CCW: U.S. Statement on Improving the Financial Stability of the Convention

CCW Meeting of High Contracting Parties
U.S. Statement on Improving the Financial Stability of the Convention

Geneva, November 14, 2019

As delivered by Josh Dorosin

Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the work of your delegation in preparing these proposals and coordinating our efforts on this important topic over the past year.  We are also grateful to the Secretariat for its dedication in ensuring the smooth operation of our meetings as we have continued to grapple with measures to address the financial stability of the Convention. While, these financial issues can only be fully resolved by the full and timely payment of assessments by participating States, we recognize the need for further measures to put the CCW on a sustainable financial footing, and welcome your proposal as an important step in that regard.

The United States is prepared to join consensus on the creation of a Working Capital Fund to provide liquidity for CCW staff costs over the course of the year, but from our perspective it is important to incorporate several key elements in the terms of reference.

First, although we see the value in a working capital fund to ensure cash flow for staff costs, we would not support a working capital fund to cover meeting costs. The threat of cancelled meetings serves as a key incentive to ensure timely payment of assessments.

Second, it is crucial that a working capital fund not be used to cover for arrears, and the terms of reference should make clear that any withdrawals from the fund will be replaced by deposits from assessed contributions as soon as they are received.

Finally, the fund should only be funded by voluntary contributions from high contracting parties to ensure accountability to the high contracting parties.

We are pleased to see that most of these elements are reflected in the Chair’s proposal.

 I would like to take this opportunity to echo concerns regarding the April 1 note verbale concerning the financial arrangements for the Geneva-based disarmament conventions. We recognize the problem posed by persistent non-payment of assessed contributions, and are committed to working with HCPs to find a sustainable solution, but we are not prepared to accept the approach reflected in the April 1 note verbale in the CCW, which as others here have described, is inconsistent with prior decisions of this body.  Thank you.