STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR BOUBACAR DIALLO, G-77 COORDINATOR OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK OF THE SECOND PART OF THE RESUMED SEVENTY-FIFTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 3 May 2021)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the organization of work for the second part of the resumed seventy-fifth session of the Fifth Committee.
2. The Group reiterates its commitment to working with you and your Bureau towards the successful conclusion of the session. We take this opportunity to express our support for the work done by the Advisory Committee on administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and the Fifth Committee Secretariat for their indispensable contributions in facilitating the work of the Committee, especially in these trying times.
3. The Group recognizes the presence of Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant-Secretary General and Controller, and Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the ACABQ.
4. At the outset, I would like to express the Group's gratitude for the women and men who have served and continue to serve in different peacekeeping missions, whether civilian or uniformed, who carry the brunt of the burden every day in order to achieve the mandates of these missions as set out by the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Group also pays tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace.
5. The Group thanks you and the Bureau for providing the programme of work and the status of preparedness of this session's documentation. We are pleased to see that the majority of reports are already available and in particular, we are glad that most of the ACABQ reports are published. The Group notes that the programme of work is provisional and we trust the Bureau to continue reviewing and updating it during the session, should there be developments on the readiness and availability of the pending reports, as well as on the business continuity of the Organization in the face of the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic.
6. In this regard, the Group acknowledges the gradual improvement of the situation in New York, especially in the light of widespread vaccination. The Group recalls that many procedures and methods of work used during this past year were put in place as a temporary measure in response to the very exceptional circumstances of the ongoing pandemic. The Group looks forward to a gradual return to traditional methods of work in our Committee, following the safety and health advice of the appropriate UN departments and of the city of New York.
7. Furthermore, the Group notes that once again non peacekeeping items appear on the provisional programme of work and reiterate our Group's view that the Second Resumed Session should prioritize the consideration of the financing of peacekeeping operations. These complex items demand our close attention, and we should focus on concluding our deliberations on time to ensure that peacekeeping operations are given the necessary resources to fulfill their mandates. We can assure you Mr. Chair, that we will do our utmost to prevent the unfortunate precedent of past sessions whereby our negotiations have extended beyond the fiscal year.
8. On substantive matters for this session, the Group of 77 and China attaches great importance to the consideration of the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of UN peacekeeping operations, in particular, cross-cutting issues, closed peacekeeping missions, the Support Account for peacekeeping operations and the budgets of the Regional Service Center and the United Nations Logistics Base.
9. The Group looks forward to engaging on all issues during the Committee's deliberations with special attention to ensuring that the formulation, presentation, and approval of peacekeeping operations budgets are based on their mandates and the real situation on the ground, and not as arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises.
10. We also look forward to exploring options to build upon last year's resolution on closed peacekeeping missions and finally achieve a fair solution for the unpaid assessments, accounts payable and other liabilities of these missions;
11. Additionally we will also follow up on the discussions differed from the first resumed session regarding Seconded active-duty military and police personnel with a view to reaching a balanced agreement.
12. In closing, let me reassure you of the Group of 77 and China's commitment to engage actively and constructively during the Committee's deliberations during this session. We look forward to an open and fruitful discussion, in the best interests of the United Nations and the people whom it represents and serves.
I thank you.