G-77 disappointed with U.N.s unresolved financial crisis
UNITED NATIONS, April 21 (IPS) The Group of 77 is disappointed that the High-Level U.N. Working Group on Finances has failed to make any progress in resolving the current financial crisis facing the world body.
Speaking on behalf of the G-77 and China, Muhammad Yusuf of Tanzania told the Working Group that in spite of commendable efforts made by the two Co-Vice-Chairmen to prepare the draft decision and to lead the Working Group in its search for providing a sound financial basis for the Organization, the absence of political will on part of some Member States has been an impediment to desirable progress, he said.
The draft decision introduced by the Co-Vice-Chairmen addressed the core issue of the payment of all arrears, and payment of assessed contributions in full and on time and without conditions
The draft decision in the first part dealing with the payment of all arrears, represented the area of greatest convergence in the Working Group to date. The draft decision on the payment of arrears was broadly consistent with the position maintained by the G-77 and China that the current financial situation of the UN is a crisis of payment, and is a consequence of the nonpayment of substantial arrears by some Member States, especially by some of the major contributors, as well as delayed payment of assessed contributions.
Yusuf also spelled out the G-77 position that the peacekeeping scales of assessment are distinct from the regular budget scales of assessment.
The General Assembly has determined that peacekeeping involves a heavy expenditure on member states necessitating a different method of apportioning such expenditures.
We believe that the continued differentiation in apportioning the expenditures between the regular budget and peacekeeping is imperative. The financing of peacekeeping must reflect the special responsibilities of the States permanent members of the Security Council, he added.
Further, the relatively greater capacity of the more developed among the Member States to pay larger amounts for peacekeeping and the limited capacity of the less developed countries to meet such expenditures, is a reasonable premise based on economic realities. This distinction is still valid and must be preserved, Yusuf said.
The G-77 is also of the view that proposals for fixing a premium or surcharge to be borne by members of the Security Council are not acceptable.
The special scale for peacekeeping operations should be retained according to the established principle of collective but differentiated responsibility.
The establishment of a ceiling and a floor for the permanent members of the Security Council is totally unacceptable, because it is not in keeping with the principles and guidelines of the relevant General Assembly resolutions, he added.
The Working Group on the Financial Situation concluded its session without reaching any agreement on the draft decision proposed by the Co-Vice-Chairmen. Another session of the Working Group is scheduled in June 1997.
Following are excerpts of the draft decision:
"The General Assembly
(a) Reaffirms the legal obligation of Member States to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time, and without conditions in accordance with Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations;