals of the Secretary-General from reflecting the resource levels commensurate with UNODC's mandates and hinders their full, efficient and effective implementation. Thus, we keep witnessing a zero growth in the regular budget entitled to UNODC, a tendency that does not correspond to the fact that drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice programmes have been growing exponentially and have also been included within the eight priority areas of the work of the United Nations since 1998.
The Group of 77 and China calls on Member States to pay due attention to the concerns expressed by the ACABQ about the use of such phrases in resolutions, especially because of their negative impact on the implementation of activities and the use of resources.
The Group of 77 and China requests the Secretariat of UNODC to present in a report a list of all resolutions adopted during the previous five years with particular emphasis on resolutions, whose mandates have not been implemented due to the lack of resources.
The Group of 77 and China, taking into account ECOSOC resolution 2007/12 and the observations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination at its Forty-seventh session, stresses the importance of incorporating the UNODC Medium Term Strategy into the 2010-2011 Strategic Framework. This would enable UNODC to indicate to Member States the resources needed to design and implement the corresponding activities and to ensure that these resources are utilized according to the Strategic Framework.
Mr. Chairman, these are our preliminary comments, and we have presented 3 paragraphs to the secretariat to include in the draft resolution. The Group looks forward to working with you and the Member States during the reconvened session.