STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY SAED KATKHUDA, SENIOR ADVISOR, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 135: PROPOSED PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR 2020: SUBVENTION TO THE UNITED NATIONS INSTITUTE FOR DISARMAMENT RESEARCH, AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 11 November 2019)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 135: programme budget for 2020: Subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Mr. Johannes Huisman, Director, Programme Planning and Budget Division, Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget, for introducing the note by the Secretary-General on the request for a subvention to UNIDIR resulting from the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Institute on the work programme of the Institute for 2020, as contained in document A/74/339. Also we wish to thank Mr. CehinTerzi, Chair of the ACABQ, for introducing their related report contained in document A/74/7/Add 9.
3. The Group notes that the independent third-party assessment of UNIDIR requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 70/69 was undertaken between January and May 2018. Further, based on this assessment the Secretary General in his related report stated a number of recommendations regarding the operating model of UNIDIR, including its research agenda, cost structure and staffing.
4. The Group also notes that UNIDIR will revise its methodology for budget projections, including those related to grants and other transfers, ahead of the presentation of its work programme and budget in the annual report of the Director for 2020.
5. The Group recalls that the General Assembly in its resolution 60/248 endorsed the proposal requesting a subvention to the Institute to be submitted for review and approval by the General Assembly on a biennial basis in the context of its consideration of the proposed programme budget for the related biennium. Also, in accordance with resolution 72/266 A, beginning with the programme budget for 2020, the budget period has been changed from biennial to annual on a trial basis.
6. The Group of 77 and China will pay close attention to the recommendations made by the ACABQ regarding the proposed subvention made by the Secretary General to UNIDIR on the work programme of the Institute for 2020.
7. The Group welcomes the fortieth anniversary of the Institute in 2020 as an opportunity to underline its unique role within the disarmament machinery and the importance for the Institute to have a sustainable and stable funding structure and operating model that is consistent with the mandate and objectives of the Institute, as contained in the its statute.
8. In conclusion, the Group wishes to assure you of its full cooperation during deliberations on this important agenda item with the objective of concluding in a timely manner.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.