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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations - General Assembly, 2008 Working Group on Contingent-owned Equipment (New York, 4 February 2008)

Statement on behalf of the European Union by Major General Janez Slapar

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Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you for your election today. At the same time I also congratulate all Bureau members of the Working Group and all Chairpersons of the Sub-Working Groups elected today. Let me assure you that you can count on the support of the European Union.    

The 2008 Working group which starts its work today will carry out a comprehensive review of the Contingent-Owned Equipment system, as per formats established by the Phase V Working Group. The current rates of reimbursement are those agreed by Fifth Committee in 2001 on the recommendation of the so called »post-phase V working group«. The European Union acknowledges that there has been no change in the rates of reimbursement since then. Nevertheless, the EU is willing to preserve the principles of the current system (which is organizing reimbursement for services requested by the UN, rather than for specific pieces of equipment provided by TCCs). The European Union is ready to consider modest change this year for pieces of equipment where a change can be clearly justified. 

In that regard, we feel that the fact that we are this year considering national cost data in the “comprehensive review format” will considerably facilitate our discussions. It is our view that the use of the “triennial methodology” at the last Working Group was one of the principal reasons why it was impossible to reach any consensus on reimbursement rates. So, while the “comprehensive review format” is itself far from perfect, an agreement at this Working Group that future Working Groups should all use the “comprehensive review format” would be a significant step in the right direction.

The work of the 2008 Working Group will be conducted in three Sub-Working Groups, Major Equipment, Self-Sustainment and Medical Support Service. The Member States of the European Union will be engaged constructively in all three Sub-Working Groups. We look forward to considering all of the issue papers before us. We intend to look at each issue on its own merits, addressing genuine problems where they exist, and working where possible to find cost-effective solutions that meet with consensus. In doing so, it will be important to bear in mind and uphold the principles on which the current system is rightly based.

Mr. Chairman,

The European Union reaffirms its strong support to peacekeeping as a core function within the United Nations for helping to deliver conflict resolution and sustainable peace. We would like to see the operations further to be able to accomplish their mandates utilizing the resources set at their disposal in the most efficient way.

I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to troop contributing countries. Without the ongoing and reliable commitment of these countries and their troops, peacekeeping would be an impossible endeavour. I would like also to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in maintaining peace under the UN Flag.

Mr. Chairman,

Once again, the European Union is committed to the efficient functioning of peacekeeping operations and we will be engaged constructively in the work of the 2008 COE Working Group. We do hope that the Group will be able to complete its work by consensus.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.


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Date: 11.02.2008