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 148: FIRST PERFORMANCE REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDUAL MECHANISM FOR CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS FOR THE BIENNIUM 2018-2019, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 11 December 2018)
1. At the outset, the Group of 77 and China would like to thank Mr Chandru Ramanathan, Acting Controller of the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts (OPPBA, as well as Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), for introducing respective reports.
2. The Group notes that the primary purpose of the first performance report is to identify revised estimates for the Mechanism owing to variations in the rates of inflation, exchange rates, standard salary and common staff costs and vacancy rates assumed in the calculation of the initial appropriation. The Group notes the revised appropriation in the amount of US$ 195.7 million representing a decrease of US$ 303,500 from the initial appropriation, owing to variation in a number of factors laid out in the first performance report.
3. We also take note of the findings in the report of the Board of Auditors for the financial year ended 31 December 2017, and we would like to stress the need for the implementation of all the recommendations of the Board in a timely manner.
4. On another matter, the Group of 77 and China recalls by its resolution 72/258 of 5th July, 2018 the General Assembly approved the revised budget for the Mechanism owing to the gaps realized in the initial submission. The Group is aware that, the Mechanism may have been negatively impacted in terms of timely mandate delivery due to delay in the approval of required resources.
5. The Group also recalls that through the provision of the above-mentioned resolution, a position of D1 was established to strengthen the administrative functions in Arusha. The Group and China would like to stress the need for the Secretary General to fill this post in Arusha as a matter of priority. Furthermore, the Group would also like to emphasize that any change of mandates related to approved resources including on locations of the posts remain a sole prerogative of the General Assembly and we would like to request the Secretary-General to ensure compliance in this regard.
6. The Group of 77 and China also notes the different functions of the Office of the President, the Prosecutor and the Registrar - the "Principals" of the Mechanism - as clearly codified in the Statute of the Mechanism. The functions and responsibilities of each Principal exist in order to ensure that the Mechanism carries out its specific mandate in an efficient manner, and it is important that each Principal abides by the extent of his own mandate. The Group will continue to follow up on all issues of interest with a view to ensure that the Mechanisms successfully carries out its important role.
7. In conclusion, allow me to re-assure you of our Group's readiness to engage constructively on this item with a view to concluding it in a timely fashion.
I thank you Madam Chair.