STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MUHAMMAD JAWAD AJMAL, G77 & CHINA COORDINATOR FROM THE PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON AGENDA ITEM 150: ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY ASPECTS OF FINANCING OF THE UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: UN LOGISTICS BASE AT BRINDISI AND REGIONAL SERVICE CENTRE IN ENTEBBE, DURING THE SECOND PART OF THE SEVENTY-SIXTH RESUMED SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 12 May 2022)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda Item 150: Administrative and Budgetary Aspects of financing of the UN Peacekeeping Operations concerning the UN Logistics Base and Regional Service Centre Entebbe.
2. On behalf of the Group, I would like to thank the members of the Secretariat and Vice-Chair of the Advisory Committee for introducing their respective reports.
3. I first begin with the UN Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy that has been operational since 1994 and functioning as a unified entity comprising the Global Service Centre in Brindisi and the UN ICT facility in Valencia, both of which provide the required support services throughout the lifecycle of field missions from beginning till end.
4. We note the proposed change in nomenclature of UNLB and recall that there have been attempts in the past to change this nomenclature which was not approved by the General Assembly. We would like to highlight that the core function of the UNLB remains the provision of logistics support and ICT services to the UN Peacekeeping Operations. In this context, our Group concurs with the recommendation of the ACABQ report against the proposal to use the nomenclature of "United Nations Global Service Centre" and referring to the same report, I quote that "the proposed change in nomenclature has a broader implication on the work of the Organization, including in relation to the concept of a global service delivery model"
5. Our Group notes the increasing presence of the UN System in Valencia in the Secretary General's report, including on the proposed re-deployments and we will critically analyze these developments during the informal consultations.
6. The Group recalls that the GA in its resolution 70/286 paragraph 66 had requested the Secretary-General to develop a scalability model for the United Nations Logistics Base. The Group further recalls that the GA has requested the Secretary-General to develop a clear definition of scalability, identify the activities that are scalable and ensure consistency in the application of this model as well as to ensure that they take into account, inter alia, workload factors and efficiency gains. We note the efforts to refine the scalability model for the UNLB so far and will be interested in discussing the progress on the refinement of this scalability model for UNLB during our informal meetings.
7. We note that the report of the Secretary-General on the revised concept of Strategic Deployment Solutions has been submitted as an annex to the UNLB report. However, our Group would like to have a standalone report on Strategic Deployment Solutions submitted by the Secretary-General for consideration by the GA and not as an annex to the UNLB report.
8. I now turn to the second part of my statement regarding the Regional Service Centre Entebbe at Uganda. On behalf of our Group, I would like to extend our appreciation to the administration and staff of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe for the warm reception accorded to the Fifth Committee members during their field trip last month which afforded us an opportunity to get first-hand experience and information on the operations of the center.
9. Our Group wishes to recall that the GA 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 and the GA, in its resolution 69/307, gave the Center operational and managerial independence and requested the Secretary-General to submit a budget proposal to be charged against the Missions that the center supports.
10. The Group wishes to appreciate the critical work performed by the Center in supporting (seven) 7 Peacekeeping Missions and support offices and (nine) 9 Special Political Missions, as well as other Missions in the region, including residual liquidation functions to the closing and closed peacekeeping Missions. The Group notes that the Center will provide support to over 77% of the UN field operations globally and serve over 16,400 personnel, including international and national staff as well as uniformed personnel.
11. As the Group has observed previously, the workload and volume of transactions carried out by the Centre have increased significantly and it is imperative that adequate resources which are commensurate with this increasing workload and responsibility are provided to the Centre to enable it to fulfil its mandate successfully.
12. The Group appreciates the efforts made by the Centre in developing and refining its scalability model that informs the administrative and budgetary requirements and we look forward to understanding more on this concept during informal consultations together with the possibility of extending such a scalability model to other support Centers.
13. The Group notes the Centre's efforts towards putting in place the measures required for consideration of General Service staff for continuing appointments when they become eligible. The Group recalls that the GA, in its resolution 72/286, requested the Secretary-General to ensure that national staff of the Centre are granted continuing contracts in line with relevant provisions of GA resolutions. The Group therefore urges the Secretary-General to facilitate the issuance of continuing contracts for national staff that meet the eligibility requirements in compliance with UN Staff Rules and Regulations.
14. The Group notes with concern that a total of forty-eight (48) posts were vacant as of 23 March 2022. The Group reiterates that the Centre should be adequately staffed and provided with adequate resources to ensure effective implementation of its mandate and emphasizes on the need for filling the vacant posts as expeditiously as possible.
15. On behalf of the Group, I assure you of our commitment to engage constructively on these important matters during the course of our discussions this session.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.