Statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China by Mr Mohamed Fouad, Consellor at the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations
I have the honour to deliver this last statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at the closing session of the Fifth Committee for the main part of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly.
The Group thanks you, Madam Chair, for your leadership of the Committee that facilitated the conclusion of our work before the holidays. We would also like to express appreciation to the Bureau for supporting the work of the Committee.
The Group is deeply grateful to the Secretariat of the Fifth Committee, Ms Sharon van Buerle and her team; the interpreters, conference officers, and sound engineers for their dedication and hard work throughout the round-the-clock operations of this Committee.
Allow me to reflect briefly on some of the key points of this session:
On the scales of assessment, this has been an exceptional year, with exceptional circumstances. Many developing countries have also seen increases in their share of contributions, despite continuing to face challenging economic circumstances at home. Nevertheless, the Group has engaged in negotiations in good faith. We are pleased that we have reached a consensus agreement on the scales of assessment for the Regular and peacekeeping budgets for 2019, 2020, and 2021, until the next triennial review of the scales at the seventy-sixth session in 2021.
The Group of 77 and China also welcomes the consensus decision to provide assessed contributions to support the Resident Coordinator system, which will ensure adequate and predictable funding to support the repositioning of the United Nations Development System towards the successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Further, the Group is pleased that we have successfully concluded deliberations on other important agenda items, including but not limited to the placement of human resources functions, construction and property management, the first performance report, programme budget implications and revised estimates arising from decisions of the General Assembly, and the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund.
However, the Group is disappointed that despite months of work, the Committee was unable to find consensus on an area of priority for our Group: Human Resources Management. Despite our best efforts, the late issuance of documents had a significant impact on the Committee’s ability to push this important subject forward. Even so, much work has already been done, and we should not lose momentum. The Group therefore looks forward to continuing our discussions during the First Resumed Session, with a view to reaching concrete outcomes on issues including gender parity, equitable geographical representation at all levels, refining performance management, and addressing deficiencies in the staff selection process.
Finally, Madam Chair, I take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to the 134 members of the Group of 77 and China for their support through the course of a very eventful year. The strong unity and friendships within the Group were critical to achieving these outcomes. We also thank our colleagues and partners for their constructive engagement during this session. We look forward to an equally productive year in 2019, under the able leadership of the State of Palestine.
I thank you, Madam Chair.