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Statement by Counselor Guo Zhiqi, Permanent Mission of China, at the Main Session of the Fifth Committee of the 76th General Assembly on Agenda Item 140: Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations

2021-10-29 21:09

Mr. Chair,

The Chinese delegation thanks Ms. Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General of DMSPC, for the presentation on the financial situation of the Organization, and Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant-Secretary-General and Controller, for the presentation on the management of liquidity situation. China associates itself with the statement made by Guinea on behalf of "the Group of 77 and China" and wishes to make the following comments and recommendations.

On October 25, 1971, China restored its lawful seat in the United Nations. This Monday, the Chinese government and the United Nations jointly organized a celebration event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of China's restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations. Over the past 50 years, the Chinese people have been self-reliant to seek their own development, united and cooperated to maintain international fairness and justice, and made major contributions to world peace and development. Over the past 50 years, China has always maintained the authority and status of the United Nations, practiced true multilateralism, faithfully performed the duties and responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council, upheld the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and safeguarded the core role of the UN in international affairs. In the general debate of this session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping elaborated on China’s propositions on improving global governance, proposed the Global Development Initiative, once again presenting China’s plans for the world at a historical crossroads.

As the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget and peacekeeping assessments, China has recently paid all the current assessments to support the role of the United Nations with practical actions. Finance serves as the foundation and an important element underpinning UN governance. Maintaining the role of the UN needs all member states to shoulder responsibilities and fulfill obligations. China commends those Member States who have fully paid their contributions and assessments. We call upon all Member States to pay their assessed contributions in full, on time, and without conditions.

Although the current financial situation of the United Nations has improved, it is still not optimistic. From the recent deliberations on budget issues, we have seen that tight liquidity has brought many problems, and we should be aware of the root causes of the liquidity crisis. According to the presentation on October 19, the total unpaid assessments under the regular budget and peacekeeping budget amount to 1.255 billion and 2.179 billion US dollars respectively. One member state owes the UN regular budget for 80% and the peacekeeping assessments for 56% of the total arrears. We should not ignore this long-standing abnormal and unfair situation and take it for granted. The timely, full and unconditional payment of assessments is the basic rule of the internal governance of the United Nations. It is also a requirement of the UN Charter and UN General Assembly resolutions. We call on all countries in arrears, especially those with the capacity to pay, to pay their assessments as soon as possible.

The scale is the basis for the assessment of contributions in the next stage. We have seen that for many years, the ceiling has historically benefited only one Member State, contrary to the principle of the capacity to pay. Recent years witnessed an increase in the shares of developing countries as a whole and a decrease in those of developed countries in the scale of assessments. As a developing country, China’s contribution to the next scale period is expected to account for more than 70% of the growth of all Member States, but the beneficiaries include many high-income developed countries. It is very unreasonable. The growth of developing countries should benefit developing countries more. We call on developed countries to shoulder more financial responsibilities for the UN, and fully take into account the difficulties and concerns of developing countries. The relief measures for developing countries contained in the current methodology should only be strengthened, rather than diminished.

The international community has high expectations for the UN. We hope the Secretariat could take effective measures to overcome difficulties, including cash shortage, and ensure the implementation of the responsibilities entrusted by the UN Charter and all the mandates. For initiatives of establishing any new mechanism, it is necessary to fully study the feasibility, with a view to avoid resulting deterioration of the financial situation. Meanwhile, the Secretariat should continue to strengthen budget performance management, improve internal control, and adhere to the financial disciplines to ensure that every penny of the tax payers of the Member States is put to good use.

The Chinese delegation will constructively participate in the discussion and consultation of this item.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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