STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR RIYAD MANSOUR (STATE OF PALESTINE), CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE (New York, 11 March 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the organization of work for the first part of the resumed 73rd session of the Fifth Committee and to express the Group's appreciation for the excellent work done under the chairmanship of Egypt.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to express its profound shock and immense sadness following the news of the plane crash in Ethiopia yesterday, which claimed the lives of all on board. We convey our heartfelt sympathies and solidarity to the families and loved ones of all the victims who perished in this tragedy, including the members of the United Nations community and others who similarly worked for a better future for all of us.
3. Since my delegation is addressing this Committee as Chair of the Group of 77 for the first time, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the Group to working with you and your Bureau towards the successful conclusion of the session. We trust that the Bureau will always work by consensus and in a fully transparent manner.
4. I would also like to express appreciation for the invaluable work of the Secretariat of the Fifth Committee led by the able Ms. Sharon Van Buerle in facilitating the work of the Committee.
5. I also recognise Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and commend the work of the Advisory Committee in providing technical and impartial advice to the Committee on the important items before us.
6. The Group thanks you and the Bureau for providing the programme of work and the status of preparedness of documentation contained in document A/C.5/73/L.23. The Group notes that this is a provisional programme of work and we trust the Bureau to continue reviewing and updating it during the session should there be developments on the readiness and availability of the pending reports.
7. We note that "Staff Regulations and Rules" appears on the provisional programme of work, and reiterate our Group's position that the Human Resources Management item should be considered holistically, as a package rather than in a piecemeal way, with a view to reaching concrete outcomes on issues including gender parity, equitable geographical representation at all levels, refining performance management, and addressing deficiencies in the staff selection process. In this respect, since the Human Resources Management item has been deferred to the 74th main session of the Committee, we believe that so should "Staff Regulations and Rules" be deferred to that session.
8. Turning to specific issues that will be examined by the Committee during this session, the Group attaches great importance to the Global Service Delivery Model, and will carefully examine both the proposal of the Secretary-General and the related report of the Advisory Committee on this agenda item and explore how the proposals can improve service delivery and outcomes.
9. Another key priority for the Group is Procurement. The Group reiterates the importance of increased efficiency, transparency and cost effectiveness to achieve cross-cutting results in the Procurement system. We look forward to further examining ways to increase procurement opportunities for vendors from developing countries and economies in transition at headquarters and at field offices, and ensure equal, fair, and non-discriminatory access to companies from such countries.
10. Further, the Group will actively participate in the Committee's deliberations on other agenda items, including the construction of the new facility for the International Residual Mechanism in Arusha, the standards of accommodation of air travel, progress towards an accountability system in the UN Secretariat, and the report of the Joint Inspection Unit, among others.
11. The Group looks forward to the timely issuance of reports by the Secretariat and the ACABQ, in all official languages, according to the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly. We acknowledge the recent improvement to address the chronic problem of late issuance of reports, but underscore that there is room for further improvement. The Group emphasizes that receiving documents in a timely manner is crucial to facilitating our deliberations and allowing the Committee to effectively undertake and complete its work.
12. In closing, let me reaffirm the commitment of the Group of 77 and China to consider and conclude the items before us within the timeframe of the programme of work. We also reiterate our full cooperation and constructive engagement with you, the Bureau and our partners to reach a successful outcome for this session.
Thank you, Madam Chair.