Statement of behalf of the Group of 77 and China by Ms. Lourdes Pereira Sotomayor, first secretary, Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 136: Proposed Programme Budget for Biennium 2018-2019,with particular reference to the use of the Commitment authority and the request for a subvention to the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (RSCSL).
2. At the outset the Group of 77 and China would like to thank Mr. Johannes Huisman, Director, Programme Planning and Budget Division, Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts for introducing the report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/72/384 and Mr. Babou Sene, Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing the related report contained in document A/72/7/Add.20 on this agenda item.
3. The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate its commitment to the smooth functioning of the mandated judicial institutions including the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone. In this regard consideration of the administrative and financial aspects of the RSCSL remains one of the important items on the Group's agenda.
4. The Group of 77 and China recalls that by its resolution 71/272 of 23rd December 2016, the General assembly authorized the Secretary General to enter into commitment in an amount not to exceed $2.8 million, to supplement the voluntary financial resources of the RSCSL for the period, 1st January to 31st December 2017. The Group has also taken note of both the details provided by the Secretary-General on the use of the approved commitment authority and the current financial status of the Court.
5. On fundraising activities, the Group of 77 and China has taken note with serious concern that despite the intensive fundraising endeavors by the Secretary-General, the Oversight Committee and the principal officials of the Court there is no prospect of future voluntary contributions. We therefore remain concerned the lack of sustainable funding may negatively affect the Court in the delivery of its important mandate.
6. Considering the unpredictable nature of voluntary contribution as a funding mechanism for the Court and mindful of the fact that subvention is only a temporary measure, the Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate the need for a long term sustainable funding mechanism for the Court, preferably, through assessment from Member States.
7. The Group is also prepared to closely examine the details of other elements of the report including but not limited to staffing, logistical support, and administrative arrangements during our informal consultations.
8. In conclusion, the Group would like to assure you of our readiness to engage constructively in the consideration of this agenda item with a view to reaching conclusion in a timely manner.
I thank you.