STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. KARIM ISMAIL, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 148: CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW FACILITY FOR THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDUAL MECHANISM FOR CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS, ARUSHA BRANCH, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 16 March 2018)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 148: Construction of a new facility for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Arusha branch.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Mr. Olufemi Elias, Assistant Secretary-General, Registrar of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, as well as Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for presenting their respective reports on this agenda item.
3. The Group would like to express its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his endeavor to ensure the timely completion of the construction of the new facility in Arusha and has no doubt that it will greatly facilitate the work of the Mechanism.
4. The Group therefore welcomes the seventh progress report on the construction of a new facility for the IRM Arusha branch and notes that the Secretary-General will submit his final report in the 73rd session after the completion of the project.
5. The Group also notes that the construction phase was completed on the 1st of December 2016 and that the new facility has been occupied since 5 December 2016 with full use being made of the office building, and that the courtroom building is also fully functional and ready to host trial activity. The Group acknowledges the efforts of the Secretary-General in the progress achieved thus far and looks forward to receiving comprehensive information in the final report on the utilization of the courtroom for its designated purpose.
6. The Group would also like to reiterate its appreciation to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for its continued support to the project as well as to the work of the Tribunal and Mechanism.
7. The Group further notes that though the project is still in the defect liability phase and that there is notable progress in addressing the punch- list items, which according to the report of the Advisory Committee is now estimated at 570 items, or 65 per cent of the total number of 880 punch-list items have now been rectified. The Group looks forward to receiving an update on the progress of the correction of the remaining defects.
8. The Group is cognizant of the fact that the defects liability period has been extended until 30th April, 2018 and concurs with the emphasis of the Project Team that the architect is responsible for the redesign of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, at no additional cost to the United Nations. The Group will be interested in seeking more information about the rectifying of all outstanding defects in the facility in a timely and cost-effective manner.
9. The Group would like to seek the assurances of the Secretary-General that the new project management team will closely monitor the progress, and ensure that the remaining rectifications are fully completed without further delay within the revised timeframes and approved resources, and that a final progress report will be submitted to the General Assembly at its 73rd session.
10. We also assure you that we shall engage constructively with you and all Member States with the aim of concluding this very important agenda item in a timely fashion.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.