31st Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice | Agenda Item 4: Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions
U.S. Statement as prepared for delivery by Deputy Chief of Mission Louis L. Bono
Vienna, Austria, May 18, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The United States is proud to be UNODC’s largest donor. Time and again, UNODC has proven itself able to successfully transform compromises carefully crafted through intergovernmental negotiations in Vienna into concrete technical assistance programs that it delivers through unmatched expertise in its headquarters and its robust field presence.
The United States commends UNODC’s collaborative approach to developing strategic planning documents such as its 2021-2025 corporate strategy and regional “strategic visions” for Latin America and Africa, in particular UNODC’s willingness to consult with civil society organizations.
We also greatly appreciate UNODC’s ability to respond quickly to emerging situations. UNODC’s “Strategic Stability Grid” options paper for Afghanistan is an excellent example of this. We strongly believe UNODC has an essential role to play combatting the inevitable increase in firearms trafficking, human trafficking, corruption, and other forms of transnational organized crime generated by Russia’s illegal, unprovoked, and premeditated invasion of Ukraine. We look forward to reviewing the strategy paper UNODC is developing in this regard.
The United States believes FINGOV continues to demonstrate its relevance as a mechanism for focused discussions on budget and management issues. This helps ensure a common understanding between the Secretariat and Member States, as the Commissions continue to exercise their decision-making abilities.
We have been pleased with UNODC’s ability to continue providing high levels of service delivery throughout the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. UNODC has also successfully made use of innovative technologies and virtual modalities to facilitate increased participation in the CCPCJ and other intergovernmental processes. At the same time, we continue to have concerns about the impact of these technologies and modalities on the ability of civil society organizations to fully participate in meetings and the decreased interpretation time available for Member State deliberations.
The United States also continues to have concerns about transparency in decision-making at headquarters on the use of “Program Support Costs.” We encourage a broader distribution of those funds, including to reinforce UNODC’s field presence. We similarly encourage the Secretariat to continue engaging in meaningful consultation with Member States on the implementation of a new “Direct Cost Recovery” pilot program.
Lastly, we appreciate UNODC’s efforts to promote diversity, balanced geographical representation, and gender parity in its hiring practices, while taking into account the primary role of merit in all personnel decisions. We look forward to the release of UNODC’s Independent Evaluation Section’s review of UNODC and UNOV’s “Strategy for the Equality and Empowerment of Women.” In this regard we continue to underscore the vital importance operational and strategic evaluations play in improving the efficiency of UNODC operations.