STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR FEDA ABDELHADY, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK FOR THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE (New York, 7 October 2019)
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the organization of work of the Fifth Committee for the main part of the 74th Session of the General Assembly.
2. At the outset, the Group wishes to congratulate you and the members of your Bureau on your election. We trust that under your able leadership and guidance, the Committee will conclude this session in a timely manner and with a positive outcome. We take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the outgoing Bureau members for their arduous work done during the 73rd session.
3. We also reiterate our deep gratitude for the invaluable work of the Secretariat of the Fifth Committee led until recently by Ms. Sharon Van Buerle and now under the able guidance of Mr. Lionelito Berridge, Acting Secretary of the Fifth Committee, in facilitating the work of the Committee. We wish Ms. Van Buerle all the best in her future endeavours and thank her once again for her stellar work in the Committee over the past eight years.
4. The Group recognizes the presence of Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller, and Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). We thank the ACABQ for its invaluable assistance to our work.
5. The Group thanks the Bureau and the Secretariat for providing the programme of work and the status of preparedness of documentation contained in document A/C.5/74/L.1, both of which, we trust, will be reviewed and adjusted during the course of deliberations to reflect the progress of the work and priorities of the Committee.
6. We are committed to a thorough consideration of the agenda items allocated to the Committee, and as such, reiterate that adequate time should be provided to agenda items and that practical steps must be taken to ensure that reports from the Secretariat and the ACABQ are issued in all official languages in a timely fashion, in line with the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly and relevant resolutions to this effect. Delays in the issuance of documentation have been a chronic problem faced by this Committee, seriously hampering its work and efficiency.
7. In the coming weeks, the Fifth Committee will address issues of crucial importance. The Group sees as pivotal elements of our deliberations this session both the 2020 programme plan and the proposed programme budget for that same year. The Group stresses in this regard that the level of resources to be approved by the General Assembly must be commensurate with all mandated programmes and activities in order to ensure their full and effective implementation. The Group also reiterates its long-standing position that mandates must determine budget proposals and not the other way around.
8. Another key priority for the Group is Human Resources Management. The Group looks forward to carefully examining the proposals and reports related to this agenda item, particularly with regard to the Secretary-General's proposed Global Human Resources Strategy, and how to achieve specific targets including gender parity and equitable geographical representation at all levels.
9. We regret that, since our last deliberations on this item, and despite repeated requests by our Group to take appropriate measures towards attaining the goal of equitable geographical representation in the United Nations Secretariat, no comprehensive proposals to this end are being presented to this Committee. We once again urge the Secretary-General to implement a comprehensive strategy to ensure equitable geographic representation in the Secretariat through the increase of the representation of developing countries, in particular at senior levels, in order for the United Nations to have a truly global Secretariat adequately representing the diversity of its Member States, a condition necessary for the United Nations to succeed in implementing its global mandate.
10. Further, the Group of 77 and China will actively participate in the Committee's deliberations on other agenda items, including Construction and Property Management, especially as pertains to the Economic Commissions for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Nations Common System, Umoja, Administration of Justice, and will pay close attention to our deliberations on the second performance report of the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019, the Capital Master Plan, all programme budget implications and revised estimates.
11. Despite the considerable amount of work ahead of us, the Group reaffirms our continued commitment to considering and concluding our work within the allocated timeframe. We look forward to having fruitful discussions on all items before us, and stress the importance of conducting negotiations in an open, transparent and inclusive manner.
12. In closing, the Group assures you of its full cooperation and constructive engagement with you, the Bureau and our partners to reach a successful outcome for this session.
I thank you.