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

Item 4. Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions

UNODC: Thank you Mr. Chair. Notable progress has been made. We have taken robust institutional steps. Programs have been consolidated to improve efficiency. New frameworks have been developed such as a new regional framework for the Arab states to guide the office in better supporting the member states. Program delivery reached $383.9 million, an increase of 44.3 million dollars or 13% compared to 2022. Office network implementations totaled $290.5 million which is 75.7% of total 2023 implementation. The increase in program delivery resulted in higher program support cost income earned in 2023. This will in turn enable UNODC to grow its program. At the request of the commission and taking into account the UNODC strategy 2021-2025 UNODC will engage with member states on its efforts to achieve sustainable funding for its technical assistance programs. UNODC will also ensure that growth is accompanied by sustained delivery capacity and the delivery of resources. UNODC continues to promote gender parity, geographical diversity, and diversity among staff. Efforts to increase parity which were at 50% require ongoing participation in further enhancing female representation in P4 and higher positions as well as in UNODC field offices. Consistent efforts which include strengthened widespread outreach to attract a diverse pool of applications remain a crucial activity. Additionally it remains a top priority to ensure a healthy workforce and enabling working environment. To achieve this we are encouraging managers to apply a victim centered approach and role model the policy against prohibited conduct including sexual misconduct, harassment, and abuse of authority. Thank you for your time.

Albania / FinGov Working Group: Congratulations. Now I have the pleasure to inform you about the work of the open ended intergovernmental working group on improving the government and financial situation of UNODC. Information is included in document e/cn7/2024/3e/cn.15/2024/3. During the period covered by the report the working group had one regular meeting on 16 and 17 of November 2023. The working group had informal consultations on two dates in November 2023. On the draft resolutions on the implementation of the consolidated budget…I would like to brief you on the outcome of the two meetings held by the working group. The working group held a dialogue with the executive director on the 1st of February. The innovative format of the past two meetings followed, facilitating an interactive exchange between the executive director and member states on topics related to the financial state. I want to thank all member states for their contribution and active contributions in the dialogue. I also appreciate the executive director for her enthusiastic approach and active engagement. FinGov dialogues are crucial for member states to have an open conversation with the executive director. It is therefore essential that we continue conducting these dialogues in the future. On 13 and 14 February the working group held its first regular meeting which was two days of interesting and lively discussion. In line with another decision all items under consideration during the two days were grouped into two parts: operational and programmatic. Member states were briefed on the implementation of the biannual consolidated budget including matters related to HR management. Under the programmatic part the working group received comprehensive updates on our ongoing theme as well as the research and gender mainstreaming and youth empowerment. We heard from UNODC staff at HQ and field. I found it useful to hear UNODC staff reporting on their achievements and challenges on the ground. A large number of delegations attended the meetings and I thank the member states for their regular and active participation. I also thank the secretariat. The next regular meeting is scheduled to take place in early July. The bureau will convene a meeting beforehand to reflect on the outcome of the first regular group and prepare for the July meeting. I am confident that FinGov will continue to serve as an essential mechanism. With the innovative approaches to the format of the meeting we will strengthen the interactive dialogue between member states and UNODC. I hope member states will remain actively engaged moving forward.

Japan: Thank you Mr. Chair, thank you for putting Item 4 on the agenda. The challenges we face are rapid and ever evolving and  we must adopt a strategic approach. It is necessary to share the same goals in responding. Japan and UNODC share the idea of rule of law and right to a healthy life. Healthy and well being and not threatened by the harms of drug problems. I believe in the power of dialogue and partnership to tackle challenges; this is an age-old choice that remains as relevant today as ever. Rapidly growing drug market and alternative development needs to be prioritized. We welcome CHAMPS and global scale up. Japan appreciates the UNODC’s honest review in this regard. Gender equality is a key issue. Japan has signed a joint cause of action with UNODC. 

Effective demand-side prevention, particularly for children, is crucial due to its high efficacy. In this context, we welcome the launch of UNODC’s new initiative, namely, the Global Forensic Programme, which aims to enhance transparency and efficiency in financial matters. These aspects are vitally important for ensuring the accountability of donor governments. Addressing issues such as delays in the return and use of funds is essential. Japan acknowledges the UNODC’s sincere efforts in this regard.

