STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MOHAMED EDREES, PERMANENT REPRSENTATIVE OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK FOR THE SECOND PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE (New Yorki, 7 May 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 second part of the resumed seventy-second session of the Fifth Committee.
2. The Group reiterates its sincere appreciation to you, Mr. Chair, for your able leadership, as well as to members of your Bureau for the work they are doing to ensure the smooth functioning of the Committee. We also take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the ACABQ and the Secretariat for their indispensable contributions in facilitating the work of the Committee.
3. The Group recognizes the presence of Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant-Secretary General and Controller, and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).
4. I would like to express the Group's gratitude for the women and men working in different peacekeeping missions, whether civilian or uniformed, who carry the brunt of the burden and make significant sacrifices every day in order to achieve the mandates of these missions as set out by the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Group also to pays tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace.
5. The Second Resumed Session has traditionally focused on the consideration of the financing of peacekeeping operations. These complex items demand our close attention, and we should focus on concluding our deliberations on time to ensure that peacekeeping operations are given the necessary resources to fulfill their mandates.
6. At the same time, the Committee will also examine the Secretary General's proposals on management reform, as well as revised estimates for the restructuring of the peace and security pillar. While we reaffirm our support for the Secretary-General's reform efforts, we underscore the exceptional circumstances related to the inclusion of non-peacekeeping budget related items on the agenda of this session. We reiterate that this should not be used as a precedent for future decisions on the program of work of the Second Resumed Session.
7. Cognizant of the time constrains the committee is facing, and given the heavy agenda of this session, the Group stresses the importance of addressing timeliness in documentation, to maximize the efficiency of our work in the period ahead. It is regrettable that we still grapple with the late submission of a substantial number of reports. This unfortunate situation impacts the ability of Member States to examine reports in detail, and adequately prepare for the Session. Moreover, while the Group is grateful for the Bureau's efforts to disseminate information as soon as possible, it is also challenging for numerous delegations when reports are not available in all six official languages in a timely fashion. The Group reminds all stakeholders of the importance of giving due regard to multilingualism.
8. The Group of 77 and China attaches great importance to the consideration of the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of UN peacekeeping operations, in particular crosscutting issues, and the support account for peacekeeping operations. In addition, we look forward to engaging in discussions on the following key issues:
-First, ensuring that the formulation, presentation, and approval of peacekeeping operations budgets are based on their mandates and the real situation on the ground, and not as arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises;
-Second, exploring options to achieve a fair solution for the unpaid assessments, accounts payable and other liabilities of closed peacekeeping missions, so as to settle claims outstanding in missions with cash deficits;
-Third, comprehensively addressing the systemic and unresolved issues and difficulties faced by Troop- and Police Contributing Countries including ensuring fair and realistic reimbursement rates, necessary accommodations for female peacekeepers, and the adequate representation of Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries in the relevant Departments of the Secretariat dealing with peacekeeping missions;
-Fourth, thoroughly examining proposals related to management reform and the restructuring of the peace and security pillar, to assess how their implementation can contribute to the realization of our shared vision of rendering the UN more capable in delivering on its mandates, and make it fit for purpose, agile, and responsive to emerging challenges especially those related to the field. The Group emphasizes that these proposals should be considered on their merits, and efficiency gains should not be the main criterion in our decisions on those proposals.
9. In conclusion, let me reassure you of the Group of 77 and China's commitment to engaging actively and constructively during the Committee's deliberations on all issues under consideration during this session. We look forward to an open and fruitful discussion, in the best interests of the United Nations and the people whom it represents and serves.
I thank you.