1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China to introduce draft resolution A/74/L.5 on the enlargement of the ACABQ under agenda item 123 on Strengthening of the United Nations system.
2. The ACABQ underwent successive enlargements to take into account the increased membership of the UN. However the last of these enlargements took place in 1977. Since then, the UN membership increased by 25%. The current distribution between regional groups within the Committee is also incompatible with the objective of broad geographical representation and constitutes an unfair situation that should not have lasted this long. The draft resolution put forward by the G77 and China addresses this important matter that has been discussed in previous years in the plenary without being resolved.
3. This is an overriding consideration that cannot be conditioned or subject to any other. Previous resolutions were solely focused on enlargement and this resolution is no exception. Other matters can be dealt with separately, including working methods of the Committee and conditions of service of its members. In this regard, the Group stresses its willingness and readiness to engage in the first resumed session of the Fifth Committee on these issues and is confident that an agreement taking into account an increased and more representative membership of the ACABQ can be reached.
4. Previous resolutions regarding ACABQ enlargement referred explicitly to increasing the participation of developing countries, without however ensuring that regional groups developing countries are part of are duly represented in the ACABQ. The draft resolution presented by our Group offers a more balanced and just distribution that corresponds to the reality of the UN membership in each regional group and ensures such increased participation of developing countries. It is as such fully in line with previous resolutions on the matter and furthers their implementation.
5. The Group welcomes all statements made in support of broad geographical representation. Action on these matters is long overdue and will only strengthen the United Nations. Given the importance of the ACABQ and its role for the entire organization, broad geographical representation should not be denied nor further delayed. We therefore call on all delegations to vote in favor of draft resolution A/74/L.5.