STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY FIRST SECRETARY JIBRAN KHAN DURRANI, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 140: IMPROVING THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF THE UN, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 21 October 2022)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and would like to thank Ms. Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, for her presentation on the financial situation of the Organization on 13th October. The Group also thanks Mr Chandru Ramanathan, the Controller and Assistant Secretary-General, for his briefing on the management of the liquidity situation on 7th October.
2. Even as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing instability and other challenges that have exacerbated socio-economic problems. In particular, developing economies, the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, are more adversely affected due to additional fragilities and vulnerabilities. To aid member states in their recovery, the UN and the multilateral system must be adequately financed.
3. 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 reiterates that budget management must be driven by programme delivery, and not based on available cash on hand. The Group is therefore extremely concerned that more than three-quarters of the current regular budget arrears can be attributed to a single member state. To compound matters, that member state is benefiting from an artificially imposed ceiling on its contributions, that was premised on the unfulfilled clearance of prior arrears. We urge that member state to fulfil its financial and legal obligations to the Organisation without delay. National fiscal cycles should not be used as an excuse for late payments, given the predictability of the UN budget cycle.
4. 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.
5. The ability for the Organisation to settle its liabilities is fully contingent on payments being made to the UN. We call on member states who are in a position to do so to put their words and commitments into action, and to settle their arrears and pay their assessments in full, on time and without conditions.
6. The Group expresses its appreciation to Member States who have made genuine efforts to reduce their outstanding contributions, despite the impact of current global challenges on their economies. We continue to empathise 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 actions should be taken in order to facilitate the payments of assessed contributions of Member States, and that Member States should not be prevented or hindered from honoring their legal and financial obligations to the Organisation.
7. Despite bearing an ever-increasing share of the financial burden of the Organisation, the Group remains committed to participate constructively in any efforts towards resolving the financial difficulties of the Organisation. Even though developing countries continue to face major economic challenges, we continue to take our contributions to the UN very seriously. Likewise, we call on our partners to do the same. Otherwise, we will be setting up the Organisation for failure at a time when its success is most imperative.
I thank you.