Home » Plenary Item 4. Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions

Plenary Item 4. Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions

UNODC: Mr. Chair, Distinguished delegates, In 2022, UNODC continued to implement its Strategy 2021–2025 during compounding crises related to consequences of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, climate change and the environment, as well as new and protracted conflicts. Progress has been made in turning internal strategies and action plans focusing on enabling efficiencies into actions and deliverables. Important steps to realign and consolidate the work of the strategy’s thematic areas, streamline programmes within those thematic areas, and to direct more resources to field operations have been taken. Further, new strategic documents such as the Strategic Vision for Latin America and the Caribbean or the Afghanistan Strategic Stability Grid have been developed in close alignment with the UNODC Strategy. Results by thematic area are presented in the report of the Executive Director on Activities of the UNODC available to the Commissions as document E/CN.7/2023/2-E/CN.15/2023/2 and in the upcoming 2022 Results-based Report on the Implementation of the UNODC Strategy, to be presented to Member States in June. In 2022, programme delivery reached $334.5 million, an increase of $36.7 million (12 per cent) compared to 2021. Field Office network implementation totalled $257.4 million (77 per cent of total 2022 implementation). The increase in programme delivery resulted in higher programme support cost income earned in 2022 ($37.5 million). The general-purpose fund income reached $4.6 million, a mere 1.2% of the total income of UNODC. At the request of the Commissions and taking into account the UNODC Strategy for 2021- 2025, UNODC will continue to engage with Member States on the review of its funding model. UNODC will also ensure that growth is accompanied by sustained delivery capacity and the availability of resources to bolster unfunded mandates (i.e., gender). Mr. Chair, Let me now turn to agenda item (d). UNODC continues to promote gender parity and geographical diversity amongst its staff. Efforts to sustain gender parity, which was precisely at 50% in February 2023, require ongoing dedication, particularly in maintaining parity and further enhancing female representation in P-4 and higher positions, as well as in UNODC field offices. Consistent efforts towards equitable geographic representation, which includes strengthened outreach, remains a crucial activity in improving workforce diversity. Additionally, ensuring a healthy workforce amidst the challenges posed by the global pandemic and beyond remains a top priority, along with reinforcing a victim-centered approach and enabling managers to play a more active role in upholding the Organization’s zero tolerance policy against discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), abuse of authority, and promoting an enabling working environment. We thank you for your time and stand ready to respond to your comments and questions.

FINGOV Vice Chair: Thank you for giving me the floor. I have the pleasure to inform you, on behalf of the Chair of FINGOV, Ambassador Philbert Johnson, about the work of the standing open-ended intergovernmental working group on improving the governance and financial situation of UNODC. During the period covered by the report, the working group held one regular meeting, on 28 and 29 November 2022. The working group also held informal consultations on 2 and 14 November 2022 on the draft resolutions contained in the report of the Executive Director on the implementation of the consolidated budget of UNODC for the biennium 2022–2023. I would now like to brief you on the outcome of the two meetings held by the working group earlier this year. In line with ECOSOC decision 2022/316, the working group held a dialogue with the Executive Director on 2 February. The innovative format of the last year’s dialogue was followed, thereby facilitating an interactive exchange between the Executive Director and Member States on strategic matters related to the governance and financial situation of the Office. I would like to thank, on behalf of the FINGOV Bureau, all Member States for their contribution to and active participation in the dialogue. I would also like to express appreciation for the Executive Director for her enthusiastic approach and active engagement in the meeting. FINGOV dialogues remain a crucial platform for Member States to engage in an open discussion with the Executive Director on key aspects of the work of the Office, which has been reiterated by many delegations during the meeting on 2 February. It is therefore essential that we continue conducting these dialogues in the future. On 13 and 15 February, the working group held its first regular meeting, which resulted in two days of very interesting and lively discussions, as demonstrated by active engagement of Member States and rich “Q&A” sessions. In line with ECOSOC decision 2022/316 and following last year’s practice, all items under consideration during the two days were grouped into two parts: an operational part and a programmatic part. Under the programmatic part, the working group received comprehensive updates on the work undertaken by the Office in two thematic areas: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and Preventing and Countering Terrorism. During these thematic updates, we heard from UNODC staff working both at Headquarters and in the field. I found it useful to hear UNODC staff reporting on their achievements as well as on the challenges faced in the implementation of their work on the ground. Under the operational part, the working group adopted the provisional programme of work for the period from February to December 2023. Discussions revolved around the involvement of the Office in the implementation of the UN Management and Development System reform and of Our Common Agenda. The discussions also included updates on the UNODC budget implementation in 2022 as well as matters related to human resources management and evaluation. A large number of delegations attended the meetings and I thank the Member States for their regular and active participation. I would also like to thank the Secretariat for its support for the work of the working group. The next regular meeting of FINGOV is scheduled to take place in June. The Bureau of the working group will be convening a meeting in the coming weeks, with a view to reflecting on the outcome of the first regular meeting of the group as well as, on that basis, initiating early preparations for the June meeting. I am confident that FINGOV will continue serving as an essential mechanism to enhance the transparency and accountability of the Office. With the innovative approaches to the conduct of its meetings, FINGOV is also meant to contribute to further strengthening the constructive and interactive dialogue between Member States and UNODC. I hope that Member States will remain actively engaged within this framework in the period ahead. Thank you, Chair.

