Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States
(delivered under Agenda Item 3: Executive Director's Briefing)
Mister Chairman, distinguished delegates, Madam Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, representatives of UN-Habitat Secretariat, observers, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my privilege to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. Serbia and Ukraine align themselves with this statement.
We would like to recognise the firm and energetic steps taken by the Executive Director, Madame Maimunah, to improve the engagement of UN-Habitat with the Member States and to demonstrate and enhance the relevance and unique advantages of this organisation. We see the important coinciding events, such as the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, the governance reform, and the preparation of the Strategic Plan for the years 2020-2025, as a unique opportunity to support this endeavour.
Concerning the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, we would like to welcome the very good engagement in the High Level Political Forum last July, including ensuring the visibility of the SDG 11 Synthesis report and the Quadrennial Report on the New Urban Agenda.
Under your skilful leadership, we have elaborated on the model of new governance structure of UN-Habitat. We are looking forward to the action taken on it in New York by the General Assembly and we are glad to hear that you will continue convoying further discussions in person. The compromise reached last June in Nairobi was a very delicate one. We all deserve praise as it required a lot of concessions from all negotiating partners. We are looking forward to adopting it as is in New York.
Let me now address the financial situation of UN-Habitat.
Unfortunately, we are used to the bad news presented quarterly on this very matter. The good side is that the 'financial crisis' is easily attributable to one, though very critical, source of revenue. Overall, the revenue received by UN-Habitat this year, including from the European Union, especially for technical cooperation, is very encouraging and proves the continuous interest of the Member States in the important work UNHabitat is doing. Yet, we recognise the relevance of the non-earmarked funding. We hope to see an increase in such contributions, both in the volume and the number of contributors, as we would like to ensure that the policy work by the agency can be carried out and can be increased. We are encouraged by the recent energetic steps taken by the Executive Director and her staff which we hope will help to increase core funding. We therefore acknowledge the necessary temporary austerity measures but also encourage the Executive Director to continue engaging with Member States, including in capitals and multilateral platforms, to demonstrate the added value of UN-Habitat building on its unique mandate and acknowledged expertise..
With regard to the Strategic Plan 2020-2025, we welcome the announcement that consultations with Member States will start soon with the informal retreat on 27 September. We look forward to an inclusive and open-minded discussion in that meeting in in the process that will follow. We would like to thank the Secretariat for circulating the concept note for the theme for the next Governing Council meeting. We take due note of this document and look forward to discussing it in the CPR subcommittee.
We have been repeatedly urging the Secretariat to expedite the work on the Stakeholders Engagement Policy, which was due in December last year. We repeat our urgent call for this process to be advanced and completed as soon as possible.
Last, but not least, allow me to address the Deputy Executive Director Ms Aisa Kirabo Kacyira. Dear Aisa, today being the last CPR meeting of your very effective tenure, we would like to thank you warmly for your enormous contribution to UN-Habitat and indeed to the urban agenda. It has always been impressive and encouraging to work with you. We wish you every success in your future career and are hopeful to remain connected in the joint endeavour to move the urban agenda forward.
I thank you.