Since this is the first time I am taking the floor, let me congratulate you on your election as the Chair of the Committee and commend your efficient conduct of the proceedings. I thank the Secretary General for his presence here today and presenting the proposed programme budget for 2023. We also take note of the recommendations of the ACABQ. Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Group of 77 and China.
Although we are in the third year of the pandemic, we are still far away from the sustainable recovery we hoped for. The precariousness of the vulnerable people by this time has been further exacerbated by the worsening climatic conditions and the perpetual conflicts. Their joint impact has forced us to re-discover that sound financial health is the key to the smooth functioning of the UN and for the efficient and timely delivery of its mandated work.
Against this backdrop, we find merit in Secretary General’s proposal to slightly increase the resources in the proposed budget for implementation of new or expanded mandates of the UN. Particularly, we are note with appreciation that resources for the Special Political Missions have been proposed to increase by 3.3%. We appreciate the increase in allocation for peacekeeping operations, UNRWA, LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, African Development, Human Rights Council, Office of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and Special Envoy on Myanmar.
However, this momentum can only be sustained if we, the Member States, meet our financial obligations in full and on time. At the same time, we request the Secretariat to continue to strengthen the comprehensive budgetary performance and to rigorously enforce financial discipline.
Let me highlight a few specific points that we need to prioritize during our consultations during the consideration of the proposed budget for 2023:
First, we note with appreciation the improvement in gender parity in the UN Secretariat particularly the achievement of gender balance across the budget sections. However, their share in the higher professional levels is still not satisfactory. Hence, we must undertake rigorous measures that will ensure gender parity and equitable geographical representation at all levels of UN staff structure.
Second, we did welcome the use of virtual and hybrid meetings during the pandemic as an extraordinary measure to ensure business continuity. However, this should not be considered an example of best practice as in-person meetings allow for equal and fair representation of Member States and thus enable them to interact effectively. We are of the firm view that, for successful conduct of multilateral diplomacy, which we attach utmost importance to, in-person meetings, interactions, and negotiations are the most effective means to maximize fruitful outcomes.
Finally, it is imperative to review and assess the overall budget proposal with objectivity and ensure that it reflects the priorities of the Member States, and conforms to the mandates of the organization.
I thank you all.