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Statements in International Organisations


OSCE - Permanent Council No. 705: EU statement on the adoption of the 2008 Unified Budget (Vienna)

EU statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Stanislav Raščan

The EU welcomes the adoption of the 2008 Unified Budget and wishes to thank the Finnish Chairmanship for its tireless efforts that have led to this result.

As the main contributor to the budget of the OSCE, the EU deeply regrets that this year, once again, the participating States were not able to agree on the Unified Budget on time.

The EU has noted that the overall figures of the 2008 Unified Budget are considerably below the level of the 2007 Unified Budget.

Nevertheless, we have agreed with the overall numbers in a spirit of compromise, bearing in mind the need to provide the organisation with resources that are commensurate with its programmatic priorities so as to ensure the OSCE’s proper functioning and effective programme delivery. Our agreement to these numbers does not indicate any diminution in the importance that we attach to the activities that will receive less funding than last year. We will carefully assess the impact that reducing the level of the budget has in 2008 and will approach the next round of Unified Budget negotiations accordingly.

Whilst the EU is concerned that some of the proposals for budget increases could not be agreed upon, we are nevertheless pleased that there have been additional resources allocated to activities organised by field operations in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, at the request of the host countries. We welcome the allocation of new resources and staff positions in Georgia and in Moldova. We also welcome the additional funds allocated within the Secretariat to activities such as border security, combating trafficking in human beings, gender issues, and anti-terrorism activities. It is disappointing that the overall resources allocated to ODIHR have been reduced, especially in the area of election observation.

We look forward to playing an active part in further discussions this year, notably within the context of the Programme Outline exercise, on further prioritisation across the organisation. We are also committed to supporting efforts to resolve the outstanding issues relating to Financial Regulations, as well as local taxation, and to participating in further deliberations on a compensation policy for local staff.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate the Chairperson of the ACMF on the adoption of the 2008 Unified Budget. The EU wishes to extend its warmest thanks to Katja Pehrman and her colleagues for their unstinting efforts to bring this process to a successful conclusion. We also wish to express our thanks to the Secretariat, especially the Department of Management and Finance, and to the Institutions and Field Operations for their hard work on the budget.

The candidate countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, the European Free Trade Association country and member of the European Economic Area Iceland, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process


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Date: 16.05.2008