- Secretariat failed to respond to written communications for over a month
Sri Lanka expressed its dismay over the recent practices adopted by the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO) in connection with Sri Lanka in violation of an MoU with a sovereign country, while challenging the decision of a Head of State, a statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry said yesterday.
Sri Lanka’s delegate and Deputy High Commissioner in Canada, Sithara Khan made this observation on October 18 at the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on improving the financial situation of the United Nations, in the presence of UNGA President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
Recalling that Sri Lanka had been a regular contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations budget since 1960, she expressed concern in this regard. The delegate observed that the secretariat failed to formally respond to the written communications addressed on relevant aspects of the matter for over a month.
She said it was vital to hold formal communication in order to avert confusion and misunderstanding on information provided verbally. She also called on the UN Secretariat to ensure such a misplaced process should not be allowed to be systematised in order to avoid politicisation of the decision-making process and for professional ethics of the organisation to be secured.
Asserting that despite many domestic priorities Sri Lanka had discharged its obligations in paying assessments to date, the local delegation requested the United Nations Secretariat to utilise available resources received from Member States in a more effective, impartial and transparent manner, at a time when the organisation was battling its worst financial crisis leading to the implantation of austerity measures and limited operations.
The delegate appreciated the Secretary General’s assurance to meet obligations to Member States providing troops and equipment to UN peacekeeping operations as promptly as possible and based on the availability of funds.
Sri Lanka also urged the secretariat to fulfil its financial obligations with regard to peacekeepers identified to be replaced at the point of repatriation and that it was important for the UN Secretariat to ensure a predictive system of payment on all dues concerning peacekeeping operations.