STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS MEGAYLA AUSTIN, MINISTER COUNSELLOR OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 141: JOINT INSPECTION UNIT, REVIEW OF AUDIT AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEES IN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM, AT THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED 74TH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 9 March 2020)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 141: Joint Inspection Unit: Review of audit and oversight committees in the United Nations system.
2. The Group would like to thank Ms. Aicha Afifi, Inspector for the Joint Inspection Unit for the introduction of the JIU's report on the audit and oversight committees in the United Nations system, and Ms. Simona Petrova, Secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination for the introduction of their related report on the matter.
3. Although these reports are slated under the agenda item corresponding to the JIU, the Group acknowledges the strong relation it has with agenda item 133: Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations Accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat.
4. The Group as always recognizes and appreciates the work the JIU does to bring about comprehensive and far reaching analysis of relevant issues regarding the inner workings of the United Nations, in particular those issues of a crosscutting nature. Such is the case of the report under consideration today.
5. The Group looks forward to interacting with the JIU and the CEB regarding this new report that for the first time solely covers the audit and oversight committees in the United Nations Secretariat, the funds and programmes, the specialized agencies and International Atomic Energy Agency. The information in the report indeed allows for a more updated approach to these committees. However, the Group believes that though time has passed, and major changes have occured in the United Nations, many of the findings the JIU made in its previous oversight-related reports still hold true and that the Organization can always benefit from re-examining them.
6. The Group is pleased that both JIU and the CEB acknowledge that any good practices and lessons learned to be recommended to the existing audit and oversight committees across the United Nations system organizations, cannot be a task undertaken under a "one size fits all" approach. These 18 audit and oversight committees all have specific needs and characteristics, which are in turn a mirror reflection of the unique characteristics of the entities they serve. The Group looks forward in learning more about the particulars of these audit and oversight committees.
7. The Group will also engage during our consultations on the recommendations from the JIU and the corresponding comments made by CEB, with an interest in learning more about the feasibility of these recommendations, in particular how the legislative and/or governing bodies of these participating organizations would be expected to implement them.
8. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China would like to assure you Mr. Chair of its readiness to engage constructively in the upcoming discussions with the aim of concluding this agenda item in a timely fashion.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.