STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY FIRST SECRETARY, MR. JIBRAN KHAN DURRANI, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 138: REQUEST FOR SUBVENTION TO THE RESIDUAL SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 7 November 2022)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and would like to thank Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Controller and Assistant Secretary-General for introducing the report A/77/352 and Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for introducing their related reports A/77/7/Add 9.
2. The Group conveys its sincere gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone for its continuous support and commitment towards the functioning of the Court, as well as other Member States and partners for their invaluable support towards the work of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.
3. The Group of 77 and China attaches great importance to the proper functioning of mandated judicial institutions, particularly the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (RSCSL). In this regard, the Group pays close attention to the concerning financial situation of the Court.
4. By its resolution 76/246, the General Assembly authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitment in the amount not exceeding US$2,773,300 to supplement the voluntary financial resources of the Residual Special Court for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2021.
5. The Group appreciates the estimated amount of US$2,773,300to be utilized for 2023, on the understanding that the final amount will be reported in the context of financial performance report on the regular budget for 2023.
6. Turning to the proposed subvention request for 2023, the Group welcomes and supports the proposal by the Secretary-General related to the request for the subvention in the total amount of US$2,910,500. The Group notes that the assumptions forming the basis of the budget are derived from the operations of the Residual Special Court and that the proposed resources will cover key activities related to judicial and non-judicial functions which include: (1) the protection of witnesses and victims, (2) the judicial and administrative proceedings, (3) the supervision of enforcement of sentences, (4) the assistance to national authorities and State cooperation, (5) the maintenance of archives and court management; (6) the preservation of the legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and (7) outreach aimed at raising the visibility of the Residual Special Court.
7. The Group of 77 and China commends the efficiency measures taken by the Residual Special Court, including the return of unspent balance and the limitation of travel requirements among other operational efficiencies.
8. Despite the support of Member States and the fundraising endeavors of the Secretary-General and the principals of Court and the Oversight Committee, the Group is deeply concerned about the future financing of the Residual Special Court. Indeed, we are particularly worried that since 2015, the Court has not received sufficient voluntary contributions for its activities and therefore had to rely on subventions from the General Assembly.
9. The Group notes that this unpredictable nature of voluntary contributions continue to pose serious challenges to the sustainability of the work of the Court, and the effective implementation of its mandate. In that regard, Group of 77 and China reiterates the need for a long-term sustainable funding mechanism for the Court.
10. To conclude Mr. Chair, the Group assures you of our readiness to engage constructively in the consideration of this agenda item with a view to reaching conclusion in a timely manner.
I thank you, Mr Chair.