STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. NADA TARBUSH, FIRST SECRETARY, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 150: ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY ASPECTS OF THE FINANCING OF THE UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: UPDATED FINANCIAL POSITION OF CLOSED PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS AS AT 30 JUNE 2018, AT THE SECOND RESUMED PART OF THE SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 31 May 2019)
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda item 150 Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations: Updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as at 30 June 2018. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Assistant-Secretary General and Controller Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, and the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Mr. Cihan Terzi, for introducing their respective reports.
The General Assembly has deferred consideration of closed peacekeeping missions since its sixty-sixth session when the Secretary-General presented his report on the updated financial position as at 30 June 2011 of closed peacekeeping missions (A/66/665). The Secretary-General meanwhile continues to provide updated financial information on an annual basis.
On this score, the Group welcomes the present report, which is the eighth of such updates.
Over the years, the Group has repeatedly expressed its concern at the cash deficit situation in several closed peacekeeping missions, owing to the continued non-payment of arrears by some Member States. This has caused a prolonged and unacceptable situation of non-payment of amounts that are due to other Member States, in particular to Troop and Police contributing countries, who render the greatest service in maintaining international peace and security. This situation is exacerbated by the decision of one Member State to not pay 3% of its peacekeeping assessment, which might lead to all missions closing in deficit in the future and will cause more T/PCCs to join the list of those who are not being reimbursed.
Troop and police contributing countries, including the 17 troops contributing countries from our group, cannot be expected to wait endlessly for their lawful reimbursements, as they cannot pay the price for other States willfully withholding their dues, and as the failure to reimburse them is in breach of the legal agreements that have been signed with them. The Group regrets that the Secretariat has placed reimbursement to T/PCCs as the last in the list of its priorities when funds are available, after staff salaries and settlements of vendors, and stresses that the necessary consideration should be given to reimbursing T/PCCs for the services and equipment that they have put in the service of UN peacekeeping.
Moreover, the Group stresses, once again, as a matter of principle, that all Member States should fulfill their financial obligations as set out in the Charter of the United Nations on time, in full, and without conditions. Member States that are in arrears in their payments of assessed contributions to closed peacekeeping missions ought to pay those contributions expeditiously.
Going forward, the Group will seek further details with regard to Member States in arrears and amounts due to the 29 closed PKOs, and would again request to include such information in future reports of the Secretary General.
The Group notes that previous reports of the Secretary-General on the updated financial situation of closed peacekeeping operations had presented information on the historical unpredictability and gaps in the receipt of assessed contributions and their impact on liquidity in peacekeeping missions.
The failure and delay of assessment payments by Member States is evidenced by the continued reliance on cross-borrowing from closed missions for cash requirements of active peacekeeping missions.
To recap, cross-borrowing from closed missions to mitigate the operational cash shortages for active peacekeeping operations amounted to $41 million as at 30 June 2013, $31 million as at 30 June 2014, $23.5 million as at 30 June 2015, $40 million as at 30 June 2016, $32.1 million as at 30 June 2017 and $35.1 million as at 30 June 2018.
The Group intends to pursue proactive steps to stem this worrisome trend.
Again recalling its resolution 65/293, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit concrete proposals and alternatives to address the issue of outstanding dues to Members States from closed peacekeeping missions that are faced with cash deficits.
As always, the Group stands ready to explore options aimed at achieving a fair solution to this longstanding problem while finding a sustainable way to settle dues payable to Member States, particularly troop and police contributing countries, from closed peacekeeping operation budgets.
In closing, Madam Chair, the Group wishes to give you the assurance that it will engage constructively on this important issue and looks forward to all delegations doing same.
I thank you.