STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. RICHARD TUR DE LA CONCEPCIóN, SECOND SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 138 "SCALE OF ASSESSMENTS FOR THE APPORTIONMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF THE UNITED NATIONS", AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS 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 agenda item 138: "Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations".
2. The Group of 77 and China would like to congratulate and welcome Mr. Bernardo Greiver for his re-appointment as Chair of the Committee of Contributions. We also congratulate the members who have recently joined the Committee this year and thank the outgoing ones.
3. We also thank the Chair of the Committee and Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General Controller, for introducing their respective reports.
4. We reaffirm our long-standing position that all Member states should fulfill their legal obligations to bear the expenses of the Organization, in accordance with the UN Charter. All Member states should pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions.
5. However, the Group recognizes that some developing countries face special and genuine difficulties that prevent them from temporarily meeting their financial obligations. The Group welcomes the recommendations of the Committee of Contributions to extend relief to the states requesting for exemption under Article 19. We are convinced that the inability of the countries in this situation to make the minimum payments based on their assessed contributions is due to factors beyond their control, and therefore we agree they should be permitted to vote until the end of the 78th session of the General Assembly.
6. We express our solidarity with the only country prevented to vote at present, a Member of the Group. We call for the removal of the barriers imposed on this country that hamper its capacity to fulfill its financial obligations to the Organization.
7. Regarding multi-year payment plans, the Group appreciates the efforts made by Member States who have honored their commitments under those plans. We reiterate that multi-year payment plans should remain voluntary. The Group encourages Member states with significant arrears to also consider multi-year payment plans in meeting their obligations to the Organization.
6. We reaffirm the principle of "capacity to pay" as the fundamental criterion in the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations. We reject any change to the elements of the current methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments aimed at placing an unfair burden on developing countries by increasing their contributions, which are already on the rise.
7. The Group emphasizes that the core elements of the current methodology of the scale of assessments, such as base period, Gross National Income, conversion rates, low per capita income adjustment, gradient, floor, ceiling for Least Developed Countries, and debt stock adjustment must be kept intact and are not negotiable.
8. The Group also reminds this Committee that the current maximum assessment rate, or ceiling, was fixed as a political compromise, though it is contrary to the principle of the capacity to pay. It is a fundamental source of distortion in the scale of assessments. We urge the General Assembly to undertake a review of this arrangement, in accordance with paragraph 2 of General Assembly resolution 55/5 C.
9. The Group rejects any attempt to unilaterally withhold contributions as a tool to pressure the Organization. This is contrary to both the letter and spirit of the Charter, which upholds the principle of sovereign equality of all Member States.
10. The Group of 77 and China also emphasizes that organizations, which have an enhanced observer status at the United Nations, giving them the rights and privileges usually only applied to observer states should also have the same financial obligations to the United Nations as observer states. We urge the General Assembly to consider a decision on an assessment for such organizations.
11. The Group further welcomes the possibility to consider payment of a portion of contributions in currencies other than US dollars for the years 2022, 2023 and 2024, as resolved in resolution 76/238.
12. To conclude, we reaffirm the unity and solidarity of all the Members of the Group on this agenda item.
I thank you.