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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations General Assembly: Item 125. Financial & Board of Auditors reports

Statement on behalf of the European Union by Mr Borut Blaj, Third Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations


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Thank you 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, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.

The European Union would like to thank the Board of Auditors and the Chairman of the ACABQ for presenting us with their reports on the United Nations peacekeeping operations for 2006/07.

First of all, we would like to join the ACABQ in commending the BoA on the quality of its report.

Mr. Chairman,

We note with some concern that the BoA has issued a modified audit opinion with two emphases of matter related to respectively unliquidated obligations and expandable and non-expandable property. Both issues have been raised by the BoA in previous reports, and in this regard, the European Union can only but stress once again the importance of implementation of the Board's recommendations. We welcome the information provided by the BoA on previous recommendations, as well as the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of recommendations including information on responsible departments, status, level of priority and target date. At the same time, we call upon the Secretariat to implement outstanding recommendations, especially those of high priority and those which are 'ageing'.

The EU also last year expressed our concern on the number of cancellations of prior-year unliquidated obligations, and we share the concerns of the BoA and ACABQ that this might be indicative of an overstatement of expenditures in previous years.

With regard to inadequate record-keeping of expandable and non-expandable property, this is not only of concern to the EU due to the related risk of financial loss to the Organization, but also in the context of the preparation for the implementation of IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards). There is no question that the implementation of IPSAS will be quite a challenge, and the need to plan ahead and start preparations should not be underestimated.

In addition to the above, the EU will pay close attention to a number of the many pertinent issues the BoA has raised in its report. This includes procurement and contract management, vehicle fleet management, air transportation, the integrated mission planning process, and the high vacancy rate for resident auditors.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, with regard to the financial situation, the EU is concerned about the total outstanding assessed contributions for the period 2006/07 in the amount of 1.26 billion USD, including 697 million USD for the active missions. Compared to 2005/06, the level has remained almost unchanged, and the persistent negative impact on cash flows is obvious. It is of the utmost importance that all Member States pay their contributions in full, on time and without conditions, in order for peacekeeping operations to fully carry out their mandates.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman


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


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Date: 20.05.2008