STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. MASSENI KABA SALEH, SECOND SECRETARY AT THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 154: ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY ASPECTS OF THE FINANCING OF THE UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: UPDATED FINANCIAL POSITION OF CLOSED PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS AS AT 30 JUNE 2020, AT THE SECOND RESUMED PART OF THE SEVENTY-FIFTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 3 May 2021)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda item 154, Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations: Updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as at 30 June 2020. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Assistant-Secretary General and Controller Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, and the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, for introducing their respective reports.
2. The classification of a mission as Closed Peacekeeping mission is for my Group, a reason for rejoicing, for it indicates, most of the time, a positive trend in the resolution of a conflict and the restauration of peace, with tremendous consequences on the daily life of hundreds of thousands of people. More so, when the mission has fulfilled its political, social and humanitarian mission in accordance with a Security Council resolution.
3. The Secretary General report A/75/619 of 1st December 2020 under consideration indicates that 29 missions now belong to the category of closed PKOs and that 5 of them accumulate a cash deficit of 85.52 million dollars, due essentially to arrears in assessed contributions from member states. This situation is of great concern for the Group, because it prevents these missions from fulfilling their obligations vis a vis vendors, third party claims and member states, but also vis a vis Troops and Police contributing countries. Some of these liabilities have been outstanding for many years. The Group is of the view that Troops and Police contributing countries already pay a heavy price to these conflicts and should not, for any reason, be asked to bear additional costs. The Group will therefore look forward to innovative strategies developed by the Secretary General to resolve this situation expeditiously and will seek clarification on the current situation of TCCs and PCCs treatment including further details with regard to Member States in arrears and amounts due to the 29 closed PKOs as well as request once again that such information be included in future reports of the Secretary General.
4. As both the Secretary General and the ACABQ related reports make mention of, the outstanding contributions from member states culminate as of 30 June 2020 at 376,6 million dollars. The group reminds member states of their obligation to pay their contributions to PKOs budget on time, in full and without condition.
5. Moreover, the Group recalls General Assembly resolution 65/293 requesting the Secretary General to submit concrete proposals and alternatives to address the issue of outstanding dues to Members States from closed peacekeeping missions that are faced with cash deficits.
6. On another point, the General Assembly resolution A/73/307 authorizes, on a three-year trial basis, cross borrowing between active PKOs. The letter and the spirit of this milestone decision was to ease cash flow management and enable the Secretary General to keep missions functioning in situations of cash scarcity. This decision also allows cash pool of all PKO resources, while maintaining specific account for each mission. So far, the feedback to this decision has been positive; it has for instance drastically diminished the pressure of borrowing on closed PKOs. The report under examination mentions for instance that on 31 of December 2020, there is no due from active PKOs to Closed PKOs.
7. However, borrowing from closed PKOs to refloat and mitigate the operational cash shortages of regular budget has not been stopped. The Group reiterates that this practice has not been approved by the General Assembly and will seek clarification on the negative impact of this practice on Closed PKOs, especially regarding their ability to settle all claims in a timely manner.
8. The Group of 77 and China notes on the other hand, with satisfaction that 24 closed missions have a positive balance, with a total cash asset of 203 684 000 million dollars and less than 54.5 million dollars of liabilities. The Group also notes that investment of these resources generated about 4 million dollars in 2020. While congratulating the Secretary General for this judicious investment, the Group urges him to keep close monitoring of the different borrowing transactions and settle in a timely manner all claims and liabilities to enable final liquidation of closed PKOs
9. To conclude, Mr. Chair, the Group of 77 and China as usual will spare no effort to work with all partners to reach a successful conclusion of this very important agenda item.
I thank you.