STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR MOHAMED EDREES, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE (New York, 14 March 2018)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the organization of work for the first part of the resumed 72nd session of the Fifth Committee and to express appreciation for the constructive work done under the chairmanship of Ecuador.
2. Since my delegation is addressing this Committee as Chair of the Group of 77 for the first time, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the full support of the Group for you and other members of the Bureau in discharging your mandate. I would like also to congratulate the Bureau on the successful conclusion of the main part of the 72nd session before the Christmas holiday, despite the dense program of work. I would like in this regard to commend the invaluable work of the Secretariat of the Committee led by the able Ms. Sharon Van Buerle throughout the session.
3. I also recognize Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and commends the work of the Advisory Committee in providing technical and impartial advice to the Committee on these important matters before us.
4. As we embark on the first part of this resumed session, we are cognizant of the critical juncture the UN is passing through. We soon have to decide on important institutional changes that aim to render the organization more efficient, effective in mandate delivery and fit for purpose.
5. In the same spirit and turning into specific issues that will be examined by the Committee during this session, we look forward to the consideration of the JIU report to explore ways to maximize benefits of the auditing and review activities carried out by the Unit. We will also be interested in examining the reasons of the low rate of acceptance and implementation of recommendations by some organizations and how to reverse that trend.
6. On the issue of the standards of accommodation of air travel, it is important for the committee to thoroughly reflect on the SG's proposals and the ACABQ'S recommendations and discuss how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of travel management in the secretariat. It is also crucial to ensure benefit realization regarding the implementation of Umoja in travel administration in terms of providing comprehensive analysis of travel data, which will enhance accountability and enable us to identify bottlenecks.
7. We will also consider the construction of the new facility for the International Residual Mechanism in Arusha, which is necessary for the Mechanism to discharge its mandate. The Group welcomes the substantial completion of the project in December 2016, marking the conclusion of the construction phase and the beginning of the post-occupancy/defect and liability period. We firmly believe that it is important for the Secretariat to closely monitor progress and ensure that the remaining rectifications are fully completed without further delay within the revised timeframe and approved resources, and that a final progress report is submitted to the General Assembly in due course.
8. The Group looks forward to the timely issuance of reports by the Secretariat and the ACABQ, in all official languages, according to the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly. We acknowledge the recent Improvement to address the chronic problem of late issuance of reports, but underscore that there is still room for further improvement. The Group emphasizes that the receiving documents in a timely manner is crucial to facilitating our deliberations and according these important subjects the time and attention they deserve.
9. Furthermore, the Group also underscores the need to manage the work of both the Fifth and Advisory Committees, in line with their established practices, especially in giving priority to time-sensitive and budget-related issues.
10. In conclusion, let me reaffirm the commitment of the Group of 77 and China to consider and conclude the items before us, within the timeframe of the program of work. The Group hopes that all delegations will come ready to engage constructively in the spirit of compromise, transparency, and openness with the objective of reaching an outcome that is in the best interests of the Organization and its Member States. We also reiterate our full cooperation and constructive engagement with you, the Bureau and our partners to reach a successful outcome for this session.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.