United States of America: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As the UN’s leading entity charged with drug related matters the CND cannot function effectively without the full backing of UNODC and its unparalleled global programming. This global programming is essential as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which as UNODC notes in its 2022-2023 consolidated budget report has deeply impacted the health care of this programme. It is also critical in the face of the ongoing war against Ukraine, and its devastating humanitarian consequences. UNODC programming will remain the same as it confronts the biggest drug threat of the next decade, synthetic drugs. UNODC synthetic drug related programming has been the sphere of our collective efforts to outpace criminals working in this legal trade. Synthetic drugs present significant global health and security threats that require global responses. UNODC is a national, regional, and global thematic program that is driving impact by building the essential capacity and political will needed to advance positive change. In 2022 we provided over $7 million in technical assistance and funding to mobilise an international response to combat synthetic drug threats, including by countering the illicit manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs at points of origin, transit and destination. In 2022, we provided over $7 million in technical assistance and funding to mobilise an international response to combat synthetic drug threats, including by countering the illicit manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs at points of origin, transit and destination. While UNODC implements this important programming, we urge it to uphold its 2021 to 2025 corporate strategy, which emphasises learning evaluation and accountability. A strong checks and balances system is critical to effectively administer UNODC funding. We also welcome UNODC’s efforts to ensure its staff maximise their time in the field to make effective use of resources. Finally, the United States supports UNODC efforts to develop comprehensive diversity, recruitment and workforce strategies to promote inclusivity, enhance gender balance and geographic representation. The paramount focus on selecting candidates should be based on merit and competence as enshrined in the UN Charter. Next year, the CND will undertake its 2018 midterm review, which will chart a clear path to 2029 focused on strengthening international cooperation in addressing and countering the world drug problem. The CND must come together in the face of challenges to drive forward global action against the world drug problem, and confront directly the shared public health and security threat of synthetic drugs. UNODC is an indispensable partner in this action, and we look forward to continuing to work together on innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing global drug problems. Thank you

Pakistan: The Islamic Republic of Pakistan acknowledges and appreciates the working achievements of the UNODC as highlighted in the report of the Executive Director of the activities of the UNODC for the year 2022. The open Working Group on improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. FINGOV are also commendable despite resources and the ongoing constraints. Pakistan is consistently implementing its policy of zero tolerance against all manifestations of illicit drugs and related crimes through proactive policy, legislative and operational measures. Being an immediate neighbour of the hub of illicit drug production in our region, contribution to the international efforts against illicit drugs as evident from international drug seizures corroborate the fact that we are performing our role of frontline state in all possible manner. Despite all odds, Pakistan would continue its counternarcotics efforts with the same resilience to protect our own society and also shield the world from the devastating effects of illicit drugs. Despite concerted efforts by the member states and the UNODC, the world drug problem is deteriorating further. Support for countering this threat is reducing gradually, as underscored by Pakistan in the reconvened session end. I would again highlight that the program portfolio for UNODC and Central Asia is approximately 47.6 million US dollars, which is nearly 6.89% of the total UNODC budget. I would reiterate that appropriate resources may be allocated for addressing the world drug problem, and for strengthening capacities of the affected regions and countries. (…)

China: (…)