Diversity in staff composition enriches the breadth and depth of human resource capacity. This encompasses gender and regional representation as well as the empowerment of youth. Concerted efforts by both member states and secretariats are necessary to achieve these objectives.

I believe in the enduring value of dialogue and partnership as means to tackle challenges, a choice that remains as pertinent today as it has always been. With this belief, Japan signed a joint plan of action with the UNODC last year.

Mr. Chair, our focus often drifts towards divisions. However, it’s imperative that we concentrate on our common goals and shared determination. Following the guidelines of the SMD and the UNODC will lead us toward achieving these objectives together. Thank you for your attention.

South Africa: Thank you very much, Chairperson. At the outset, South Africa commends UNODC for its support of the United Nations reform processes, particularly the Secretary-General’s initiative, UN, and the culture of change initiative. We have noted that the UNODC has strengthened its results-based management, monitoring framework, internal controls, and risk management to enhance overall performance. My delegation compliments the Executive Director for actively engaging member states on the UNODC mandate. We applaud her efforts in sourcing extra-budgetary funding to support developing countries and further call upon the UNODC to strengthen its technical assistance and capacity-building efforts in fulfilling the commitments of the 2024 midterm review.  South Africa expresses full support for the Bureau of Finance and Governance (FinGov) in ensuring that the Finance Committee remains a platform for engagement and accountability on program development and implementation. The development of bankable initiatives under the Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 is also appreciated. My delegation supports the development of strategic synergies between the UNODC’s regional strategic vision, regional organisations, and Member States’ priorities in addressing and countering the world drug problem. Chairperson, South Africa appreciates the support provided in improving the quality of drug prevention, treatment, care, and rehabilitation services, with a focus on youth, women, and people in vulnerable circumstances. We welcome the CHAMPS initiative and compliment the UNODC’s continued support to youth-based non-governmental organisations working in the area of drug use prevention in low- and middle-income countries. The UNODC’s eLearning module on treatment and care as alternatives to conviction or punishment for people with drug use disorders will aid in developing a human rights-based approach. Tailored capacity-building programs focusing on HIV prevention, treatment, and support services are greatly welcomed.  The UNODC’s enhanced forensic capacities and early warning systems continue to equip law enforcement responses to new psychoactive substances. In this regard, South Africa appreciates the assistance rendered to laboratories and capacity-building provided by the Passenger and Cargo Boat Team. The UNODC Global Programme on Strengthening Criminal Justice Cooperation along Trafficking Routes and the Global Maritime Crime Programme are all commendable. To conclude, Chairperson, we acknowledge the progress made by the Executive Director in implementing gender balance and promoting geographical representativity in the recruitment of staff and believe more efforts are needed to ensure equitable geographical representation.

Burkina Faso:   Chair, my delegation takes note of the Executive Director’s report. Our statement pertains to items A, B, C, and D as platforms for exchange. (Unfortunately, there was a lapse in clarity as English interpretation was not fully maintained throughout the discourse)  Regarding gender disparity, my delegation recognizes the efforts made by the office in support of this important issue. However, we remain concerned about the slow progress in achieving equitable geographic representation. We, therefore, call for the further strengthening of policies to ensure better geographic representation and greater regional diversity within the staffing of the Office.Finally, Burkina Faso acknowledges the recommendations made by the Executive Director on prevention and the global drug problem. We reiterate our staunch commitment to sustaining frank cooperation with the UNODC in its areas of action.Thank you very much.

USA:  The CND operates most effectively when leveraging the full scope of UNODC and ODC global programming. As we face the formidable drug challenge of the next decade—synthetic drugs—UNODC’s programming will remain an essential component in countering the illicit manufacturing, trafficking, and use of these substances. This global threat necessitates a coordinated international response and a hub for multilateral action against synthetic drugs.  The United States has provided UNODC with over $158 million in extra-budgetary contributions, a significant portion of which has been dedicated to mobilizing an international response to combat the synthetic drug threat. This includes efforts to counter the illicit manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs at their points of origin, transit, and destination. We welcome the continued expansion of resources available, including the UN toolkit on synthetic drugs and UNODC’s targeted capacity building at the national, regional, and international levels.  The United States remains a staunch supporter of UNODC’s efforts to implement UN reforms and results-based management. We fully endorse the expansion of evaluation used to enhance the delivery of UNODC technical assistance and commend efforts to maximize staff time in the field, ensuring efficient resource utilization. Furthermore, the United States appreciates the provision of a valuable platform for enhancing communication between member states and UNODC leadership regarding budgetary and management issues.  We support UNODC’s commitment to developing comprehensive strategies for diversity, recruitment, and workforce planning. These strategies aim to promote inclusivity, enhance gender equality, and improve geographic representation, reiterating that the selection of candidates should be based on merit and competence as enshrined in the UN Charter.The United States applauds UNODC’s efforts to mainstream gender and integrate the perspectives of youth and children into its programming. Addressing the specific needs of these groups is crucial as we collectively tackle the global drug problem. In conclusion, the United States views the CND and UNODC as pivotal in addressing the synthetic drug threat specifically, and the world drug problem more broadly. UNODC is an indispensable partner in these endeavors, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts to find innovative solutions to the most pressing global drug challenges. Thank you.

