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Statement by Ms. Wang Xinxia, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of China to the UN on the agenda item 125: the Pattern of Conferences
(13 October 2003)

2003/10/13


Mr. Chairman,

First of all, the Chinese delegation would like to thank the Chairman of the Committee on Conferences for his introduction of the relevant report.We would also like to thank the USG for General Assembly and Conference Management, Mr. Chen Jian, and the Chairman of the ACABQ, Ambassador Mselle, for their introductions.We endorse the statement of Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.In addition, we would like to emphasize the following:

We have noted that the overall utilization rate of conference service resources in 2002 was 75%, a slight increase over 2001.The percentage of meetings of regional and other major groupings provided with interpretation service was 92%.We know that the provision of interpretation services to these meetings is made according to the established practice and on an ad hoc basis, by utilizing resources released from the cancellation of scheduled calendar meetings. Under these circumstances, the 92% rate achieved by the Department represents quite a feat.

The Chinese delegation takes a great interest in the reform measures of the Department and their implementation.We are pleased to note that, for the furtherance of the Secretary General's 1997 reform initiative to integrate technical secretariat support with conference services, the Department has adopted proactive managerial policies and working methods, with a view to achieving full system benefits and established a mechanism with a sound structure, so as to ensure the implementation of inter-related reform measures in an effective and sustainable manner, improved coordination, optimised the work flow, readjusted internal resources and the organizational structure and increased the use of IT tobetter provide high quality conference services to Member States.My delegation commends and supports these efforts of the Department, and hopes the reform measures initiated by the SG in 1997 with regard to the integrated conference services and management will be reflected in the programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005.

The late issuance of documents has long been a matter of concern among the Member States.To solve this issue, DGACM has tried a lot of ideas and made a lot of efforts.This year, the Department started to implement the "slotting system" on a

trial basis.A preliminary evaluation shows that author departments are gaining a greater understanding of the system.We hope that, with the cooperation and support of the various departments concerned, the aforementioned issue can be solved effectively.Concerning the implementation of the restrictions and guidelines on the length of documents, we have learned that, 90% of the reports originating in the Secretariat in the first five months of this year respected the established page limit.

With regard to the workload standards now applied to translators, we understand that these date back to 1975.Today, with the widespread use of new and advanced technologies, the continued relevance of these standards needs to be reviewed.We support the establishment of a task force in this department to carry out a comprehensive study of all the major language related functions, with a view to redressing the shortcomings in the existing workload standards.We also note that DGACM is exploring the incorporation of the degree of satisfaction among the delegates into the system of performance evaluation and management. The idea is to poll the opinions of the Member States about the quality of translation/interpretation through survey and regular meetings with the delegations.We hope these measures can really create incentives for the language staff to improve their quality of work.

In this first year of DGACM's implementation of its reform programme, the Department has taken major steps to overhaul its management concept and working methods and has achieved tangible results.We believe that as long as the Department continues on this right path, it will build on its achievements to accomplish greater results.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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