13 October 2016
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 136: Improving the financial situation of the United Nations.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller, for the presentation on the financial situation of the Organization delivered last week and updates provided this afternoon. Our appreciation also goes to the Contributions Office for the regular assistance provided on key updates and information related to assessments for Member States, including those available through the 'on-line status of contribution portal' which has proved to be an important tool to Member States.
3. The Group of 77 and China have taken note that during the reporting period, the level of unpaid assessed contributions on regular budget in 2016 is higher than the level outstanding last year by US$ 136 million or 9 percent which remains at a significant level.
4. The Group also notes that, unpaid assessment for peacekeeping operations and tribunals remains high in magnitude but lower in percentage of assessment compared with the same reporting period, while their cash balances are currently positive.
5. While the Group is encouraged that the Board of Auditors noted, and as quoted by the Controller, that the financial health of the United Nations as a whole remains sound as it has sufficient assets overall to meet both short-term and longer-term liabilities, we are concerned that the situation for the cash position of the regular budget remains difficult with projected severe cash problems, unless sufficient contributions are received.
6. With regard to the outstanding payments to Member States that provide uniformed personnel and equipment to peacekeeping operations in the field, the Group notes that a total of US$ 713 million is projected at the end of the year. While we appreciate the efforts carried out in this area, we remain concerned with respect to the negative effects attached to delays in the reimbursement to troops and police contributing countries. We are equally concerned with the negative effects this delay brings to the maintenance of equipment in the field.
7. The Group of 77 and China would like to, once again, stress the need for more dedicated efforts in reimbursement to ensure that Member States, in particular those from developing countries who pay, in multiple ways, ultimate sacrifice in the field, are reimbursed in full, on time and as a matter of priority, taking into account challenges they face in sustaining peacekeeping commitments.
8. The Group has consistently stated that the full, timely and non-conditional payment of assessed contributions by Member States to the budgets of the Organization is an obligation established in the Charter. We strongly urge all Member States to fulfil their commitments, especially those that have the capacity to settle their arrears so as to accomplish their financial obligations in a timely fashion. It is critical that all Member States live up to their financial obligations so as to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations in the implementation of very important mandates we all agreed upon.
9. In this context, the Group of 77 and China continue to strongly reject all unilateral coercive measures contrary to international law, which obstruct, and sometimes impede, payments from members of our Group to the different budgets of the Organization.
10. I wish to reiterate that the Group of 77 and China will continue to participate constructively in the collective efforts towards resolving the persistent financial difficulties of this Organisation.
I thank you, Madam Chairperson.