Japan: Thank you, Mr. Chairr, I wish to extend our appreciation to the effort made by the Secretariat in the preparation of this session, with many delegations returning to Vienna for the first time in four years. UNODC’s dedicated work through its research, normative and technical assistance, is duly recognized by the international community. Japan highly appreciates its operation through its expertise and strong network of field offices around the world. In 2022, Japan contributed a total of $18.4 million to the Office in order to promote its activities based upon its needs on the ground. We believe that it is all the more important that UNODC continues its efforts to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability, including preparing and sharing project reports and financial statements with donor countries in a timely manner. By doing so UNODC is able to gain trust from each Member State, and thereby make flexible and timely responses to urgent calls made by the international community. We recognize that UNODC has been facing financial challenges for years. The recent downward trend in the general purpose fund requires a flexible approach to various challenges on the ground. In this regard, it is all the more critical for UNODC to explore a creative programming and funding model, along with effective use of programme support costs (PSC). We would like to see continued efforts by the Secretariat to build a highly transparent funding model through close communication with Member States. Last, but not least, while we appreciate the efforts of UNODC to promote equitable geographical representation in its staff composition, it must be recognized that significant gaps between regions still exist. We would like to recall and highlight the importance of strengthening geographical diversity and look forward to further efforts by the Secretariat. In closing, Japan highly values the work of UNODC and will continue to support it through our personnel and financial contributions as well as through our constructive engagement with the Secretariat. Thank you

Jamaica:Mr. Chair, Jamaica aligns with the Statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Pakistan on behalf of the G77 & China. We thank the Executive Director for her report on the activities undertaken by the UNODC in 2022. Jamaica commends the Office’s achievement in turning internal strategies and actions into deliverables. We encourage its efforts to increase internal coordination, integrated programming, and policy coherence. We note positively the made progress in the implementation of the UNODC’s Strategy 2021-2025, including its Strategic Vision for Latin America and the Caribbean 2022-2025, and other regional programmes. Jamaica welcomes the launch of the new Global Programme on Preventing and Countering Terrorism (2022-2027), and looks forward to the further implementation of the Global Programme on People-centred Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. We also welcome the support provided to the Chair’s Access and Availability initiative, which aimed to advance implementation of international commitments to improve the availability of and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. These activities are essential in Member States’ efforts to fulfil our international drug policy commitments and obligations under the Conventions. Jamaica commends efforts by the Office to deepen its partnerships with other UN entities and international organisations. 3 We are concerned about the threats to its financial situation, and reiterate the importance of adequate and predictable funding for the Office. Jamaica, therefore, supports the continued efforts of FINGOV to engage with the management team of the UNODC’s Secretariat regarding matters related to the governance and financial situation of the Office. To conclude, Chair, I reiterate the commitment of the Government of Jamaica to supporting the work of the UNODC, and other Member States, as we strive to address the multidimensional challenges of drugs and crime. Thank you

South Africa: I express South Africa’s full support to Ambassador Johnson and the Bureau for ensuring that FINGOV remains a platform for engagement and accountability on program development and implementation. South Africa also welcomes efforts to strengthen overall performance. My delegation notes of grave concern the current financial challenges hindering UNODC implementation of its mandate. My delegation further calls for sufficient adequate sustainable, predictable funding for UNODC to enable the Secretariat to provide desperately needed technical assistance, capacity building and technological transfers, particularly to developing countries upon their request. We appreciate the executive director’s efforts in engaging with member states’ extra budgetary resources for implementation of projects in developing countries. In conclusion, South Africa welcomes the UNODC’s efforts and mainstreaming agenda, age, health and human rights perspective into drug related policies and programs. We acknowledge the progress made by the executive director in implementing gender balance in the recruitment of staff of the UNODC office. South Africa believes that more remains to be done in ensuring equitable geographical representation.

India: The opportunity on the subject of the Report of the Executive Director on the activities of UNODC appreciates the tireless efforts of UNODC in addressing the global drug problem. One of the key achievements is its work to promote trade and reduce the cultivation of illicit crops by providing us with alternative livelihoods, impactful implementation of such programmes beneficial to all member states. In some parts of India we have been successful weaning away farms from illicit cultivation. Drug use patterns require further investigation to understand its underlying reasons.   It becomes essential that you find the substances that should be identified by the international community in developing cost effective technical equipment for quick and reliable analysis of these substances. As a part of National Drug Free to campaign interventions are being made in hotspots of substance use, major slums and other disadvantaged areas. In view of the shift in the substance use patterns and campaign is also taking into consideration other vulnerable areas such as workplaces and other social gatherings, while specifically dovetailing demand reduction interventions to the changing preferences  It needs to be explored if genetics play a role in drug addiction, and if some people are genetically predisposed to addiction.  The UNODC effort to address the drug problem is commendable.   India supports the regular contribution to UNODC to carry out their mandate. 

Republic of Korea: My delegation commends the operational and administrative aspects of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. My delegation appreciates the essential role played by the UNODC in the fight against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug trafficking. The UNODC has been a catalyst for international cooperation and is (…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *