STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SONDRA CHEONG, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON AGENDA ITEM 148: FINANCING OF THE REGIONAL SERVICE CENTRE IN ENTEBBE, UGANDA, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE SECOND PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 4 May 2020)
1.I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 148: Administrative and Budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations: Financing of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe (RSCE), Uganda for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2020.
2. The Group wishes to thank the Secretariat and the Advisory Committee for the submission of their respective reports.
3. The Group of 77 & China wishes to recall that the General Assembly by resolution 64/269 established the Regional Service Center in Entebbe in July 2010 as the first Shared Service Center for Missions in the region under the Global Field Support Strategy.
4. The Group further recalls that the General Assembly, in its resolution 69/307, decided to give the Center operational and managerial independence and requested the Secretary-General to submit a budget proposal to be charged against the Missions the center supports.
5. The Group acknowledges the vital work done by the Center in supporting (eight) 8 Peacekeeping Missions and (ten)10 Special Political Missions, as well as other Missions in the region, through providing human resources, administrative and financial services for various categories of personnel.
6. The Group notes that the Centre proposes to expand its full-service client base to (twenty) 20 missions, with the addition of two client entities. i.e., Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator and Panel of Experts on Somalia and will continue to provide support for over 77 percent of the United Nations field operations globally and serve over 17,500 personnel, including international and national staff as well as uniformed personnel.
7. The Group underscores the importance of the role of the Director as head of the Center in ensuring continuous improvements in the delivery of services to client missions, including improvements in business processes as well as in ensuring the efficient and effective operations in light of the increased workload and in tandem with the established practice and governance structure in similar Centers.
8. The Group also takes note of the development of the business continuity plan by the Centre with an emphasis on risk assessment and contingency planning.
9. The Group further recalls that the General Assembly, in its resolution 72/286, requested the Secretary-General to ensure that national staff of the Centre are granted continuing contracts in line with the relevant provisions of General Assembly resolutions. The Group urges the Secretary-General to facilitate the issuance of continuing contracts for national staff that meet the eligibility requirements for consideration in compliance with the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations.
10. The Group also welcomes the nationalization of four international professional posts and one international United Nations Volunteer position and urges the Centre to continue its nationalization plan in accordance with resolution 72/286 in a balanced manner and in line with the practice of similar centers.
11. The Group notes with concern that a total of fifty (50) posts were vacant as of 30 January 2020. The Group reiterates that the Centre, especially now with the new structure and an increased client base, should be adequately staffed and provided with adequate resources to ensure effective implementation of its mandate.
12. The Group also noted from the Secretary-General's report that the Centre had been requested by the Department of Operational Support to provide support for the United Nations Office at Nairobi in setting up the management of the Resident Coordinator offices worldwide, and we will be interested in receiving more information during the informals from the Secretary-General on this collaboration.
13. IN CONCLUSION, Mr. Chair, the Group, assures you of our commitment to engage constructively on this important agenda item.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.