STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MOHAMED FOUAD AHMED, COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE CLOSING SESSION OF THE SECOND RESUMED PART OF THE SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 5 July 2018)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at this closing session of the second part of the resumed seventy-second session of the Fifth Committee.
2. This has been a particularly intense and challenging session. We have extended beyond the end of June, and into the new fiscal year. The Group notes that we had expressed concern at the outset on the heavy agenda and the late introduction of items in this session, but exercised flexibility in the interest of progress. The Group of 77 and China is satisfied that we have reached a successful conclusion, and we acknowledge the role of the Chair and your Bureau. We hope that this session will remain the exception and not the rule.
3. Peacekeeping is a crucial part of the United Nations' work. Peacekeeping budgets must provide the necessary resources to enable the Organisation to fulfil its mandates. The Group does not believe in arbitrary, across-the-board, cost-cutting exercises that do not take into consideration the situation on the ground. We acknowledge that our negotiations over the last two months have been difficult at times. It was not easy to reach consensus. We hope that the conclusions we have reached will enable the Secretariat to carry out its work effectively and efficiently.
4. The Group regrets that once again, we could not reach agreement on addressing closed peacekeeping missions. When we next consider this issue, we trust that there will be new options for a sustainable solution to address claims payable to Member States, particularly troop- and police- contributing countries, from the budgets of closed peacekeeping operations.
5. At the broader level, the Group notes the progress that the Secretariat has made over the past year in making peacekeeping more field-focused and effective. We look forward to continued efforts in this regard, including the full utilisation of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe.
6. In addition, the Group of 77 and China is pleased with the outcome of our review of the standard rate of reimbursement to troop- and police-contributing countries. This resolution has also increased death and disability compensation rates, which have not been addressed since 2010. The Group of 77 and China takes this opportunity to pay tribute to those who have made sacrifices in the cause of peace.
7. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the adoption of two historical resolutions on the restructuring of the peace and security architecture, and on management reform. Negotiations on these two resolutions have been long and difficult at times. However, the Group is pleased that we have reached a successful conclusion that will help the Secretary-General to make the Organisation work better for its Member States.
8. On management reform, the Group of 77 and China is proud of achieving a balanced outcome that lays the foundation for building a more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent Organisation. With this resolution, significant changes will be made to the structure of the Secretariat, as well as critical system-wide functions such as procurement and ICT. The Group looks forward to a more effective Secretariat that will work to deliver better results for Member States, and complement reform processes in other tracks.
9. On the restructuring of the peace and security architecture, the Group welcomes the shift to a new way of working, towards a more integrated and coordinated UN. We are pleased that there will be four stand-alone divisions for Africa. We look forward to how the changes will truly enable a "whole-of-pillar" approach in working with entities system-wide, to strengthen the coherence of the Organisation's support and response for peace operations at every point on the peace continuum.
10. The Group of 77 and China extends our appreciation to all facilitators and burden-sharers who played key roles in our negotiations. We thank our colleagues for their flexibility and constructive engagement during this session, which enabled us to reach consensus on many difficult issues.
11. In particular, the Group of 77 and China would like to thank the members of the Secretariat, especially Ms. Sharon van Buerle and her team, for their dedication, hard work, and endurance through many long nights. We are grateful to the other members of the Secretariat, conference officers, interpreters, and support staff for their work. We also thank the Secretariat of the G77 and China for their continued support to the Group.
12. As we conclude this session, some of our colleagues will be leaving us as they go on to a different phase of their lives. We extend our warmest wishes for their continued success in future endeavours, and hope that they will take their memories of their time here with them, as well as friendships built over the many long hours spent together in the basement of the United Nations.
13. Finally, the Group reaffirms our commitment to always engage constructively in the work of the Fifth Committee, as we look ahead and prepare for the seventy-third session. We hope the spirit of cooperation and flexibility will continue to prevail. The Group of 77 and China stands ready as always to work with all colleagues towards our common goal of building a better United Nations that works for the interests of all Member States.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.