STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. RICHARD TUR, SECOND SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 144: JOINT INSPECTION UNIT, DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 6 March 2023)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the Agenda item 144: Report of the Joint Inspection Unit for 2022 and programme of work for 2023, for the first part of the resumed 77th session of the Fifth Committee.
2. Allow me to thank Ms. Eileen Cronin, Chair of the Joint Inspection Unit, and Ms. Federica Pietracci, Senior Programme Management Officer, Secretariat of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), for introducing their corresponding reports on the Joint Inspection Unit for 2022 and its programme of work for 2023.
3. The Group wishes to reaffirm its longstanding support to the important work of the JIU as the sole independent and external oversight body of the United Nations mandated to conduct inspections, evaluations and investigations system-wide.
4. The Group would like to recognize the efforts of the JIU in delivering on its programme of work during previous years in view of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We acknowledge that in 2022, the Unit restored many of its working methods and activities. However, we notice with concern the delay of several reviews due to the cumulative impact of numerous impediments.
5. In this regard, the Group notes that only 2 reviews were completed by the JIU during 2022. We look forward to seeing throughout 2023 the results of the eight pending reviews that were included in its workplan last year. We recognize Unit`s commitment to release five of them by the summer.
6. The Group also notes that three new reviews were scheduled to 2023, while others of the utmost importance for the Group have been carried over from 2021, including the review of accountability frameworks in the United Nations system organizations. To help us gain a better understanding of the situation, the Group looks forward to discussing during informal consultations how the carrying-over of projects from previous years is occasioned.
7. We note that the Review of the acceptance and implementation of Joint Inspection Unit recommendations by the United Nations system organizations, scheduled to 2022, was not started. In this respect, we expect the Unit to begin this review shortly in 2023.
8. As is customary, the Group is interested to examine this particular review. We continue to be concerned at the average rate of acceptance and implementation of recommendations by some organizations and believes that the pertinence of these recommendations requires the improvement of the figures presented in the last reports.
9. On another note, the Group once again stresses the importance of having a well-functioning web-based system for tracking up-to-date information on the status of implementation of recommendations of the Unit. The Group would like to address in detail the process of updating the platform since it is currently overdue for replacement.
10. We underline the Unit's self-assessment exercise, carried out in 2022 to evaluate its overall performance since the previous self-evaluation in 2013. We also recognize the Unit`s commitment to formally consider and prioritize in 2023 the recommendations from the self-assessment and develop action plans in this regard. The Group expects that the results of the exercise help to address the current delays and support the 2024 midterm evaluation of the Unit's strategic framework.
11. The Group also wishes to reiterate the importance of enhancing coordination in order to align the workplans, avoid overlaps or duplication of work and maximizing the synergy between the Board of Auditors, the Office of Internal Oversight Services and the Joint Inspection Unit.
12. For the 2023 programme of work of the Unit, the Group appreciates the diversity of the projects that will be undertaken as well as the completion of those pending. We further encourage the Unit to consider in the course of the year the possibility of adding more topics to its programme of work.
13. We encourage the Inspectors and their teams to finalize all reviews within the calendar year while upholding the quality of work.
14. The Group of 77 and China also calls on Member States to assist the Unit and its inspectors, where necessary, with consular and other travel requirements to enable them to discharge their duties effectively and without hindrance.
15. In conclusion, the Group of G77 and China would like to assure you, Mr. Chair, of its readiness to engage constructively in the upcoming discussions with the aim of concluding this important agenda item in a timely manner.
I thank you.