Intervention by Ms. Lourdes Perira Sotomayor, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations on behalf of the Group of 77 and China
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 140: "Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations."
2. The Group of 77 and China thanks Ambassador Bernardo Greiver, Chair of the Committee on Contributions, for introducing the report of the Committee's seventy-seventh session, as contained in document A/72/11. We also thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General and Controller, for introducing the report of the Secretary-General on multi-year payment plans, as contained in document A/72/71.
3. On this agenda item, the Group reiterates our longstanding position that the Organisation must be provided with sufficient financial resources to discharge its mandates. Without adequate resources, the Organisation will not be able to effectively implement its mandates. All Member States should therefore fulfil their legal obligations to bear the expenses of the Organisation, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. All Member States should pay their assessed contributions in full, on time, and without preconditions.
4. At the same time, the Group reminds this Committee that the genuine difficulties faced by some developing countries should be fully taken into account. We recognise that there are exceptional circumstances that temporarily prevent them from meeting their financial obligations. The Group commends those Member States who have made every effort to meet their financial obligations to the Organisation despite the difficulties they face.
5. The Group emphasizes the importance of dealing with requests made under Article 19 of the Charter (moved from para 4). We have carefully reviewed the report of the Committee on Contributions, and endorse its recommendations that Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia be permitted to vote until the end of the 72nd session of the General Assembly. The Committee should act promptly on the requests of these countries.
6. Regarding multi-year payment plans, the Group appreciates the efforts made by Member States that have submitted multi-year payment plans. We commend those who have honoured their commitments under those plans. At the same time, the Group stresses that multi-year payment plans should remain voluntary and should not be used as a means to exert pressure on Member States that are already in difficult circumstances. They should also not be a factor in considering applications for exemption under Article 19.
7. In its Ministerial Declaration of 22 September 2017, the Group of 77 and China reiterated once again our firm position that the current methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments reflects changes in the relative economic situation of Member States.We reaffirm the principle of "capacity to pay" as the fundamental criterion in the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations. We reject any change to the elements of the current methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments aimed at increasing the contributions of developing countries.
8. The Group of 77 and China emphasizes that the core elements of the current methodology of the scale of assessments, such as base period, Gross National Income, conversion rates, low per capita income adjustment, gradient, floor, ceiling for Least Developed Countries, and debt stock adjustment must be kept intact and are not negotiable.
9. The Group reminds this Committee that the current maximum assessment rate, or ceiling, had been fixed as a political compromise, and is contrary to the principle of the capacity to pay. It is a fundamental source of distortion in the scale of assessments. We urge the General Assembly to undertake a review of this arrangement, in accordance with paragraph 2 of General Assembly resolution 55/5 C.
10. The Group of 77 and China also stresses that organisations which have an enhanced observer status at the United Nations, giving them rights and privileges usually only applied to Observer States, such as the right to speak in the General Debate of the General Assembly and the right of reply, should also have the same financial obligations to the United Nations as Observer States. The Group calls on the General Assembly to consider a decision on an assessment for such organisations.
Thank you, Mr Chair.