China: We have consistently supported our regional partners in various drug control activities advocated for by the UNODC. The UNODC plays a vital role in monitoring and assisting member states in addressing the world drug problem by facilitating cooperation and providing technical assistance. We deeply appreciate the efforts and leadership of the UNODC in this regard. The drug situation in the Asia-Pacific region is concerning, with Myanmar replacing Afghanistan for poppy cultivation and an increase in the seizure of synthetic drugs. Drugs continue to cause harm to the economy, society, and individuals. China is collaborating with the UNODC Asia-Pacific Regional Office and six other parties to combat the spread of illicit drugs in the Golden Triangle. Additionally, China will increase its annual donation to the UNODC to $2 million to better address the drug problem in the region. We support the strategy from 2021 to 2025 and regional programs for Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. We will continue our cooperation with the UNODC to maintain a sustainable and effective drug control regime based on the three conventions. The UNODC will continue to provide effective support to the Southeast Asia region based on these conventions. We call on the international community to invest resources and support projects aimed at addressing these problems through a multitude of efforts to safeguard security and welfare in the region. We have noted efforts to improve gender balance and regional representation in UNODC staff and look forward to UNODC initiatives to increase staff from underdeveloped countries.

Russian Federation: We fully support the efforts of the CND and the UNODC to address the world drug problem. As an active member and significant partner and donor of the UNODC, we contribute $2 million to fund various projects. We particularly focus on building counter-drug initiatives in Asian countries through training programs. Through our support for the UNODC youth initiative, we aim to empower the next generation in drug prevention efforts. Additionally, we work to ensure access to controlled medicines, and we are currently preparing training programs for African countries to address issues of medication availability. We are troubled by the reliance on extra-budgetary funds, as this hinders long-term strategic planning and may affect the balanced performance of our mandate. Exclusion from capacity-building projects due to donor funding is also concerning. We advocate for adherence to a balanced approach to the world drug problem, giving equal attention to reducing both supply and demand. Projects focusing on development and public health must be complemented by law enforcement capacity-building initiatives. The FinGov platform serves as an important forum for dialogue and budget oversight. We emphasize the importance of multilingualism by ensuring interpretation and translation services in all languages. We also prioritize professionalism and equitable regional representation of staff within the organization. We are concerned about the liquidity crisis and funding for the drafting of the World Drug Report, and we emphasize the importance of upholding basic principles of research, including accuracy and impartiality. We ensure that the UNODC relies on data provided by governments to inform its reports and initiatives.

Pakistan: Thank you Mr. Chair and good morning. We appreciate consistent contributions of this commission and support of the member states to address the world drugs problem. The world drugs problem is getting more complicated and challenging. There are new types of drugs and countries are shifting their priorities. As for 2023, drug deaths were reported quite high; 17.5% more than 2009. Number of drug users worldwide increased, shambling the lives of families. Pakistan appreciates the contributions of FinGov. We urge all members to enhance their contributions. Pakistan believes that human life is precious and we urge an adequate amount of contributions to address this issue. The UNODC program for Pakistan requires more funding. The commission may consider this fact as one of the key elements in realigning the strategy. We suggest: 1) appropriate allocation of resources; 2) more focus on the counter-narcotics of source and transit countries while focusing on the demand side; 3) ensuring recruitment of staff on a wider geographic basis including people from developing countries. 4) more resources for youth-related initiatives while being sensitive to the use of controversial items. 

