STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR MAJED BAMYA, FIRST COUNSELLOR, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE CLOSING SESSION OF THE SECOND RESUMED PART OF THE SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 3 July 2019)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
1 I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at this closing session of the second part of resumed seventy-third session of the Fifth Committee.
2 This has been a challenging session. While we have reached a successful conclusion, the Group is concerned that we have extended beyond the peacekeeping fiscal deadline for the second year in a row. The Group has always upheld a spirit of constructiveness and flexibility, and will continue to do so in our efforts to reach consensus earlier.
3 Peacekeeping is the largest and most visible representation of the United Nations' work. The Group reaffirms its position that peacekeeping missions must be adequately resourced for effective mandate delivery. The Group does not believe in arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises that do not take into consideration the situation on the ground.
4 The Group also recognizes the invaluable contribution of troop and police contributing countries to the maintenance of international peace and security. We emphasize the importance of continued and close consultations between the Secretary-General and troop and police contributing countries on all matters related to peacekeeping operations.
5 The Group regrets that the Committee was once again unable to reach consensus on closed peacekeeping missions to address the longstanding issue of claims payable to Member States, particularly troop and police contributing countries from closed peacekeeping operation budgets. Nevertheless, we recognise that there was a very broad convergence on proposals to address this issue. We hope that the Committee will be able to go a step further when we next discuss this.
6 As mentioned in our earlier statement, the Group recognises that the Board of Auditors plays an indispensable role in the functioning of the oversight system of the United Nations. We thank all delegations for their engagement on the report of the Board of Auditors. However, it is unfortunate that the report contains recommendations that are under the purview of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, which is the mandated intergovernmental forum on such issues.
7 The Group welcomes the adoption of the resolution on improving the financial situation of the United Nations. Negotiations on this important item were not easy. But we are pleased to have reached an agreement that will provide the Secretary-General with some tools to better manage the liquidity challenges of the Organisation, while ensuring full respect for the prerogatives of the General Assembly and its Fifth Committee.
8 Nevertheless, the Group stresses that these liquidity challenges are mainly due to the increase in arrears and late payments from Member States. While recognizing the need to extend sympathetic understanding to those temporarily unable to meet their financial obligations, as a consequence of genuine economic difficulties, and commending Member States who have made real efforts to reduce their outstanding contributions despite facing difficulties at home, the Group reiterates its call for all Member States to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time, and without conditions, in particular those Member States who, for political reasons, consistently and deliberately withhold payments.
9 The Group extends its appreciation to all members of the Bureau for their hard work, and to all facilitators and burden-sharers who played key roles in our difficult negotiations. We thank our colleagues for their flexibility and constructive engagement to reach consensus on several issues during this session.
10 In particular, the Group would like to thank the members of the Secretariat, especially Ms. Sharon van Buerle and her team, for their dedication, tireless efforts, and endurance. We are grateful to the other members of the Secretariat, conference officers, interpreters, and support staff for their work. We also thank the Secretariat of the G77 and China for their continued support to the Group.
11 Finally, as we look ahead and prepare for the seventy-fourth session, the Group reaffirms its commitment to always engage constructively in the work of the Fifth Committee. We hope that the spirit of cooperation and flexibility will continue to prevail. As always, the Group stands ready to work with all colleagues to build a more accountable, effective, and fit-for-purpose United Nations that works for the interests of all Member States in bettering the lives of people.
I thank you, Madam Chair.