REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MAJED BAMYA, FIRST COUNSELLOR, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, DURING THE CLOSING SESSION OF THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 27 December 2019)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China to make a few closing remarks during the main part of the 74th session of the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly.
Let me begin by reflecting on some achievements of the Committee during this session.
Despite the challenges associated with moving to the first annual programme plan and budget in almost 45 years, we have succeeded in adopting a programme budget that ensures an adequate level of resources for the United Nations to be able to fully deliver on all mandated programmes and activities. However, this budget’s significance is contingent on our commitment to honour our legal and financial obligations.
The Group has placed a particular focus on protecting the development pillar of the United Nations in all its aspects, including the budget of areas such as DESA, UNCTAD and the Economic Regional Commissions, so that the Organization can perform its role as an enabler of the development agenda.
The Group wishes to emphasize the importance it places on reforms. All of us want to see an effective and fit-for-purpose United Nations that can fully deliver on its intergovernmentally-agreed mandates. Naturally, reforms are accompanied by teething pains.
This session was the first time that the entirety of the Programme Plan was submitted for the consideration and decision of the General Assembly without any specific recommendations.
Also it was the first time that the sequential nature of the review processes of the proposed programme budget conducted by the Committee for Programme and Coordination and the Advisory Committee was not preserved.
The Group is hopeful that guided by the resolution we have adopted today, the Secretariat and Member States will be able to continue to work hand in hand towards a better implementation of the ongoing management reforms, in particular the annual programme budget on a trial basis.
We also stress that the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination shall be preserved and further strengthened.
Further, the Group is pleased that we have successfully concluded deliberations on other important agenda items, including revised estimates and programme budget implications for resolutions, the second performance report for the 2018-2019 programme budget, two United Nations common system resolutions, one of which addressed an unprecedented challenge to the ICSC, several resolutions on construction and property management that provide important guidance to the project managers. In addition, we also successfully concluded several other key resolutions such as OIOS, Administration of Justice, and the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund.
The Group is disappointed that due to time constraints, the Committee was unable to consider an area of priority for our Group: Human Resources Management.
The Group therefore looks forward to continuing our discussions on this and other items during the First Resumed Session.
The Committee would not have been able to conclude this session without your precious guidance and the constant engagement of your team on all levels, as well as the tireless work of the Bureau, the Fifth Committee Secretariat, Conference Services, Interpreters, Sound Engineers, and all others who supported and facilitated our work and helped create a positive and conducive atmosphere in which we could complete our work in time. We thank our negotiating partners and all the facilitators for their constructive efforts to achieve a successful outcome this session.
The Group would further like to thank the Secretariat of the Group of 77 and China for the 5th Committee led by the able Mr Arturo Lozano, for their dedicated and invaluable support.
Also, on behalf of the Palestine team in the Fifth committee allow me to express deep gratitude to the 134 members of our Group not only for their expertise and professionalism but also for the support and guidance they provided, as well as the unity and solidarity they exhibited throughout the year.
The successful chairmanship of the State of Palestine of the group of 77 and China is largely attributed to the exceptional and high quality of the representatives in our group. It has been a privilege to be able to serve this group and the principles it stands for.
Allow me also as this is the last formal meeting where the State of Palestine will take the floor as Chair of the G77 and China to make some final remarks. First, to express our gratitude to the members of our group for having selected Palestine to chair the group. It may not have been the obvious choice to choose an observer State facing tremendous challenges to chair the group in this critical time for the rules based multilateral order, but we hope as this chairmanship concludes, they feel it was the right choice, not only as an expression of solidarity but of confidence in the ability of Palestine to deliver on the mandate it was entrusted with.
We have pledged to act in an exemplary manner during this chairmanship and to dedicate all our efforts to representing our group, while working constructively with all partners, for the betterment of humanity. We believe we have delivered on this pledge.
But let us also acknowledge and express appreciation to all partners, as they also engaged constructively with this chairmanship, regardless of their initial positions, in support or against this Chairmanship. All displayed respect for the choice of our group and its right to designate its Chair.
In that sense, together we embodied multilateralism at its best, with mutual respect, constructive engagement, and a sense of responsibility commensurate with the noble task the UN was established to perform and that is more needed today than ever.
We look forward to continue working alongside you all in order to advance our United Nations. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
I thank you, Mr Chair.
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