STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. MASSENI KABA SALEH, SECOND SECRETARY AT THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE CLOSING SESSION OF THE SECOND RESUMED PART OF THE SEVENTY-FIFTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 29 June 2021)
Thank you, Mr Chair.
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at this closing session of the second part of resumed seventy-fifth session of the Fifth Committee.
2. This has been a challenging session. Nevertheless, the Group is satisfied that we have reached a conclusion to the session and successfully avoided a shut-down of the peacekeeping missions.
3. Significantly, the Committee also reached agreement on practically all agenda items before it this session, with only the deferral of four items. This would not have been possible without the utmost flexibility displayed by all delegations.
4. Nevertheless, the Committee was once again unable to adopt a cross-cutting resolution. The group considers that the practice of adopting cross-cutting policies in all individual peacekeeping mission resolutions, thereby effecting cross-cutting policies in practice, prevents a deeper debate and a more fruitful outcome on policy issues related thereto.
5. Peacekeeping is the largest and most visible representation of the United Nations' work. The Group reaffirms its position that peacekeeping missions must be adequately resourced for effective mandate delivery. The Group does not believe in arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises that do not take into consideration the situation on the ground. We hope that the conclusions reached will enable the Secretariat and the missions to fully carry out their mandates.
6. The Group also recognizes the invaluable contribution of troop and police contributing countries to the maintenance of international peace and security. We emphasize the importance of continued and close consultations between the Secretary-General and troop and police contributing countries on all matters related to peacekeeping operations.
7. While consensus was reached on all items, this was a result of extreme compromise. The Group believes that more satisfactory outcomes could have been achieved on items such as the closed peacekeeping missions. The Group regrets that claims payable to troop and police contributing countries remain unsettled after more than a decade. Troop and police contributing countries cannot be expected to bear additional financial burdens, while placing their personnel's lives and livelihoods on the line. This Committee must do more than to simply state its commitment to resolve the issue. We look forward to more substantive and productive discussions on this issue next year.
8. The Group notes with appreciation this year's outcome on Seconded Personnel and while urging the Secretariat to take all measures to observe the terms in the resolution, the Group stresses the importance of achieving a definitive result on this very important matter.
9. While acknowledging the valuable contribution of the Board of Auditors, the Group notes that there are certain matters within the Board's report that are of the sole purview of the Member States.
10. The Group once again would like to congratulate the Office of Internal Oversight Services for their invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and looks forward to receiving their evaluation of the completed flexible workplace project. We firmly believe in the capacity and competence of the in-house work force to provide all necessary information to Members States.
11. The Group extends its appreciation to all members of the Bureau for their hard work, and to all burden-sharers who played key roles in our difficult negotiations. We thank our colleagues for their flexibility and constructive engagement to reach consensus on several issues during this session.
12. In particular, the Group would like to thank the members of the Secretariat, especially Mr. Lionel Berridge and his team, for their dedication, excellent work ethic, and endurance.
13. Finally, as we look ahead and prepare for the seventy-sixth session, the Group reaffirms its commitment to always engage constructively in the work of the Fifth Committee. As the pandemic situation improves, the Group looks forward to reengaging in-person at the UN headquarters and being able to achieve more and better results for the Organization as a whole. We hope that the spirit of cooperation and flexibility will continue to prevail. As always, the Group stands ready to work with all colleagues to build a more accountable, effective, and fit-for-purpose United Nations that works for the interests of all Member States in bettering the lives of people.