STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. KARIM ISMAIL, FIRST SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 136: PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM 2018-2019: REQUEST FOR A SUBVENTION TO THE RESIDUAL SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY- THIRD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 28 November 2018)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset, the Group wishes to thank Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, Acting Controller of the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts (OPPBA), as well as Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their respective reports.
2. The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate its strong support to the work of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone. We wish to recall that since the commencement of its operations in January 2014, the Court has continued to carry out important residual functions of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, including supporting witness protection, supervising the enforcement of sentences, assistance to national prosecuting authorities, and the management and preservation of archives. In addition, the Court conducts ad hoc proceedings, and has the power to prosecute the remaining fugitive, if arrested, or to refer his case to a competent national jurisdiction for trial. In this regard, the Group attaches great importance to ensuring the adequacy of resources for the effective implementation of the Court's mandate.
3. The Group notes with serious concern that despite the intensive fundraising endeavors by the Secretary General, the Oversight Committee and the principal officials of the Court, voluntary contributions have been insufficient for the operations of the Court since 2015, with no prospects of predictable and reliable voluntary contributions in the current biennium. We believe that this situation poses serious challenges to the sustainability of the work of the Court, and the effective implementation of its mandate.
4. While the Group supports the approval of the full amount of the subvention requested by the Secretary General, we remain mindful of the fact that subvention is only a temporary measure. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China reiterate the need for a long-term sustainable funding mechanism for the Court, preferably, through assessed contributions from Member States.
5. The Group would like to convey its profound thanks and appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone for its sustained support and commitment towards the functioning of the Court, as well as other Member States and partners for their invaluable support towards the work of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.
6. In conclusion, the Group would like to assure you of our readiness to engage constructively in the consideration of this agenda item with a view to reaching conclusion in a timely manner.
I thank you.