STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MUHAMMAD JAWAD AJMAL, FIRST SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON IMPROVING THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF THE UN DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 4 March 2022)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 140: Improving the financial situation of the United Nations.
2. The Group thanks Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, the Controller and Assistant Secretary-General, for his introduction of the Secretary-Generals report "Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations" as contained in the document a/76/429 and Mr. Abdullah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for his introduction of the report A/76/7/Add.29.
3. In order to address, development, poverty, and Sustainable Development Goals we need a strong, healthy and financially secure United Nations. Although, the liquidity crisis has improved, our group is still concerned about the long term financial health of the organization, particularly the deep and persistent liquidity problems in the regular budget and urges all Member States of the UN to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time, and without conditions.
4. Financing serves as a foundation of and an important element underpinning United Nations governance. Our Group reiterates that adequate resources must be provided to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of mandates that need to be funded not just adequately, but in a predictable manner. The Group reiterates that budget management must be driven by program delivery, and not available cash.
5. The Group expresses its appreciation to Member States who have made genuine efforts to reduce their outstanding contributions, despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic on their economies. We continue to empathize with Member States who are genuinely unable to meet their financial obligations for reasons beyond their control. The Group also wishes to reaffirm that all efforts should be made to facilitate the payments of assessed contributions of Member States.
6. The ability for the Organization to settle its liabilities is fully contingent on payments made to the UN. The unpredictability in the pattern of collections has resulted time and again in extraordinary measures such as the slowdown in hiring and controlled spending, both of which negatively affect mandate delivery. The Group is therefore extremely concerned that almost half of the current regular budget arrears can be attributed to a single member state.
7. On the peacekeeping front, the Group is encouraged that the measures approved in General Assembly resolution 73/307, namely the cross-borrowing mechanism and the inclusion of the full estimated budget for the entire peacekeeping fiscal year in assessment letters, has facilitated the timelier payment of liabilities to troop and police contributing countries. However, the Group remains concerned that cash shortfalls in the regular UN budget continue to be covered by borrowing from accounts of closed peacekeeping missions, which is neither a good budgetary practice, nor sustainable.
8. The Group of 77 and China bears an ever-increasing share of the financial burden of the Organization and remains committed to participate constructively towards all efforts aimed at resolving the financial difficulties of the Organization. We are certain that our partners will reciprocate in the same spirit, at a time when the success of the Organization is most imperative.
I thank you.