Colombia: The relationship between Colombia and UNODC is very important. We recognize the active contribution that UNODC has provided in light of the priorities that we have highlighted for our country. Currently our national government is committed to engaging in constructive dialogue with the office of the resident coordinator of the UN to agree on the framework establishing the guidelines for the UN’s organizational work up until 2027. Immediately upon the negotiation of this framework we shall proceed to negotiate with UNODC frameworks in Colombia to establish a program from 2024 – 2028. We will prioritize the country’s needs, the policy and program guidelines established in our national drugs policy, and the thematic areas set forth in the strategic guidelines for our region in particular regarding alternative development. For Colombia we must ensure that these documents reflect our national priorities and are based on the principle of national ownership and that their implementation strengthens national capacity as well as national institutions. This is an opportunity to embed a results based management culture as well as accountability and institutional learning. The country program is supported by an ongoing dialogue to identify progress made and ongoing accountability. Accordingly, we are concerned that the UNODC is signing agreements without informing the central government. Equally essential for UNODC to implement resources based on transparency. It is important to note that for Colombia we wish to ensure that the UNODC has sufficient predictable and sustainable funding to ensure that the interventions that are being implemented in developing countries are efficient based on recognition of national priorities. On that basis we would appeal for increased contributions for general purposes as well as curbing the growing tendency to make earmarked contributions. Follow up and implementation of the UNODC’s strategy for 2021-2025 must be linked to the strategic vision for the region. Colombia restates the need to ensure equitable geographical representation and gender equality in the taffing of UNODC and that this be done at all levels. Equitable geographical representation is not geographical diversity and the charter is very clear in this regard thank you.

Iran: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates. At the outset, I would like to thank the UNODC for holding this meeting and commend you Mr. Chair for your leadership. The Islamic Republic of Iran re-emphasised the prominence and active role of the open ended intergovernmental Working Group in improving the efficacy and efficiency of governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. We express our concern regarding the challenges confronting UNODC attributable to the deficiency in general purpose funding, it is imperative to underscore the funding trends that affect the office the offices ability to execute these core pragmatic, functional programme programmatic functions, efficiently and independently, referring to the inadequacy of financial and other resource resources and international technical assistance recognised in the 2024 outcome document, the Islamic Republic of Iran, it stresses the significance of the availability of timely, adequate, foreseeable and unwavering funding for UNODC to boost providing technical assistance and capacity building to developing countries. We are of the view that technical assistance programmes should be targeted, results based and create creative approaches taking into consideration domestic law and regulations, priority and challenges of state parties in relevant areas pertinent to the implementation of the relevant applicable conventions. We are deeply concerned that lack of adequate funding for country projects and programmes has led to the failing of the UNODC field offices to fulfill their mandate in assisting member states in this regard. The Islamic Republic of Iran expects the office to double its efforts to ensure that adequate financial and logistical resources are allocated. We reiterate the crucial importance of addressing the challenges and removing obstacles within which undermine the country’s capacities to fulfill their international commitments in countering illicit drugs and crime. Among the main obstacles, unilateral coercive measures (UCMs), which are in contravention of international law and the charter of the UN, have even worsened by virtue of the politically motivated approach of some donors to channel their financial support to the specific projects and programmes which have discriminated against several developing countries and should be properly reflected as prominent challenges in the implementation of projects and programmes of the UN ODC distinguished colleagues, we acknowledge the importance of the uno de ces projects in our country and we believe in the significance of these projects and their potential to be improved. Meanwhile, I would like to remind you that Iran’s country partnership programme with the UNODC was signed on the margins of the 66th CND. However, the level of support and projects are not proportionate to the needs and priorities of the country. The Islamic Republic of Iran is at the forefront of fighting against drugs, but the relevant support provided or promisor promise is not sufficient, and is incompatible with fair share principle. Despite the unfair and politicized measures taken, Iran has never given up fighting against drugs and in this regard has devotedly defended the international community’s interests. Regarding human resources, we reiterate our strong position that further efforts are required to increase the representation of developing countries within the UNODC’s staff composition. Therefore, we strongly request the executive director to increase the recruitment of staff from developing countries in the Secretariat, ensuring equitable geographical representation. We also call on the finger to continue evaluating the progress made by the office in improving representation from developing countries in line with the standing agenda item. Thank you for your attention.

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