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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations
(10 November 2003)

2003/11/10



Mr. Chairman:

The Chinese delegation fully associate ourselves with the statement by the representative of Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

To meet the challenges of changing times and the requirements of a new situation, the Secretary General issued his report on strengthening the United Nations: an agenda for further change. This is a comprehensive reform plan that affects the full spectrum of UN entities and activities; it has received prominent attention among member states. GA resolution 57/300recognizesthe need to continue to improve and streamline the planning, programming and budgetary cycle of the Organization. As an important part of the agenda for comprehensive reform, the Secretary General put forward his report onimprovements to the current process of planning and budgeting. We believe that deliberations on this report will propel further progress in UN planning and budgeting reform.

UN budgetary reform is nothing new; it has evolved through a long process of continuous improvement and refining. The 55thGeneral Assembly adopted the resolution on results-based budgeting (RBB), marking the beginning of the reform of the methodology of the UN budgetary process. RBB calls for a new approach to management and greater accountability that accompanies the delegation of authorities to programme managers. We note further improvements in the use of RBB in the 2004-2005 programme budget with the addition of performance targets for the measurement of indicators of achievement, thus providing a better basis for measuring programme delivery. Of course the unique nature of the work of the United Nations should be fully taken into account as it evolves toward results-based management, and in the implementation of the 2004-05 budget, the UN has an opportunity for exploring new ideas and accumulating practical experience.

In addressing the question of UN programme planning and budgetary process, we should first identify problems that currently exist in the budgetary cycle and intergovernmental review before we set out to find solutions to them. In principle, we support streamlining the budgetary process and better alignment of the programme activities with the priorities set by the member states and the timely termination of ineffective outputs to optimize resource utilization. Intergovernmental bodies' deliberative and decision-making powers over programme planning, the budgetary level and resource allocation must not be compromised. Of course in order to avoid duplication and enhance efficiency, intergovernmental bodies can concentrate on their respective areas of competence in an appropriate division of labor. We support a greater role for the CPC in monitoring and evaluation. To help the member states gain a real feel for the proposal of the SG, we are in favor of setting up mock-ups, as suggested by the ACABQ.

Mr. Chairman:

Reform of UN programme planning and its budgetary system has a direct bearing on the Organization's ability and efficiency in fully and comprehensively implementing mandated programme activities; all member states therefore have a vital stake in its success. It should be an orderly and gradual process of continuous improvement and refining on the basis of taking into full consideration the views of the membership. We look forward to a useful and constructive exchange with all delegations on this question.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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