STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY FIRST SECRETARY, MR. JIBRAN KHAN DURRANI OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 142: SCALE OF ASSESSMENTS FOR THE APPORTIONMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE MAIN PART OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 3 October 2022)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 142: "Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations".
2. The Group of 77 and China would like to congratulate and welcome Mr Bernardo Greiver for his re-appointment as Chair of the Committee of Contributions and other new members who have recently joined the Committee this year. We further thank the Chair of the Committee for introducing the report in its Eighty-Second Session as contained in the document A/77/11. We also thank Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General Controller, for introducing the report of the Secretary-General on multi-year payment plans, as contained in the document A/77/65.
3. The Group expresses its concern regarding the cash deficit that the Organization continues to face, which is currently endangering the fulfillment of mandates. We also acknowledge the difficulties many Member States face in light of the COVID -19 pandemic, yet we cannot ask the Organization to carry out business as usual and even do more during these complex times, while unilaterally withholding contributions. In 76th Session, we agreed on crediting some amount to working capital fund to manage the liquidity crisis as one time measure, but the group realizes that it is not a long lasting solution to manage the financial issues of the Organization. We reaffirm our long-standing position that all Member states should fulfill their legal obligations to bear the expenses of the Organization, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. All Member states should pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions.
4. However, the Group recognizes that some developing countries face special and genuine difficulties that prevent them from temporarily meeting their financial obligations. The Group welcomes the recommendations of the Committee of Contributions to extend relief to the states requesting for exemption under Article 19. We are convinced that the inability of the countries in this situation to make the minimum payments based on their assessed contributions is due to factors beyond their control, and therefore we agree they should be permitted to vote until the end of the 77th session of the General Assembly.
5. Regarding multi-year payment plans, the Group appreciates the efforts made by Member States who have honored their commitments under those plans. We reiterate that multi-year payment plans should remain voluntary. The Group encourages Member states with significant arrears to also consider multi-year payment plans in meeting their obligations to the Organization.
6. In line with its Ministerial Declarations, the Group reiterates once again its firm position that the current methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments reflects changes in the relative economic situation of member states. We reaffirm the principle of "capacity to pay" as the fundamental criterion in the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations. We reject any change to the elements of the current methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments aimed at placing an unfair burden on developing countries by increasing their contributions, which are already on the rise.
7. The Group of 77 and China notes that applying the current methodology to the upcoming scale cycle will lead to substantial increases in the contributions of many developing countries. According to the data in the report of the Committee on Contributions, the share of the scale of assessments for the regular budget borne by members of the G77 and China in the 2022-2024 scale period will increase three times the share borne by the G77 and China just over 10 years ago. In the meantime, developed countries' scales of assessment continue to decrease. Even so, as responsible members of the United Nations, the Group of 77 and China reaffirms our commitment to fulfilling our financial responsibilities. We emphasize that developed countries should take on more financial responsibilities to the United Nations.
8. The Group emphasizes that the core elements of the current methodology of the scale of assessments, such as base period, Gross National Income, conversion rates, low per capita income adjustment, gradient, floor, ceiling for Least Developed Countries, and debt stock adjustment must be kept intact and are not negotiable.
9. The Group also reminds this Committee that the current maximum assessment rate, or ceiling, was fixed as a political compromise, though it is contrary to the principle of the capacity to pay. It is a fundamental source of distortion in the scale of assessments. We urge the General Assembly to undertake a review of this arrangement, in accordance with paragraph 2 of General Assembly resolution 55/5 C.
10. The Group welcomes the recommendation of the Committee to consider payment of portion of contributions in currencies other than US dollars for the year 2022, 2023 and 2024.
11. The Group of 77 and China emphasizes that organizations, which have an enhanced observer status at the United Nations, giving them the rights and privileges usually only applied to observer states should also have the same financial obligations to the United Nations as observer states. We urge the General Assembly to consider a decision on an assessment for such organisations.
12. The Group of 77 and China emphasizes that negotiations on all Fifth Committee agenda items, including the present one, must be conducted in an open, inclusive, and transparent manner which upholds the legitimacy and competency of the Fifth Committee as the sole Main Committee of the General Assembly entrusted with responsibilities for administrative, financial, and budgetary matters. We affirm the unity and solidarity of all our Members on this item, and reiterate our strong opposition to decision-making in small-group configurations.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.