STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. JIBRAN KHAN DURRANI, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 138: PROPOSED PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR 2023: CONDITIONS OF SERVICE AND COMPENSATION OF OFFICIALS OTHER THAN SECRETARIAT OFFICIALS: MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AND PRESIDENT AND JUDGES OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDUAL MECHANISM FOR CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS, AT THE MAIN PART OF THE 77TH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 2 November 2022)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and would like to thank the Secretary General for the report contained in document A/77/346. The Group would also like to thank the Chair of the ACABQ for introducing the report A/77/7/Add 7.
2. The Group continues to value the work of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. We believe these entities are essential to the work of the Organization and the fulfillment of its mandates within a framework of justice, reliability and impartiality is equally important.
3. The Group welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the review of the conditions of service which is being submitted to General Assembly pursuant resolution 75/253B, by which the Assembly decided to request the Secretary-General to further refine the review of the pension schemes for the members of the International Court of Justice, the President and judges of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and his proposed options to report thereon at its seventy- seventh session.
4. The Group notes that since the last time this Committee had addressed this agenda item, a few changes have been implemented, improving the overall conditions of service of the members of the ICJ and the judges of the International Residual Mechanism. To name a few, revised education grant scheme for staff members in the Professional and higher categories has been extended to members of the ICJ and to the President of the International Residual Mechanism. Also, the General Assembly decided to update the language of the travel and subsistence regulations applicable to the members of the Court of Justice and the President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, making them in line with the new relocation package for staff in the Professional and higher categories.
5. With respect to the issue of the pension scheme, which is now being put under consideration of the General Assembly, four retirement benefits design options are being presented for the perusal of the Committee, including the option for consideration of purchase of annuity scheme from open market. The Group of 77 and China notes that the update was conducted mainly with in-house expertise, and we take this opportunity to stress that we value and encourage the resource to in-house expertise whenever possible.
6. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China would like to reaffirm our support to the key principles enshrined in the statutes of the ICJ and the Tribunals that salary and allowances of the judges shall be fixed by the General Assembly. We are also of the view that equality among judges is a basic principle of the system of international adjudication of disputes among States. The Group will actively and constructively engage to address this agenda item with a view to conclude our deliberation in a timely manner.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.