STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. ABDELHAKIM MIHOUBI, COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF ALGERIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 145: SCALE OF ASSESSMENTS FOR THE APPORTIONMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SIXTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 9 October 2012)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda Item 145, entitled "Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations".
2. The Group of 77 and China appreciates the presentation by the Deputy Controller, Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, of the document A/67/224 regarding the implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236.
3. At the outset, the Group stresses that we regard peacekeeping operations as an important function of the United Nations. We therefore emphasize that all peacekeeping operations should be provided with all the necessary resources in order to carry out their activities.
4. In this context, the Group of 77 and China wishes to share with this Committee the decision that was adopted in its Ministerial Declaration of the 28th September 2012:
"The Ministers affirmed that the current principles and guidelines for the apportionment of the expenses of peacekeeping operations approved by the General Assembly in its relevant resolutions should constitute a basis for any discussion on the peacekeeping scale. In this regard, the Ministers stressed that the peacekeeping scale must clearly reflect the special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Security Council for the maintenance of peace and security".
"The Ministers also recalled that the economically less developed countries have limited capacity to contribute towards the budgets of peacekeeping operations. In this context, the Ministers emphasized that any discussion on the system of discounts applied to the peacekeeping scale should take into account the conditions of developing countries whose current positions must not be negatively affected. The Ministers stressed, in this regard, that no member of the Group of 77 and China that is not a permanent member of the Security Council, should therefore be categorized above level C".
5. The Group therefore considers it of the utmost importance to reaffirm the principles that underlay the financing of the peacekeeping operations as contained in General Assembly resolutions 1874 (S-IV) of 27 June 1963, 3101 (XXVIII) of 11 December 1973 and 55/235 of 30 January 2001.
6. In view of their special responsibilities for the maintenance of peace and security, the Permanent Members of the Security Council should continue to shoulder all of their respective premiums for peacekeeping financing. It is not acceptable that some Permanent Members are seeking to shift their rightful burden to developing countries. Developing countries should not be targeted to move to higher levels, or forced to accept reductions in their discounts for their peacekeeping contributions as emphasized by our Ministers in our Ministerial Declaration.
7. Similarly, the peacekeeping scale should uphold the principle of explicit and meaningful distinction between developed and developing countries. There is a clear difference between developed and developing countries' capacities in contributing to peacekeeping financing. Developing countries should not be assigned to the same level of contributions as the developed countries (i.e Level B) on the basis of their per capita incomes. This measure ignores the difficult and particular circumstances that developing states with small populations face in their abilities to contribute to peacekeeping operations.
8. Furthermore, special consideration should be given to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and to the situation of those Member States - most of them from our Group - that are at the epicenter of peacekeeping operations.
9. The Group recalls that the current system of discounts as applied to the peacekeeping scale was created in order to facilitate evaluation of the individual capacities of Member States to contribute to the budgets of peacekeeping operations.
10. The Group expresses deep concern, however, that the automatic application of the current system of discounts has resulted in a situation whereby developing countries, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can be artificially classified in the developed world category, Level B, and forced to relinquish the totality of their discounts. We believe that this is a violation of the principles that developing countries have limited capacities to contribute to the already heavy expenditures of peacekeeping operations and that the Permanent Members of the Security Council bear special responsibilities for peacekeeping. We therefore emphasize that these anomalies need to be corrected in order to have a fair and just distribution of the levels of discounts.
11. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China is of the view that no developing country should be classified above Level C. As such, we propose that the necessary corrective actions to the system of discounts should be adopted now so that it can be applied in future preparations of the peacekeeping scale.
12. The Group wishes to reaffirm its position that the full and timely payments by Member States of their assessed contributions to the budgets of peacekeeping operations are a collective responsibility of all. We stand ready to assume our obligations emanating from a fair and just system of discounts, one that take fully into account all the principles that govern the apportionment of the expenses of the Organisation for peacekeeping operations.
13. The Group of 77 and China wishes to emphasize that any negotiations on this item must be conducted in an open, inclusive and transparent manner which upholds the legitimacy and competency of the Fifth Committee as the sole Main Committee of the General Assembly entrusted with responsibilities for administrative, financial and budgetary matters.
14. We reiterate our strong opposition to decision-making on this item in small group configurations, as well as to the imposition of any conditionalities in the negotiations. We affirm the unity and solidarity of all our Members on this item and we stand ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with all our Partners on this important issue.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.