STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS NADA TARBUSH, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 136: PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM 2018-2019: "MANAGING AFTER-SERVICE HEALTH INSURANCE", AT THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY THIRD SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 15 March 2019)

Madam Chair,

1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 136: Programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019 on Managing after-service health insurance (ASHI).

2. At the outset, the Group of 77 and China wishes to thank Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General and Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget, for his introduction of the Secretary General's report on Managing After-Service Health Insurance, as contained in document A/73/662, and the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) Mr. Cihan Terzi, for his introduction of the report of the ACABQ, as contained in document A/73/792.
 
Madam Chair,

3. The Group of 77 and China reiterates the great importance it attaches to the welfare of the United Nations staff members and remains committed to the settlement of their end-of service liabilities, including those related to after-service health insurance as many of them cannot benefit from the national social security schemes of Member States, owing to their service with the United Nations.

4. The Group of 77 and China has carefully considered the Secretary General's report and notes the seven recommendations of the Inter-agency Working Group on After-service Health Insurance. The Group has also noted the Secretary General's concerns regarding the significant after-service health insurance liabilities and the implications they could have on the sustainability of ASHI as well as the solvency of the organization in the future.

5. The Group of 77 and China is deeply mindful of the long-term implications that decisions on this issue can have on future budgets of the United Nations and staff members of the United Nations and therefore looks forward to the informal sessions where we intend to seek a more in-depth understanding of both the administrative and funding aspects of after-service health insurance and to working with other delegations to arrive at a practical, effective and sustainable solution, always bearing in mind the fundamental interests of the United Nations Staff.

6. The Group of 77 and China also looks forward to further discussions on the recommendation for the establishment of a specialized body to provide United Nations system entities with a forum to cooperate in addressing complex insurance-related issues and to build on the gains achieved by the Inter-agency Working Group on After-service Health Insurance.

Madam Chair,

7. The Group of 77 and China wishes to assure you that it stands ready to constructively engage on this important issue and looks forward to working closely with other delegations in order to find a practical and comprehensive solution.

I thank you.