STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR MAJED BAMYA, FIRST COUNSELLOR, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE, ON THE GLOBAL SERVICE DELIVERY MODEL AT THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 15 March 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda items 126, 135, 136 and 150: Global Service Delivery Model for the United Nations Secretariat (GSDM).
2. The Group thanks Mr. Christian Saunders, Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Operational Support, and Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the Advisory Committee, for introducing their respective reports on this agenda item.
3. The Group notes that this is the third proposal submitted by the Secretary-General on the Global Service Delivery Model. The Group recognizes that the Global Service Delivery Model is a key component of the Secretary-General's reform strategy, and we reiterate the importance the Group attaches to this particular agenda item. The Group welcomes the Secretary General's intention to ensure more cost-effective and consistent administrative support.
4. The Group recalls resolution 72/262 C, in which the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit a new proposal for the global service delivery model and to fully take into account paragraph 5 of the related report of the Advisory Committee, the comments, observations and recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit, and to consult with Member States and relevant stakeholders and consider the views expressed by them.
5. The Group notes that Global Shared Service Centers have been proposed for the following four locations: Nairobi, Kenya; Shenzhen, China; Budapest, Hungary; and Montréal, Canada.
6. The Group looks forward to discussing the various factors taken into consideration during the formulation of this proposal. We place particular importance on how closely and transparently the Secretariat adhered to the mandate given by Member States in resolution 72/262 C, as well as how Member States were consulted and their views taken into account during this process.
7. The Group will seek further clarification on the apportionment of costs and on the predictability of the funding model, as well as how these affect the business case presented by the Secretary-General. We note that the report estimates a cost reduction of $49 million over the first five years of operations, and the vast majority of savings in recurrent costs between the baseline and the proposed shared service centers will arise from reductions in staff salaries. To this end, the Group has noted the imbalance of reductions in various locations, and we would be interested to learn how more efficiencies can be achieved at duty stations with the highest staff costs.
8. We also note that strong host government relations are an important factor, and will seek details on the extent and duration of support offered for the proposed locations, to ensure that the business case for each location is sustainable over the long term. To this end, the Group stresses the importance of a benefits realization plan with clear quantitative and qualitative indicators, so that progress can be measured objectively and in a data-driven manner.
9. On the matter of locations, the Group notes with concern that Montreal was chosen to service French-speaking clients, especially given their number and geographical spread. The Group shares the concern of the Advisory Committee on the time zone gap between African client locations and Montreal.
10. Finally, the Group notes that the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe was established as a shared service centre in July 2010 by General Assembly resolution 64/269. We therefore consider it a priority to take into account the investments made into the RSCE to date, its significant role in the region, and how the Secretary-General will ensure its optimal use.
11. The Group reiterates its commitment to working with all stakeholders towards a constructive outcome on this important agenda item in a timely manner.
I thank you.