STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR YURI GALA, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 135 "PROGRAMME PLANNING" AND 134 "PROPOSED PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR 2024", AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 10 October 2023)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. proposed programme plan and budget for 2024. We also thank Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee, for introducing the Committee's related report.
3. We wish to recognize the Vice-Chair of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC), Ms. Hind Jerboui, for introducing the report of the CPC. We want to thank the whole Bureau of this Committee for their efforts during the committee's deliberations this year.
4. Given the primacy we attach to the intergovernmental guidance on mandate implementation, we would like to refer first to the agenda item Programme Planning. In this regard, we emphasize the fundamental role the CPC plays in the Organization in ensuring the proper interpretation the Secretariat makes on the mandates entrusted to it. To this effect, we remind that the terms and expressions referred to in the proposed programme plans must be intergovernmentally agreed.
5. We would like to recall as well the provisions set out in paragraph 11 of last resolution on Programme Planning, whereby the Main Committees of the General Assembly are requested, as appropriate, to provide recommendations on those programmes where consensus could not be reached during the CPC`s deliberations.
6. Now, we would like to refer to the proposed programme budget for next year, and in particular to the impact that the UN budget could have at the operational level, especially in those programs and activities of interest to developing countries.
7. Most of the UN regular budget is conceived to cover personnel costs taking as a reference the cost of living in New York. While we acknowledge the importance of maintaining the United Nations as an attractive organization to skilled professionals, the realities in most of the countries from the Global South are quite different from that of New York.
8. Developing countries need the UN more than ever. This Organization must step up and provide meaningful examples of tangible cooperation for the benefit of those most in need, which is why the Group of 77 and China has constantly called on you Mr. Secretary General to explore innovative ways of engaging and Liaising with regional and sub-regional Organisations. In fact, the regular budget provides some tools to help get back on track with the SDGs.
9. Two of these important tools are the Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation and the Development Account. Both instruments receive considerably low financing to carry out concrete projects to promote development and capacity building in the field. These two instruments are key to ensure that the UN can actually produce a positive impact on people´s livelihoods.
10. Being aware of their crucial importance, the Group of 77 and China is determined to augment the dimensions of both instruments in order to increase the contribution the UN could have on sustainable development through its regular budget and its accumulated expertise. A business-as-usual approach on the discussions on the regular budget would only undermine the prestige of this Organization, for which we believe it should not be an option to anyone.
11. In these endeavors, Mr. Secretary General, we will be inspired on your continuous calls for the achievement of the SDGs and the full weight of the United Nations in the upcoming High Level Meetings in 2024 especially:
- The Twelfth Session of the World Urban Forum to be held in Cairo, Egypt, - The Third UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, and; - The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States, to be held in Antigua and Barbuda, and; - The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the world's highest-level decision-making body for matters related to the environment to be held in Nairobi, Kenya.
12. As usual we count on your support, in seeing to a budget that addresses the needs of the people we serve, and their concern's in 2024. Likewise, we expect the same spirit guide all our colleagues in this Committee, as it was the unanimous claim during the High-level week.
I thank you.