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06USUNNEWYORK527 2006-03-16 22:20:00 UNCLASSIFIED USUN New York
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DE RUCNDT #0527/01 0752220
P 162220Z MAR 06
					  UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000527 



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. USUN 442

B. USUN 481

C. USUN 461

1. Representatives of Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
and the United States (JUSCANZ) conferred March 14 to explore
ways of dealing with the Secretary-General's latest
initiatives for improving the UN's management and governance
(reftels). While none of the Ambassadors had yet received
comprehensive instructions from their capitals on the report,
all agreed that the General Assembly should not relinquish
control of the process to the Fifth Committee or any other
body, and that strict timelines must be imposed on these
bodies in order for the General Assembly to reach some early
decisions. They also saw the value of creating some early
momentum by moving forward quickly on a few priority
measures, acknowledging that many other initiatives were
complicated and would take more time to reach decisions on.
Canada's Ambassador Rock, who hosted the lunch on March 14,
said the President of the General Assembly had planned to
hold the first meeting on the report on March 27, at which
time the body would decide to request input from the ACABQ
and the Fifth Committee. These two committees would also be
asked to review a Secretariat-produced "implementation plan"
during March and April.

2. During much of this same period the General Assembly will
also be busy with the Secretary-General's report on the
review of UN mandates, now due to be issued on March 28.
Ambassador Rock said he and his working group co-chair
Ambassador Akram of Pakistan will soon be consulting with
various groups and delegations on how to handle this other
critical report. They expect to have a formal Plenary
session during the third week in April to work out a
timetable for the review, which would take place in May and
June. Rock emphasized that the mandate review would run into
real problems unless certain politically sensitive mandates
(e.g., Palestinian mandates) were exempted from the initial
review. U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative Wolff said the
U.S. could not accept conditions for the mandate review
since we would judge everything on its merits. Rock also
said the western group should agree with the Group of 77 and
China to retain savings derived from the mandate review to
fund activities in the same thematic areas (e.g., funds saved
from eliminating mandates in the development area should be
used for other development activities.) While Ambassador
Wolff said that this too caused problems for the U.S., he
said it might be possible to consider funding meritorius
development activities.

3. Looming over the discussions of the management reform
report and the mandate review was the issue of how to deal
with the $950 million spending ceiling approved by the
General Assembly last December. While it was not clear to
anyone (Ambassadors and experts) at the lunch precisely how
and when the Secretary-General would bring the spending cap
item to the General Assembly, the Fifth Committee experts
believed that the cap would need to be dealt with in their
Committee under the agenda item for the 2006-2007 budget,
since it was the budget resolution that contained the
spending authority provision. Ambassador Wolff said that
the U.S. position was simple: without significant progress on
reform, there will be no lifting of the cap. Ambassador
Ozawa of Japan cautioned that JUSCANZ and the EU would be
outvoted in a confrontation with the G-77 over the spending
cap. New Zealand Ambassador Banks said that many G-77
delegations believed that they were humiliated last December
when a small group of delegates outside of the Fifth
Committee negotiated the budget and imposed a spending cap;
she sensed that they were not about to let it happen again.
Ambassador Wolff said that it was important for like-minded
delegations to remind G-77 delegations on March 27 to the
connection between the reforms and the next budget decision.
Rather than give such a warning at that point, Ambassador
Rock suggested that the JUSCANZ ambassadors send a joint
letter to the Secretary-General that would lay out JUSCANZ
expectations for progress on reform as a condition for
allowing the UN to spend more money.

4. Other points made during the lunch--and a similar meeting
held the day before at the Australian Mission--are as follows:

-- The first review by the ACABQ of the management reform
report was critical to increasing the likelihood of early
success. Representatives agreed to monitor current
activities in the ACABQ through their Committee members
(Japan, Canada, U.S.) and share information.

-- The chef de cabinet for the President of the General
Assembly will be meeting with key groups and delegations over
the coming days to discuss the process and calendar for
handling the management reform report. Ambassadors agreed to

send a consistent signal that the General Assembly needed to
maintain control of the process and also needed to enforce
strict timelines for other committees to respond to it.

-- Australia agreed to host another meeting on Friday March
17 to discuss initial guidance provided by capitals and
possibly agree on a handful of priority measures that could
be pursued and agreed to at an early stage.

-- The Group of 77 and China continues to resist the
principle that the General Assembly is supreme on budget and
other matters. Group members will persist in advancing their
view that the Fifth Committee be allowed to take whatever
time is necessary to reach decisions on the many management
reform measures.

-- Representatives agreed that the Secretary-General needs to
be urged to complete the reform measures that he is already
authorized to carry out.

-- Ambassador Ozawa of Japan expressed concern about the high
cost of the reform measures contained in the management
report, likening the situation to the Japanese saying that
"the pig is getting fat while being roasted."

-- Information from the UN budget office indicated that the
UN, as expected, would probably run out of money in June.