HomeUnited NationsFifth Committee: 28th Meeting (Night)

Fifth Committee: 28th Meeting (Night)

The Fifth Committee then turned its attention to the draft decision titled “Questions deferred for future consideration” (document A/C.5/77/L.33).CHANDRAMOULI RAMANATHAN, Controller, Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Finance and Budget in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, said that, through Assembly resolution 76/280, the Fifth Committee was directed to return money from closed peacekeeping missions and distribute credits as of 31 March.  He said .4 million was due back to troop-contributing countries and 10 of them have asked for payment in cash, and that amount,  million, was sent to them today.  Six Member States have asked for about .6 million to be applied to their other outstanding assessments and he is waiting for instructions from 11 Member States for the remaining .8 million. This is the payment of money due to the troop-contributing countries pending for many, many years. In addition, he said 5 million will be returned to all Member States as credits once instructions are received.  He pointed out that the cash from the closed peacekeeping missions was a lifeline for regular budget liquidity. Mr. AL-SALMI (Oman), speaking on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council and aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, thanked the delegations and experts who participated in the just-concluded negotiations, which have borne fruit, particularly with respect to agenda item 143, on human resources management, following a lengthy negotiation on matters including geographic diversity, mobility and the selection of United Nations staff.  The Committee has taken a step in the right direction by ensuring fair representation in the United Nations system. It next approved by consensus a draft resolution titled “Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations” (document A/C.5/77/L.32). RICHARD TUR DE LA CONCEPCIÓN (Cuba), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said he was pleased the Committee was able to reach consensus this year on the important issue of human resources management, after nearly six years without an agreement.  He noted the constructive spirit of all Committee colleagues and the trust inspired by the Committee Chair and the facilitators.  He acknowledged the Committee’s success in achieving results despite many difficult moments.  The resolution on human resources management will provide the Secretary-General with the guidance necessary to help achieve the United Nations goals.  He said his delegation stands firm in its dedication and devotion to the Organization and the Fifth Committee. Action on Drafts Note:  A complete summary of tonight’s Fifth Committee meeting will be made available on Monday, 3 April. JAMES STAPLES (United Kingdom), echoing that the Organization’s staff is its greatest asset, pointed out that the Committee was able to give long-overdue guidance to the Secretariat through delegates’ sustained engagement and tireless efforts to bridge gaps and build compromise.  There has also been progress elsewhere, including on accountability and peacebuilding financing, he noted, reiterating his Government’s commitment to ensure adequate, predictable and sustainable funding for the Peacebuilding Fund.  “In other areas, we were not able to make as much progress as we might have hoped but such is the joy and some may say the sorrow of the Fifth Committee that for most items — including supply chain management, IT and capital investment planning — in various future sessions, we will have the opportunity to discuss again,” he said. ELEONORE HEIMSOETH, representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, stressed that the Organization’s people are its most valuable asset.  After six years of unsuccessful attempts, the Fifth Committee finally approved by consensus a resolution which contains the most significant overhaul of the system of desirable ranges since its inception; addresses a wide array of policies including on the attraction, recruitment and retention of talents on as wide a geographical basis as possible; and adopted an ambitious set of new guidelines.  It also reiterated the need to focus on gender parity, reinforced the independence of the Ethics Office, consolidated the victims’ rights approach and strengthened accountability in combatting any form of misconduct.  “This is nothing short of historic,” she declared. The Committee also concluded a number of other agenda items in stark contrast with the outcome of its first resumed session last year, she noted before voicing her regret that no agreement was reached on supply chain activities and the information and communications technology strategy.  The key to the best possible outcome lies in the Committee’s ability to uphold transparency in its proceedings.  Active engagement, inclusive proceedings and good faith debates make quality discussions and decisions, she underscored. Mr. KRIDELKA said the General Assembly will take action on the Fifth Committee’s work on 18 April.  The Fifth Committee will hold the first meeting of its second resumed session on 1 May.  He then declared the first resumed session closed. CHRISTOPHER P. LU (United States) said that the comprehensive resolution on human resources management is a big step forward in making the United Nations fit for purpose to address the challenges of the twenty-first century.  With this resolution, the Organization will move forward on a mobility system, be rejuvenated through bringing in new talent, have a more representative workforce and strengthen protections against misconduct, including sexual harassment.  The Committee’s actions today will improve processes by increasing transparency and accountability, as well as the performance management system by focusing on outcomes and not outputs, he underscored.  