10 November 2005

Budget Committee Concludes Discussion on Role of Committee for Programme and Coordination

NEW YORK, 9 November (UN Headquarters) -- The quality of representation on the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) was the real problem facing the body, not its institutional framework, said the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) concluded its general discussion this morning on the role of the CPC.

Responding to issues raised during last week's debate, the representative of Tanzania stressed the importance of the Committee -- the primary organ of the Economic and Social Council and General Assembly for planning, programming and coordination.  (The Fifth Committee began its debate on the topic on 2 November.  For background, see press release GA/AB/3703.)

Tanzania's representative, associating himself with the statement made by Jamaica on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said the CPC needed to be strengthened, not abolished.  He noted that Tanzania had been a CPC member for three years.  He said the CPC had several problems, including the lack of proper working methods; weak representation; and a lack of clear understanding among some Member States' representatives of the work required by them, or the type of inputs needed by the CPC to do its work.

He said the real problem behind the CPC was the quality of representation on the body and the solution was strengthening it through proper representation.  That meant Member States' representatives to the CPC should have the theoretical background and experience in economic policy and planning, programming and coordination.  People who did this work in their national institutions.

The present debate on the CPC reminded him of last year's debate on the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU).  The Fifth Committee's recommendations to improve the Unit's operations -- which included measures to improve its internal working procedures and an elaboration of the right qualifications for its inspectors -- were adopted by the General Assembly.  The positive results of the recommendations had already emerged and he hoped the same efforts could be directed toward the CPC, instead of considering its abolition.

Also taking the floor, Brazil's representative highlighted the high priority his delegation attached to the CPC, noting in particular the importance of two coordination questions.  The first related to the effective coordination of system-wide efforts against hunger and inter-agency mechanisms to coordinate the fight against hunger and poverty. He referred to the CPC's recommendation that the United Nations Chief Executives Board include, in its next annual overview report, information on the obstacles, problems and needs encountered by inter-agency mechanisms in that regard.  The CPC had also invited the Chief Executives Board to monitor the effective coordination of system-wide efforts against hunger and poverty.

Stressing also the need to focus on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), he noted that, in the report of its forty-fifth session, the CPC recommended that the General Assembly ask the Secretary-General to report to it at its next session, and annually thereafter, on problems, obstacles and challenges, as well as on the goals of the United Nations system in support of NEPAD.  More negotiations were needed on the role of CPC, and his delegation would be happy to participate in them.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Committee Chairman John William Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) noted his increasing concern at the pace of informal consultations on outstanding items, urging delegates to give their full attention to those items, so that the Committee could complete its work in the time agreed.

The Committee will meet again at a time to be announced.

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