G-77 Press Releases
Press Statement on UN Reform by Ambassador Dumisani S. Kumalo, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China (26 April 2006)
UNITED NATIONS, 26 April 2006 - On 24 April 2006, the Group of 77 and China introduced a draft resolution on “Investing in the United Nations: for a stronger Organization worldwide”.
The draft resolution was introduced after we worked tirelessly for over two weeks with other Member States to produce a balanced text that takes into account the concerns of different Member States. It was encouraging that there was general agreement among Member States on the way forward regarding the proposals suggested by the Secretary-General.
It however became clear during the negotiations that there were some areas where there is a wide divergence of views between Member States. These involve the role, prerogatives and responsibilities of Member States in the General Assembly that are enshrined in the Charter. These are issues that have no relation to the management reform of the Secretariat or the Charter defined role of the Secretary-General.
The suggestion that the draft resolution in any way obstructs United Nations management reform is wrong. The Group of 77 and China believes that reform should be meaningful, strengthen the ability of the Organisation to implement its mandates effectively and enable it to serve the interests of the entire membership. Reform is a collective agenda for all Member States and serves our common interests. The voice of every Member State must be heard and respected during this reform process irrespective of the contributions made to the budget of the Organisation.
The Group of 77 and China believes that the right of every Member State to have an equal say in the decision-making of the Organization must be upheld. This right is not dependent on the financial contributions of Member States to the budget of the Organization. We, therefore, believe that the General Assembly in a resolution on the report “Investing in the United Nations: for a stronger Organization worldwide” has to pronounce itself on the governance proposals and reaffirm the sovereign equality of Member States that is enshrined in the Charter.
We all support the Secretary-General as chief administrative officer of the United Nations. However, we do not accept that in order for the Secretary General to carry out his duties, this should be accompanied by denying the majority of Member States the right to pronounce on the administration of the United Nations, including on its budgetary decisions. The Group of 77 and China believes that to suggest that a “small but representative group of Members States” can replace the role of all Member States in carrying out the oversight responsibilities of the General Assembly is to deny every Member of the United Nations the role due to them and to attempt to amend the equality of Member States that is enshrined in the Charter.
A great deal has been made about the three reports that the Secretary-General will be issuing in May, June and September 2006. Every single Member State has supported the issuance of these reports and the timelines for their issuance. The three reports are: In May 2006, the Secretary-General will provide Member States with a report on information on information and communication technology, financial management practices, and performance evaluation and reporting of the Secretariat; in June 2006, the Secretary-General will provide a report on procurement practices; and in September 2006 the Secretary-General will provide a report on human resources management. These reports were recommended by the ACABQ and every Member State has agreed that they would be necessary to assist us make the necessary decisions. To suggest that developing countries have requested these reports to delay the reform is also not true.
The draft resolution of 24 April 2006 provides a basis for the broadest possible consensus. More than two-thirds of the draft resolution consists of paragraphs that Member States adopted by consensus during the negotiations in April 2006. We further are encouraged that other Member States were able to support the proposals put forward by the Group of 77 and China regarding the importance of strengthening of accountability in the United Nations Secretariat.
The Group of 77 and China believes that all Member States will be able to join the consensus if they objectively assess the content of the draft resolution and if they are willing to pronounce on the right of every single Member States to participate on an equal footing in the decision-making of the Organisation. A decision to the contrary will go against the spirit and the letter of the Charter of the United Nations. This reaffirmation of the sovereign equality of all Member States is of fundamental importance to the future of the General Assembly and the United Nations.
Otherwise, the United Nations will move from one crisis to the next because we fail to decisively deal with the basic fundamental issues that govern this Organisastion.