2006.06.05: Mandate Review at Informal Plenary of the General Assembly

H.E. Ambassador Cho Hyun, Deputy Permanent Representative

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

1. My delegation commends the efforts of the Co-Chairs and the Secretariat in compiling a concise and reader-friendly summary of the proposals for mandate review. We also appreciate the three addendums containing the Secretariat’s suggestions for expanding the Mandate Registry and consolidating reporting and listing UN observance days, years and decades. We believe that this informal paper provides a good basis for our further discussion of the important issue of mandate review.

Mr. Chairman,

2. The next crucial step is coming quickly to agreement on how to proceed so that we maintain the momentum for reform. As we stated previously in the general debate, my delegation believes that a good approach might be to sort out the proposals that are most agreeable, easiest to implement and least political in nature, taking action on those proposals first. We can focus on specific proposals immediately and save broader proposals for a later stage. In this regard, we believe that the largely technical and non-political issue of reporting requirements could be a good starting point for discussion.

3. Nevertheless, we believe that the whole timeline for mandate review should be agreed now. That way, Member States will have a complete picture of the mandate review process. A timeline will also help to sustain momentum and discourage any extended delays. In terms of developing such a timeline, we believe that the Co-Chairs could first consult with Member States, then propose a timeline or roadmap for future discussion.

Mr. Chairman,

4. I would now like to make comments on several specific issues.

5. My delegation agrees with the proposal to expand the Mandate Registry. We hope to see this proposal implemented at an early date. We also support making mandate review a regular process.

6. We are, in principal, in favour of the Secretariat’s suggestions regarding reporting requirements. This area is one in which we can achieve real progress with effective implementation fairly quickly if there is a strong will on the part of Member States to do so. We believe that this early success would enhance our confidence in the reform process and help to move mandate review forward.

7. We believe that a key aspect of reporting reform will be ensuring that each core or consolidated report incorporates the delicate differences among the various relevant resolutions and mandates. Since consolidated reports will be used in various forums, the timing of issuance will be another important matter to consider. In addition, we believe that the future mandates and resolutions should take into account the kind of report that we are considering now. We also support the idea of eventually replacing the current system of printed reports with web-based reporting.

8. While these specific concerns will need to be addressed, my delegation is confident that a consolidated approach to reporting will be helpful in a number of ways. First of all, there is the time and money that will be saved, which can be invested in more worthwhile activities. Indeed, we would appreciate a more detailed analysis of the potential time and money savings from improving reporting requirements.

9. Secondly, broader-based reports will provide more comprehensive views of the many multifaceted issues we face, deepening our understanding of the issues. This clearer perspective will help us to find more effective solutions, thus strengthening the UN’s work overall.

10. Turning to international observances, we agree that there is a need to reduce their number significantly. To do so, we should agree on a set of basic principles and criteria for deciding which observances to keep and which to eliminate.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.