No side however got everything that it wanted, he pointed out, noting that the failure to make progress on information-technology improvements is short-sighted given the fast pace of technological changes and the Organization’s very real cybersecurity risks.  Yet, in reaching an agreement instead of deadlocking as it has done for years, the Committee has reasserted the authority of Member States to play an active role in United Nations operations, he stressed. It next approved the draft resolution titled “Human Resources Management” (document A/C.5/77/L.31) by consensus. The Fifth Committee first took up and approved the draft resolution titled “Special subjects relating to the programme budget for 2023” (document A/C.5/77/L.30) without a vote. MEDARD AINOMUHISHA (Uganda), speaking for the African Group and aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, welcomed the Committee’s adoption of a human resources management resolution after nearly six years.  He went on to highlight the issue of racism in the United Nations, reiterating that this has no place in the Organization, which was founded on the principle of dignity without distinction by race, colour, ethnicity or national origin.  He therefore welcomed the appointment of a Special Advisor for addressing racism in the workplace.  Expressing disappointment that the Committee was unable to reach consensus on a resolution pertaining to investing in peacebuilding, he said that the proposal agreed upon by the African Group, European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Switzerland and Norway is a comprehensive one that should serve as a basis for the outcome of such a resolution in upcoming sessions. JAVIER SALAS (Peru) underlined the importance of the topics discussed in the Committee, including ethics in the United Nations, cybersecurity, information and communications technology, capital investment, human resources management reform and investment in peacebuilding.  On that point, he spotlighted the need for a new peacebuilding fund, which receives both voluntary contributions — like those Peru regularly makes to the current fund — and assessed contributions to finance activities linked to peacebuilding.  He added that greater consensus among Member States is needed to establish this new fund, which must be flexible, adaptable, sustainable and predictable to provide financial support in this important area. The Fifth Committee recommended by acclamation the appointment of Minhong Yi (Republic of Korea) from the Group of Asia-Pacific States to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ji-sun Jun (Republic of Korea), effective 28 February.  If approved by the General Assembly, Mr. Yi will serve until 31 December. PHILIPPE KRIDELKA (Belgium), Committee Chair, then thanked all Member States, particularly the Cuban delegates, at the start of their chairmanship of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, commending them for their exceptional energy and diplomatic creativity.  He applauded their hard work to reach consensus on a number of important items, notably the human resources management package, after 16 hours of negotiation last night, adding that it marked the first time the Committee agreed to give guidance to the Secretariat on human resources after six years.  While welcoming the spirit of consensus, creativity and compromise that prevailed, enabling consensus about matters, such as air travel, accountability and the Joint Inspection Unit, among others, he noted that no consensus could be reached on some items, including the Peacebuilding Fund.  Noting that he spoke with all regional groups, and found that there was strong political support from groups in all parts of the world to move forward on the Fund, he added that it will be an important part of the Committee’s next session, during which he hoped delegates would demonstrate the same spirit of creativity and compromise. Appointment to Committee on Contributions Closing Remarks Mr. ALMOTAERY (Saudi Arabia), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China and the Gulf Cooperation Council, said he was pleased with the Committee’s ability to reach consensus on human resources management after six difficult years.  He said he hoped this consensus will let the Organization improve its representation in its staff and represent all countries without distinction, as outlined in Article 101 of the Charter of the United Nations.  Saudi youth want to participate more actively in the Organization’s work, he said.  He urged that the selection of staff be based on unbiased, improved representation that will attract people with the best skills. FUJINUMA ATSUYUKI (Japan) said his delegation is pleased the Committee was able to adopt a resolution on human resources for the first time in more than six years.  This gives the United Nations solid guidance in achieving a more effective, efficient and inclusive Organization.  He said his delegation is also content that the Committee found common ground on several important agenda items, especially on accountability, as it has been three years since the Committee provided solid guidance to the Secretariat on this significant matter.  On the Peacebuilding Fund, Japan joined the consolidated proposal from many other delegations, as champions and contributors to the peacebuilding efforts. The Chair then did so, subsequently asking if the Russian Federation’s delegate was satisfied. The Committee then approved “L.33” without a vote. Also without a vote, the Fifth Committee approved a draft resolution titled “Joint Inspection Unit” (document A/C.5/77/L.29). The representative of the Russian Federation responded in the affirmative. The representative of the Russian Federation, noting that his delegation did not have time to read this brief text, asked if the Chair could read aloud “L.33”, which pertains to questions deferred for future consideration.


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