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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations - General Assembly: Item 126. Review of efficiency - Procurement (New York)

Statement on behalf of the European Union by Ms Mateja Bizilj, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations

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Mr Chairman,

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

The candidate countries Turkey, Croatia[1] and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.

At the outset, let me thank the Chief of the Procurement Service, Mr Paul Buades for introducing the Comprehensive report on United Nations procurement activities and comments of the Secretary-General on the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, Ms Inga Britt Ahlenius for introducing the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the audit of the application of the best value for money principle in United Nations procurement. Let me also thank the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), Ms Susan McLurg for presentation of related report.


Mr Chairman,

As you might recall, the European Union has always been supportive of the management reform process of the Organization. Procurement represents for us one of the crucial parts of that reform, in order to create a more effective, efficient and well-functioning Organization. Due to the steep increase in procurement activities in recent years, strategic function of procurement poses new risks and technical challenges for the Organization. For this reason, the strict policy regarding procurement must be transparent as well as efficient in the context of the four general principles governing procurement in the United Nations.

We have carefully studied the comprehensive report in front of us and we welcome the information provided to us about the status of implementation of the procurement reform. At the same time, we look forward to the announced report on Procurement Governance due at second resumed session in 2008, which is expected to address all remaining issues requested by resolutions of the General Assembly.

We believe reforming procurement is a very challenging task and in this respect we appreciate the work Secretariat has done so far in implementing the reform requirements, inter alia the measures regarding improvements of internal control, increased training, progress in implementation of best-value-for-money principle, progress in areas of ethics, independent bid protest system and vendor registration. Nevertheless, there still exists space for further improvements in the function of procurement in the Secretariat. We are also looking forward to seek more information during informal consultations.

We would like to thank ACABQ for the recommendations and observations it has expressed in its report. We have carefully reviewed them and we think they present a good basis for our discussion.

We take note of the report of the OIOS on the audit of the application of the best value for money principle in United Nations procurement and we also note the work Secretariat has done so far in this area. As the OIOS report and the note by the Secretary-General were issued during last session, we would welcome an update on the current status of implementation of the OIOS recommendations.

We are ready to seek additional information during the informal consultations and we are looking forward to having a constructive dialogue on the procurement reform with all other delegations in order to achieve a positive outcome of our negotiations.

I thank you Mr Chairman.

[1] Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association process.


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Date: 12.03.2008