STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MINISTER RIYAD MANSOUR, AMBASSADOR, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK FOR THE SECOND PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 6 May 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 second part of the resumed seventy-third session of the Fifth Committee.
2. At the outset, the Group reiterates its commitment to working with you and your Bureau towards the successful conclusion of the session. We take this opportunity to express our support for the work done by the ACABQ and the Fifth Committee Secretariat for their indispensable contributions in facilitating the work of the Committee.
3. The Group recognizes the presence of Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant-Secretary General and Controller, and Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the Advisory Committee on administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).
4. Let me begin the substance of my remarks by first expressing the Group's gratitude for the women and men who have served and continue to serve in different peacekeeping missions, whether civilian or uniformed, who carry the brunt of the burden every day in order to achieve the mandates of these missions as set out by the relevant Security Council resolutions, with professionalism, dedication and courage. The Group also pays tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace.
5. 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.30. 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.
6. We note that the item "Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations" appears on the provisional programme of work, and reiterate our Group's position that the Second Resumed Session should prioritize the consideration of the financing of peacekeeping operations. These complex items demand our close attention, and we should focus on concluding our deliberations on time to ensure that peacekeeping operations are given the necessary resources to fulfill their mandates.
7. With the substantial number of reports and heavy workload that the Committee will face in the coming weeks, the Group stresses the importance of addressing timeliness in documentation, to maximize the efficiency of our work in the period ahead. It is regrettable that we still grapple with the late submission of a substantial number of reports. This unfortunate situation impacts the ability of Member States to examine reports in detail, and adequately prepare for the Session. Moreover, while the Group is grateful for the Bureau's efforts to disseminate information as soon as possible, it is also challenging for numerous delegations when reports are not available in all six official languages in a timely fashion. The Group reminds all stakeholders of the importance of giving due regard to multilingualism.
8. On substantive matters for this session, the Group of 77 and China attaches great importance to the consideration of the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of UN peacekeeping operations, in particular, cross-cutting issues, closed peacekeeping missions, and the Support Account for peacekeeping operations.
9. The Group looks forward to engaging on the following key issues during the Committee's deliberations:
- First, ensuring that the formulation, presentation, and approval of peacekeeping operations' budgets are based on their mandates and the real situation on the ground, and not as arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises;
- Second, exploring options to achieve a fair solution for the unpaid assessments, accounts payable and other liabilities of closed peacekeeping missions, so as to settle claims outstanding in the missions with cash deficits;
- Third, comprehensively addressing the systemic and unresolved issues and difficulties faced by Troop- and Police- Contributing Countries including ensuring fair, timely, and realistic reimbursement rates, necessary accommodations for female peacekeepers, and the adequate representation of Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries in the relevant Departments of the Secretariat dealing with peacekeeping missions;
- Fourth, ensuring that the environmental footprint of peacekeeping missions on the ground is reduced to the minimum. While adequate rules and regulations exist, there is a need for technical support to ensure that these are translated into concrete steps, applied consistently across all missions;
10. In closing, let me reassure you of the Group of 77 and China's commitment to engaging actively and constructively during the Committee's deliberations on all issues under consideration during this session. We look forward to an open and fruitful discussion, in the best interests of the United Nations and the people whom it represents and serves.
I thank you.