2006.04.26: The Report of the Secretary-General Entitled “Mandating and Delivering: Analysis and Recommendations to Facilitate the Review of Mandates”

H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, Deputy Permanent Representative, at Informal Consultations of the Plenary of the General Assembly

Mr. Chairman,

1. I would like to join others in thanking the Co-Chairs for convening this informal consultation to review the mandates in the areas of international peace and security and disarmament. My delegation hopes that this mandate review process will shed light on ways to implement existing tasks more effectively, as well as on means to improve our work in the future.

Mr. Chairman,

2. According to the Mandate Registry, there are 652 mandates in the area of disarmament, accounting for around 7 percent of the 9,019 mandates overall. Of these, 599, or 92 percent, are more than five years old and have been renewed in the last five years. There are only 40 disarmament mandates newer than five years, or 6 percent of the total, well below the average of 23 percent in all areas.

3. That the bulk of disarmament mandates are older than five years with periodic renewal could be a testament to the fact that disarmament issues are usually long-term. Like reaching agreement on disarmament mandates, implementing them is often a drawn-out process. Nevertheless, we need to pool our wisdom to deal squarely with overlapping and repeated mandates, as well as those that do not require any specific action.

4. With regard to the Secretary-General’s recommendations on disarmament mandates, my delegation would like to make a few observations.

5. First, we agree with the Secretary-General’s recommendation to take up issues connected to current situations more frequently than those of a general and thematic nature and to biennialize or triennialize reporting requirements with regard to the latter. Considering that some disarmament mandates are overlapping or repetitive, there is a great deal of room for improving efficiency by doing so. In this regard, my delegation would like to recognize the First Committee’s efforts to improve its working methods by biennializing or triennializing its agenda items, particularly the adoption of resolution 59/42 on improving the working methods of the First Committee.

6. Second, with regard to review of the implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, my delegation believes that it is important to take a balanced approach to this issue within the broad context of regional security, and also with due consideration to its budgetary aspects.

7. Third, regarding the expert panel on missiles, we believe that all possible approaches should be considered, including those suggested in the Secretary-General’s report, in order to facilitate more constructive discussions of this issue.

8. Fourth, my delegation shares the view that there is a need to utilize the experience and expertise of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). As the Secretary-General suggested, maintenance of its roster of trained technical experts is one means of doing so.

9. Turning to international peace and security, the Mandate Registry shows that there are currently 1,573 active mandates in this area, 66 percent of which are older than five years. It seems that some of these active mandates are no longer crisis-driven and have been renewed somewhat automatically, without serious review for possible termination.

10. We share the view that reports on situations that are no longer crisis-driven could be rationalized, while reports to various organs on the same issues could be consolidated. As the Secretary-General rightly pointed out, consolidating reports on different aspects of the same issue into a single, comprehensive report would give Member States a more complete picture of the situation and enable all organs concerned to take more effective action.

11. The creation of the Peacebuilding Commission is expected to help harmonize various mandates covering development as well as peace and security. Furthermore, a review of operational mandates issued by various organs for a specific country can help to create one common strategy for that country through the rationalization of all relevant mandates.

Mr. Chairman,

12. We agree with the Secretary-General that to ensure the effective implementation of mandates, they should be issued only after full consideration of the resources available. Such consideration would entail a comprehensive mechanism for the regular evaluation of the implementation of each mandate. The results of such evaluations would then serve as the basis of decisions on whether to continue or terminate each mandate, increase or decrease the resources allotted, or otherwise modify the parameters. Taking this approach would help to ensure that our commitments are credible and that mandates issued by the principal organs of the United Nations will have a real effect on the issues they address.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.