STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. LOURDES PEREIRA SOTOMAYOR, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE PERMANENT MISSION OF ECUADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEMS 147 AND 148, IN PARTICULAR ON THE SECOND PERFORMANCE REPORT ON THE BUDGET OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA FOR THE BIENNIUM 2016-2017, AND THE SECOND PERFORMANCE REPORT ON THE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM 2016-2017 AND PROPOSED BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM 2018-2019 OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDUAL MECHANISM FOR CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS, AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 19 December 2017)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda items 147 and 148, in particular on the second performance report on the budget of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for the biennium 2016- 2017, and the second performance report on the budget for the biennium 2016- 2017 and proposed budget for the biennium 2018-2019 of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller as well as Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), for introducing respective reports on these agenda items.
3. In regard to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRM), the Group notes the savings made by the Mechanism attributable to the strengthening of the Tanzanian Shilling, decrease in the level of inflation as well as the absence of trials during the biennium 2016- 2017.
4. The Group notes with concern, just like the Advisory Committee, the Secretary-General's decision to rely more heavily on the branch in the Hague without proper justification which has to a large extent defeated the purpose of the decision to close the ICTY and replace it with the Residual Mechanism and will examine the circumstances that led to this decision during the informal discussions.
5. The Group wishes to expresses great concern over the underutilization of the new purpose built facility for the Residual Mechanism, which has been recently completed in Arusha, while staff from the branch in the Hague are housed in rental premises and requests the Secretary-General to address the underutilization of facilities in this budget period and in the context of the management reforms.
6. The Group further expresses concern over the Advisory Committee's recommendation, which requests the Secretary-General to submit a revised budget submission, and recommends against giving the Secretary-General the required resources.
7. The Group expresses its dissatisfaction over the recommendation above, which will deprive the Mechanism of the timely implementation of its programs and calls upon provision of the required information through supplementary information.
8. The Group supports the recommendation by ACABQ to retain the post of Prosecutor USG and Special Assistant P4 in the Arusha branch as opposed to moving them to The Hague at this stage without adequate justification.
9. In conclusion, allow me to assure you that we will engage constructively on these important agenda items.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.