Asserting that despite many domestic priorities Sri Lanka has discharged its obligations in paying its assessments to date, the Sri Lanka delegation to the UNGA this week called on the United Nations Secretariat to utilize the available resources received from the Member States in a more effective, impartial and transparent manner, at a time when the Organization is battling its worst financial crisis leading to the implantation of austerity measures and limited operations.
Sri Lanka’s delegate, Deputy High Commissioner in Canada Ms. Sithara Khan made this observation at the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on improving the financial situation of the United Nations on 18 October 2019, in the presence of the President of the General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
The delegate appreciated the Secretary General’s assurance to meet obligations to Member States providing troops and equipment to UN Peace Keeping Operations as promptly as possible based on the availability of funds. Sri Lanka also urged the Secretariat to fulfill its financial obligations with regards to the peace keepers identified to be replaced, at the point of repatriation and added that it was important for the UN Secretariat to ensure a predictive system of payment on all dues concerning peacekeeping operations.
Recalling that Sri Lanka had been a regular contributor to the UN Peacekeeping Operations budget since 1960, Ms. Khan also expressed concern regards the practices adopted by the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) recently in relation to Sri Lanka, which was in violation of a MoU with a sovereign country, while challenging the decision of a Head of State. The delegate observed that the Secretariat had failed to formally reply the written communications addressed on the relevant aspects of the matter for over a month and added that it was important to have formal communications in order to avert confusion and misunderstanding on information provided verbally. She also called on the UN Secretariat to ensure that such a misplaced process should not be allowed to be systematized, in order to avoid politicization of the decision making process and for professional ethics of the organization to be secured.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
18 October 2019