STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. NADA TARBUSH, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 148: CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW FACILITY FOR THE IRM, ARUSHA BRANCH, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE FIRST RESUMED PART OF THE 73RD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 12 March 2019)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 148: Financing the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, in particular on the Eighth progress report on the construction of a new facility for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Arusha branch.
2. At the outset, the Group of 77 and China would like to thank Mr. Olufemi Elias, Assistant Secretary-General, Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, for presenting the Secretary-General's progress report contained in document A/73/718, as well as Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the Advisory Committee, for introducing the related report contained in document A/73/763.
3. The Group also reaffirms its appreciation to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for its continued support to the work of the Mechanism particularly the construction project.
4. The Group notes and welcomes the Secretary-General's eighth progress report on the construction, which presents a number of improvements in terms of quality and increased transparency including disclosing a number of challenges. We appreciate the progress made so far in the remediation works and with regard to the punch list-items. We are pleased to note that rectification of the punch list items has been completed.
5. The Group has taken note that the Secretary General was unable to submit the final progress report as expected, due to, inter alia, uncertainties especially those resulting from the rectification of the HVAC system as a result of a design error by the architectural firm. The Group trusts that the final progress report will be presented as soon as the HVAC work has been completed.
6. The Group has taken note that the only remaining element of the construction is the rectification of the HVAC system and we would like to emphasize the need for the Secretary-General and his team, particularly the Office of Legal Affairs and the Office for Central Support Services, to carefully examine the contractual arrangement with the architectural firm which is responsible for the HVAC design errors and subsequent project close-out delays and to take appropriate action to address the matter in a timely fashion.
7. The Group will follow up closely on this issue during our informal consultations.
8. As in the case of other facilities, the Group of 77 and China would like to stress the need for the establishment of the facility management arrangement to oversee the new facility beyond the project completion. We look forward to consideration of the proposed provisions on the matter in the context of future budget submissions.
9. Turning to another issue of interest, the Group of 77 and China would like to recall that at the main part of this session we took note of 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. It is therefore important that Principals abide and respect the extent of their respective mandates.
10. In conclusion, allow me to assure you of our Group's willingness to continue to engage in a constructive manner with a view to concluding this item in a timely fashion.
I thank you.