STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SONDRA CHEONG, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 141: REPORT OF THE JOINT INSPECTION UNIT FOR 2019 AND PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR 2020, AT THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED 74TH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 2 March 2020)
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda item 141: Report of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) for 2019 and Programme of Work for 2020.
2. Allow me to thank Ms. Eileen Cronin, Inspector and Chairperson, Joint Inspection Unit and Ms. Petrova, Director of the Secretariat and Secretary of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, for introducing the Report of the Joint Inspection Unit for 2019 and the programme of work for 2020.
3. The Group wishes to once again commend the JIU for its role and its contribution towards a well-functioning and efficient United Nations.
4. The Group has examined the report submitted by the JIU and would like to make a few remarks in that regard.
5. Firstly, the Group notes the average rate of acceptance of recommendations made for single organization and system-wide reports as well as the implementation rate of the accepted recommendations and believes that the pertinence of these recommendations requires the improvement of the figures presented in the report. The Group looks forward to discussing this in detail.
6. Next, the Group wishes to reiterate the importance of enhancing coordination in order to align the workplans, avoid duplication of work and maximizing the synergy between the Board of Auditors, the Office of Internal Oversight Services and the Joint Inspection Unit. The Group in this regard takes note of the annual tripartite meeting that was held in December 2019 and encourages the continuous improvement of such initiatives which aim to enhance the conduct of oversight work.
7. For 2019, the Group notes that the Unit worked on 16 projects that addressed various areas of the work of organizations with specific actionable recommendations that sought to improve mandate implementation. Of the 16 projects however, 8 were carried over from 2018. To help us gain a better understanding of the situation, the Group looks forward to discussing, during informal consultations, how the carrying-over of projects from previous years is occasioned.
8. The Group also notes that the Unit undertook an evaluation of the System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as a tool for performance monitoring and accountability. The Group looks forward to further discussing the details of this evaluation during informal consultations.
9. The Group acknowledges the Unit's work on change management and wishes to emphasize the point that a successful implementation of change management needs staff buy-in as a very essential element. It is noted with appreciation that several United Nations system organizations paid close attention to staff culture, behaviour and attitude as an integral part of their reforms. The Group will be interested to learn of the impact of recommendations made on change management approaches and methods.
10. On staff exchange and similar inter-agency mobility measures in United Nations system organization, the Group found it rather interesting to discover that the current needs of human resources management posed a much bigger puzzle beyond what inter-agency mobility policies sought to address. However, the Group understands that inter-agency mobility can offer critical support to strategic objectives, such as the support for the 2030 Agenda, ongoing workforce transformation and the need organizations express for exchanges with United Nations system actors. The Group looks forward to receiving information on how recommendations were translated to improve data that would support decision-making and enhance accountability to Member States.
11. For the 2020 programme of work of the Unit, the Group commends the diversity of the projects that will be undertaken as well as the focus on issues of importance to the whole membership and particularly to the G77 and China such as the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Needless to say, the Group encourages the Unit to continue to work on improving its working methods. We anticipate that, as usual, the programme of work will be delivered in a timely manner while upholding the quality of work.
12. On another note, the Group once again stresses the importance of having a well-functioning web-based system for tracking recommendations. It is pleasing to learn that functionality has finally been developed and will be implemented in the first half of 2020. We will keep our ears out for updates in this regard.
13. Last but not the least, the Group of 77 and China calls on Member States to assist the Unit and its inspectors, where necessary, with consular and other travel requirements to enable them to discharge their duties effectively and without hindrance.
14. In conclusion Mr. Chair, the Group of G77 and China would like to assure you of its readiness to engage constructively with a view to concluding this important agenda item in a timely manner.
I thank you.