As delivered by Chargé d’ Affaires Gary Robbins
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 25, 2013
The United States wishes to thank Russia for bringing up the issue of budget reform, something that we have been advocating for several years. We welcome improvements to the budget process to strengthen its strategic focus and reduce redundancies in the process. Participating States should be providing big picture guidance and funding levels, and we should let fund managers decide exactly how to deploy resources to achieve their mandates, all along taking into account guidance from participating States.
With regard to extra-budgetary projects, we take note of the OSCE’s Financial Regulations, adopted by PC consensus in June 1996 and revised by the PC, again by consensus, in 1998 and 2000. Article 9 of the Financial Regulations allows the Secretary General and Heads of Institutions to accept voluntary contributions that can be integrated into approved OSCE programs and that are consistent with the policies and aims of the OSCE.
We view extra-budgetary contributions as essential to the organization. Mélange destruction in Ukraine, to which the United States has contributed tens of millions of Euros, is just one example of a project that has been implemented on an extra-budgetary basis. It meets the goals and aims of the OSCE, and has been accomplished within an approved OSCE program. We would argue that all participating States benefit from an improved security environment as a result of the activity. In fact, security in Europe would suffer significantly if there were no way for the OSCE to be responsive to those participating States who ask for help in dealing with national problems that exceed their own State resources.
We also note the significant transparency of the OSCE with regard to extra-budgetary projects. Summaries of all projects and their budgets are available on the delegates website, auditors examine the financial records associated with the projects, and there is reporting on these contributions in the OSCE’s annual report and other documents.
We commend the OSCE for its innovative use of voluntary donations to augment the programs and activities of the OSCE.
Finally, given the insistence that an extra-budgetary project on elections be developed and funded before consensus on the 2013 unified budget could be reached, we listened with particular interest to the comments of the Russian Federation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.