STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MOHAMED FOUAD AHMED, COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 149: ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY ASPECTS OF THE FINANCING OF THE UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: RESULTS OF THE SURVEY TO SUPPORT THE REVIEW OF THE STANDARD RATE OF REIMBURSEMENT TO TROOP- AND POLICE-CONTRIBUTING COUNTRIES, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE FIRST RESUMED PART OF THE SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 27 March 2018)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda item 149 'Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations: Results of the survey to support the review of the standard rate of reimbursement to troop- and police-contributing countries'.
2. The Group would like to thank Mr. Rick Martin, Director of the Field Budget and Finance Division of the Department of Field Support, for introducing the report of the Secretary-General under this item. We would also like to thank the Vice-Chair of the ACABQ, Mr. Babou Sene, for introducing the related report of the Advisory Committee.
3. The Group of 77 and China acknowledges with appreciation the General Assembly-mandated quadrennial review of personnel costs incurred by contributing countries that was undertaken in 2017/18, following the methodology approved by the Assembly in resolution 67/261 with the guidance of the Senior Advisory Group (SAG). We wish to reiterate the great importance we attach to preserving the integrity of the methodology established by the aforementioned resolution.
4. Furthermore, the Group believes that periodic review and adjustment of the reimbursement rate is imperative in light of the fact that troop- and police-contributing countries have to augment their investment to address the contemporary challenges of peacekeeping and meet the stricter standards that it entails, in particular, with regard to enhancing the ability of troops to protect civilians, enabling the contingent personnel to respond to increasing levels of direct threats to their security and that of other United Nations personnel and property.
5. The Group of 77 and China would also like to express its appreciation to the 10 sample troop- and police- contributing countries (TCCs/PCCs) that participated in the 2017/18 survey while as well commending the Secretary-General for his efforts in upholding the principles that guided the survey process, particularly, with respect to preserving the confidentiality of the data collected.
6. The Group welcomes the partnership between the Secretariat and the newly established Headquarters Contingent-Owned Equipment/Memorandum of Understanding Management Review Board in ensuring that the approved methodology is adhered to, and that the data are, to the best extent, complete, consistent and in accordance with the criteria established by the General Assembly.
7. It is expected that the precision of the new methodology will inure to the benefit of personnel serving with high expectations and new dimensions placed on their roles within peacekeeping operations. Their contributions and sacrifices to the advancement of the Charter goal of maintaining international peace and security cannot be over-emphasized.
8. It would be remiss of the Group to not mention how encouraged it is by the increase in the number of female uniformed peacekeepers deployed in contingents from about 3,800 in January 2014 to almost 4,300 in December 2017 and urges their increased participation in peacekeeping operations, with respect to both numbers and function.
9. On that score, the Group is of the view that the determination of troop costs should have a provision for the specific needs and requirements of women peacekeepers in terms of their pre-deployment medical expenses, their personal kit and equipment, as well as other aspects of their deployment, including the need for dedicated accommodation and other facilities. The Group will seek the incorporation of these into the cost data to be collected and considered in the context of the next review.
10. Equally important to future survey exercises is the need to consider and incorporate costs associated with post-deployment such as demobilization and medical examinations and procedures, including psychological examinations, tests and counselling, that are specific to service in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
11. With regard to the 2017/18 survey, the Group of 77 and China will seek to obtain some further clarification, inter alia, on the following during informal consultations:
i. The weighted average amount of $1,427.80 per person per month arrived at in the survey in relation to the current rate per person per month of $1,410.00;
ii. Variation in the types of, and the approach taken to determine additional allowances paid for service in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
iii. Overlaps between and among cost categories;
iv. 'Other costs' and the level of standardization within this category.
12. The Group of 77 and China aims to consider this agenda item in a holistic manner during the second resumed session of the 5th Committee and would like to assure you of its readiness to engage constructively, with a view to concluding in a timely manner.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.