STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MOHAMED FOUAD, COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 136: PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM 2018-2019: CONSTRUCTION AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, CAPITAL MASTER PLAN, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 8 November 2018)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 136: Programme budget biennium 2018-2019: Construction and property management, Capital Master Plan (CMP).
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Mr. Christian Saunders, Assistant Secretary - General, Office of Central Support Services, for introducing the Sixteenth annual progress report of the Secretary-General on the Capital Master Plan contained in document (A/73/317). I would also like to thank Ms. Parama Sen, Director of External Audit (India) and Chair of the Audit Operations Committee, Board of Auditors and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their respective related reports.
3. The Group of 77 and China continues to support efforts to modernize and improve the operating efficiency of all facilities across the United Nations system. Keeping in mind the ongoing and the planned construction projects with respect to UN facilities, The Group believes it is crucial to draw lessons from construction projects that have been implemented particularly the Capital Master Plan which is indeed the largest and most comprehensive construction and renovation project undertaken by the United Nations and therefor a case in point in this regard. It is important to ensure that lessons learned and best practices of the CMP provide guidance to the implementation plans of other capital projects and to make best use of the resources available the Organization.
4. The Group attaches great importance to the issue of accessibility and takes note of the the survey conducted in this regard. We commend the progress achieved in addressing gaps with respect thereto, and the improvements made especially in the GA Hall. We look forward in this regard to examining the accessibility review of the Headquarters premises.
5. With respect to efficiencies, we note that despite energy savings remain in the set target of 50%, there is a measurable decrease thereof between 2016 and 2017. We appreciate the operationalization of the Energy Dashboard and Reporting Tool (EDART) that can be used to monitor energy consumption at the individual floor or building level. We look forward for the full utilization of these new tools to further reduce energy consumption wherever possible.
7. We believe that with a project with such a tremendous cost, putting efficient and effective maintenance mechanism in place is imperative. We take note in this regard of the implementation of Umoja preventive maintenance module and the challenges in data collection the secretariat met in this regard and will seek clarification with respect to the impact thereof on the administration's ability to take informed preventive measures.
8. The Group further notes the progress made with respect to the administrative closeout of the project, and will be interested in the ensuing informal consultations to better understand the background of the arbitration notices filed by the main contractor against the United Nations seeking indemnification and the financial implications thereof in case the claims against the United Nations are upheld on the final project cost.
9. The Group takes note with appreciation of the report of the Board of Auditors. We commend the secretariat for its commitment to fully implement them. We will be interested during our ensuing informal consultations to get a comprehensive update on the status of implementation of different recommendations.
10. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China wishes to assure you - Madame Chair- of constructive engagement on this important agenda item during informal consultations, with a view to conclude it in a timely manner.
I thank you.