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Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda Item 134: Programme Budget for the Biennium 2016-2017: Managing after-service health insurance

March 9

Madam Chair,

1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 134: Programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017 on Managing after-service health insurance (ASHI).

2. At the outset, the Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Director of the Accounts Division, Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, Mr. Pedro Guazo, for his introduction of the Secretary-General's report on managing after-service health insurance liabilities (ASHI), as contained in document A/71/698, and the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, for his introduction of the report of the ACABQ, as contained in document A/71/815.

Madam Chair,

3. The Group of 77 and China reiterates the great importance it attaches to the welfare of the United Nations staff members and remains committed to the settlement of their end-of-service liabilities, including those related to after-service health insurance as many of them cannot benefit from the national social security schemes of Member States, owing to their service with the United Nations.

Madam Chair,

4. The report under consideration contains several proposals of the Secretary-General regarding after-service health insurance. The Group has carefully analysed these proposals as well as the related comments and recommendations of the Advisory Committee.

5. In essence, the Secretary-General proposes further seven recommendations in respect of the previous eight recommendations prepared by the Working Group on the after-service health insurance, which were endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 70/248B.

6. On the basis of these seven recommendations, it is proposed to fully fund a newly constituted after-service health insurance in respect of staff recruited from 1 January 2020, while maintaining the pay-as-you-go approach for the existing liability.

7. The Group will be interested to receive detailed information, among others, on the benefits of the coexistence of the current pay-as-you-go approach with the new proposed funding of the after-service health insurance.

8. The Secretary-General also proposes to cease the consideration of extending the mandate of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) to the benefits of the after-service health insurance.

9. Regarding this proposal, the Group recalls that the General Assembly in its resolution 68/244 requested the Secretary-General to propose options for including in the mandate of the UNJSPF the administration of ASHI benefits, taking into account that the funding of the latter is an issue of system-wide concern.

10. In this context, the Group would like to receive more information on the reasons why the aforementioned options can no longer be explored.

11. The Group will also consider the other proposals of the Secretary-General on their own merits.

Madam Chair,

12. In the next coming years, a substantial number of United Nations staff will proceed on retirement and therefore, it would be important to take into account their fundamental interests in the consideration of ASHI.

13. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China would like to assure you of our constructive participation in the negotiation of this important agenda item.

I thank you.

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