STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. RICHARD TUR DE LA CONCEPCIóN, SECOND SECRETARY, FROM THE PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK FOR THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 2 October 2023)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the organization of work of the Fifth Committee for the main part of the 78th Session of the General Assembly.
2. At the outset, the Group extends congratulations to you and the members of your Bureau on your election. We are glad to see the Mission of Egypt assuming the Chairmanship of the Committee. The skillfulness of the Egyptian delegation in the Fifth Committee has always been very well known, therefore, we are confident this main session will be a success under your able leadership.
3. In the same vein, we would like to express our appreciation to Ambassador Kridelka and the team of the Belgium Mission that steered this Committee during the previous session. We are thankful for the commitment they showed to fulfill their duties. We are grateful as well to the outgoing Bureau members for their commendable work during the 77th Session.
4. We reiterate our deep gratitude for the stellar work of the Secretariat of the Fifth Committee led by Mr. Lionelito Berridge, in facilitating the work of the Committee.
5. The Group also wishes to thank the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for its invaluable support and assistance to our work. We recognize the challenges that the Secretariat and the ACABQ have had to overcome in carrying out their work.
6. We are committed to a thorough consideration of the agenda items allocated to the 5C. In reports preparedness, we note that several reports are now available for detailed deliberations but we urge the Secretariat to finalize the pending reports as early as possible. The delay in timely provision significantly compromises the Committee's work.
7. The Group wishes to reiterate that adequate time should be given to each agenda item and that practical steps must be taken to ensure that reports from the Secretariat and the ACABQ are issued in all official languages in a timely fashion, in line with the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly and relevant resolutions to this effect.
8. As we are about to start this intense journey that hopefully will conclude earlier in December this year, we would like to emphasize some of the core principles the G77 and China will defend throughout these weeks.
9. In the first place, we reaffirm the role of the Fifth Committee as the sole Main Committee of the Organization entrusted with responsibilities for administrative, financial and budgetary matters. This means that it is our responsibility to hold accountable the Secretariat for the management of the Organization's resources; that it is our duty to scrutinize every initiative that is presented to us and to ensure that the Secretariat continues to comply with the mandates entrusted to it by the parliamentary bodies of the United Nations.
10. The United Nations remains an intergovernmental Organization and it is our task in the Fifth Committee to ensure that the management of this institution abides to this notion. The Secretariat is not an independent entity. This is why it is central for the G77 and China in the Fifth Committee to demand transparency, accountability and fairness in the administrative proceedings at the UN. To this end, it is also of cardinal importance for the Group to achieve equitable geographical representation in the composition of the UN staff, which is not only in line with the UN Charter but also indispensable to attain a truly democratic Organization, with a multicultural and balanced Secretariat.
11. The Group reaffirms the critical role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination(CPC), which should only be strengthened, rather than weakened. We would like to call your attention to the mandates enshrined in resolution 77/254, on agenda item Programme Planning. This resolution, in its paragraph 12, decided that the incoming Presidents of the General Assembly and the Chairs of the Fifth Committee shall reach out to and support the Chairs of the Main Committees to ensure these bodies consider the programmes without recommendations from the CPC, as appropriate, and that conclusions and recommendations on these programmes are issued on time.
12. We highlight this matter to avoid undesired delays ahead in the session when it comes to considering major agenda items such as Programme Planning and Proposed Programme Budget for 2024. We would like to remind the longstanding position of the Group that the consideration of the legislative basis comes first, and then the review on the allocation of resources.
13. As always, the Group stands ready to work with you, the Bureau and all colleagues to reach a successful outcome for this session.
I thank you.