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Statement by Ms. Wang Xinxia, the Delegate of China to the 5th Committee on the Reports of the Board of Auditors

2005-10-10 00:00

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like to express its appreciation to the representatives of the Board of Auditors and ACABQ for their respective introduction to the relevant reports. We have studied carefully the financial and management audit reports of the Board on the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the report on the related implementation of recommendations by 15 UN entities in the biennium of 2002-2003.The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The Chinese delegation has noted that in recent years, the number of recommendations made by the Board has increased from 208 for 1999 to 509 for 2003. Of these recommendations, a total of 235 (46%) have been fully implemented by May 31, 2005, while 230 (45%) are under implementation and the remaining 44 have not been implemented at all. The Chinese delegation is concerned about this situation. We believe that the recommendations made by the Board are of great significance to improving the level of management and efficiency of the related UN departments, maximizing resource utilization, and rectifying any non-compliance with procedures, rules and regulations. Therefore, the relevant departments should accord due attention to the recommendations of the Board and intensify their efforts in the implementation process. The Chinese delegation, meanwhile, would like to get information on the areas where the recommendations are not implemented and the underlying causes for the non-implementation. We expect the Board to provide us with updates on this issue in the next report.

Regarding the audit on UNHCR, we have noted with concern that UNHCR has not fully implemented the Board's recommendation to completely phase out the use of project staff. As of September 2003, there were still 145 people in this category. The 2004 report of the Board did not include specific number on project staff. We would like to get the latest progress on UNHCR's implementation of the Board's related recommendation, for example, whether there are still people in this project staff category and their number.

I would also like to refer to the issue of UNHCR's "staff in-between assignments". The report of the Board indicates that there were a total of 129 people in this category as of December 2002, some of whom had not been tasked with any assignments for an extended period of 44 months. These people did not work for UNHCR at all during the time frame, yet they received full pay. We are very surprised to learn about such cases occurring at UNHCR. At the same time, this shows that there are big loopholes in personnel management in the Office. We request UNHCR to implement the Board's related recommendations immediately to remedy the situation and prevent it from recurring.

Before I conclude, I would also like to talk about the code of ethics in the area of procurement, which is a matter of priority concern to many member states. Despite a promise by relevant departments to promulgate such a document by the end of the third quarter this year, the document has not yet been finalized till now. We learned that the Procurement Division, the Office of Legal Affairs and the Office of Human Resources Management are collaborating regarding the creation of such documents. The Chinese delegation expects the relevant departments to fully cooperate to speed up preparing the documents so that the code of ethics on procurement could be unveiled at an early date.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

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