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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
Permanent Representative

on Agenda Item 130: Proposed Programme Budget for the Biennium 2008-2009

62nd Session of the General Assembly
26 October 2007

Mr. Chairman,

Since this is the first time the Philippines is taking the floor in the Fifth Committee, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you for assuming the Chairmanship of this powerful Committee and wish you and your Bureau members every success as you manage this body, the keeper of the purse of the Organization and the guardian of the lifeblood of its existence.

My delegation also thanks H.E. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for presenting his proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009 and extends its appreciation to ACABQ Chairman Rajat Saha for introducing the ACABQ’s report on the budget.

The Philippines expresses its full solidarity with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

The Philippines firmly believes that the budget is not just a compilation or summary of numbers. It is actually a very important document and as a fiscal blueprint, it lays down the policies, strategies and actions the Organization will take, once approved by the General Assembly. In this regard, my delegation would like to highlight the following issues of specific interest:

First, balance should be maintained in the program budget for items relating to the three intertwined and indivisible pillars of the United Nations – the promotion of peace, development and human rights. We have already seen a lot of proposals for peace and security and human rights. There is, however, a striking inadequacy in the field of development.

We reiterate the urgent need to augment the U.N.’s capacity to implement fully and faithfullythe development agenda as a major priority, especially in view of the development-related processes which will take place in 2008. In view of this, my delegation welcomes the Secretary-General’s statement that he will reinforce work on South-South issues with the full involvement of DESA, UNCTAD and the regional commissions. We view this as a positive response to G-77’s call for the comprehensive strengthening of the development and economic machinery of the U.N. We expect to receive as soon as possible the Secretary-General’s proposals for allocation of adequate resources for the enhancement of development-related programs in the current budget.

Second, we cannot but overemphasize attention to the development pillar. That is why my delegation shares the G-77 & China’s concern over efforts to consolidate activities within the U.N. system which diminish their development component. We hope current reorganization efforts in the U.N. Secretariat, particularly in DESA’s Division handling the disability program, do not narrow down or concentrate activities to a particular pillar, at the others’ expense or downgrading.

Third, my delegation recognizes that conference scheduling and servicing constitute the main bulk of daily operations of the United Nations. We acknowledge the efforts of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) in improving its performance and output. We look forward to DGACM’s continued efforts in ensuring quality interpretation and translation, full serving of all meetings, particularly those of political groups and regional groups, timely processing of documents, quality printing and publishing, bearing in mind the that the key performance indicator is the satisfaction of Member States.

Fourth, my delegation, also echoes the G-77 & China’s concern over the limited share of developing countries in the procurement opportunities within the Organization. We expect this matter to be thoroughly discussed and acted upon at this session.

In conclusion, my delegation looks forward to a sustained, constructive, fruitful and transparent negotiation on the budget where the desired balance I have just mentioned would be restored and other concerns addressed.

Thank you.

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