|Statement by Counselor Fu Daopeng at the Closing Session of the Second Resumed Sesion of the Fifth Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly|
The Chinese delegation offers its congratulations on the successful conclusion of the Second Resumed Session of the Fifth Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly. I welcome the presence of Madam Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Madam Beagle, Under-Secretary-General for Management. The Chinese delegation thanks you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership. Our thanks also go to the members of the Bureau for their effective organization, the facilitators for their hard work in coordination as well as ACABQ and Sharon’s team in the Fifth Committee secretariat. We also thank the colleagues of the Department of Management and the Department of Field Support for their great support and cooperation, as well as the interpreters and technicians for their hard work. The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement by Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and would like to take this opportunity to add the following points:
First, with the conclusion of the Second Resumed Session, the Fifth Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly has successfully completed all the agenda items of its regular session, the first resumed session and the second resumed session with remarkable results, marking an important milestone. At the main session last year, the Committee reviewed and decided on the regular budget for the 2018-2019 biennium, approved the proposed change from a biennial to an annual budget period on a trial basis beginning with the programme budget for 2020, and approved in principle the Secretary-General's vision for management reform. At the first resumed session this year, the Committee adopted the resolution on standards of accommodation for official travel and authorized the Secretary-General to resubmit the report on the restructuring of OHCHR at the 74th Session of the General Assembly. At the second resumed session, the Committee considered and approved the United Nations peacekeeping budget for 2018-2019, adopted resolutions on the United Nations management reform as well as peace and security reform, and authorized the Secretary-General to submit a report on the global service delivery model at the 73rd Session of the General Assembly. These results provide the institutional basis and material guarantee for the United Nations to perform its functions and play its central role in global governance. As such, they are of great significance. These hard-won results are attributable to the engagement, dedication and contribution of all parties and have China’s appreciation.
Second, finance serves as the resource base and an important buttress for both national governance and governance of the United Nations. China consistently maintains that the UN budget should not only guarantee the delivery of various mandates, but also help strengthen budgetary discipline and financial management to improve efficiency in the use of funds, with every penny from the taxpayers of Member States effectively managed and used. During the recent deliberation on the peacekeeping budget, we made the constructive proposal to avoid falling into the “cutting trap” in the budget review. By “cutting trap”, it means cutting the budget just for the sake of cutting. Excessive cuts during the budget review would result in forcing the secretariat to request a larger amount of additional resources during the budget implementation process, rendering such “cuts” literally ineffective. China has always insisted that budget review must be based on mandates, governed by budget rules and regulations, and guaranteed by frugality and efficiency to avoid falling into the “cutting trap”. This proposal for avoiding the “cutting trap” received broad acceptance. The 2018-2019 peacekeeping budget (lower than the $122 million recommended by ACABQ) was approved at the second resumed session. It will provide the peacekeeping missions with the necessary resources to fulfill the mandates given by the Security Council. China wishes to acknowledge this outcome.
Third, China supports the Secretary-General in his effort to move forward the reform of the United Nations, stands by principles and remains flexible, actively participating in the discussions and consultations to facilitate a final agreement among all parties. Reform is a process, not a one-off. It is China’s expectation that in the process of reform, be it management, peace and security, or the global service delivery model, the Secretariat can ramp up its consultations with the membership, enhance mutual trust between the Secretariat and Member States, strengthen the accountability of the Secretariat to the membership, and ensure that reforms achieve the desired results to better enable the UN to play a central role in global multilateral governance.
Fourth, as the Fifth Committee has a challenging mandate and a special role to play, China calls for the fostering of a Fifth Committee culture, that is, a “consultative, constructive and sharing" culture. By being consultative, it means that the Fifth Committee affairs should be run, and issues be addressed, all through consultations by upholding the principle of consensus. By being constructive, it means the constructive participation of all parties in making rules and regulations and setting up mechanisms necessary for the work of the Fifth Committee. Sharing means that the work of the Fifth Committee should be conducive to the better functioning of the United Nations and that the results should be shared by all the Member States. China will continue its constructive and active participation in the work of the Fifth Committee in a spirit of democratic consultation and win-win cooperation to make the work of the Fifth Committee ever more effective and more responsive to new situations, mandates and challenges.
Again, please allow me to express my thanks to you, Chair! Your extensive experience with CPC, ACABQ, and twice as chair of the Fifth Committee, along with your wisdom, sense of humour and leadership, has enabled the current session of the Fifth Committee to come to a successful conclusion. I wish you all the best in your future endeavour. And my best wishes also go to my colleagues for a welcome break they deserve. I look forward to seeing you again at the next session!
Thank you, Chair.