STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. KARIM ISMAIL, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 138: IMPROVING THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE SECOND PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 18 May 2018)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda Item 138: Improving the financial situation of the United Nations.
2. The Group thanks Ms. Jan Beagle, Under Secretary General for Management, for her presentation of 11 May 2018. We also thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary General and Controller, for her update.
3. The Group expresses its appreciation to the Secretariat for the detailed presentation of 11 May 2018. We welcome the Secretariat's efforts to give Member States a full and transparent accounting of the financial health of the Organisation, and look forward to continuing this commendable practice. Going forward, we encourage the Secretariat to consider presenting more year-to-year comparisons, as well as elaborating on the general assessment and comments. This would help Member States analyse the evolution of the Organisation's financial health over time, and also track our own performance as regards meeting our financial commitments to the United Nations.
4. The Group expresses its appreciation to the 42 Member States who have paid all their assessments in full. We also acknowledge the Member States who have made real efforts to reduce their outstanding contributions, and call upon on all Member States to pay their assessed contributions at the earliest opportunity to keep the Organisation on a sound financial footing.
5. Our collective efforts to give the United Nations the resources it requires are particularly important. Achieving this goal is indispensable to enable the organization to discharge its mandates. Furthermore, it is also related to the level of outstanding payments to Member States, especially for troop costs and contingent-owned equipment. The Group appreciates the continued efforts and commitment of the Secretariat in addressing this issue. Many troop-contributing countries are also developing countries, and are not in a position to sustain their troop commitments and maintain equipment on their own for extended periods of time. This issue remains a major priority for the Group of 77 and China, and we urge the Organisation to give its utmost to significantly reduce outstanding amounts.
6. The Group reiterates that the financial health of the Organisation depends on action by all Member States. The Group empathizes with the situation of some Member States who are temporarily unable to meet their financial obligations. However, all Member States have the legal obligation to bear the expenses of this Organisation. There is nothing special about the equal obligation of all to live up to their responsibility to pay, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
7. More importantly, it is incumbent upon all Member States to safeguard the financial stability of the United Nations as we look forward to the work of the Organisation in the maintenance of international peace and security, and as we consider the ambitious proposals for reform before us. It is unrealistic to call for the United Nations to function effectively, fully implement its mandates, and undertake major changes, while withholding payment of assessed contributions. Calling for efficiencies in the formulation of budgets does not excuse us from our obligation to provide the Organisation with the resources it needs. Moreover, creating artificial justifications for non-payment not only affects mandate delivery, but undermines the established principles of governance of the United Nations on the basis of the sovereign equality of Member States.
8. The Group of 77 and China remains committed to working with all stakeholders to build a strong, effective, and results-oriented Organisation. To this end, we reiterate our call on all Member States in a position to do so to make every effort to meet their financial obligations to the United Nations, in full, on time, and without conditions.
I thank you, Mr Chair.