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Statement by Mr. Ren Yisheng, Alternate Representative of the Chinese Delegation at the Fifth Committee of the 61st Session of the General Assembly on Capital Master Plan

2006-11-30 00:00

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like to thank Mr. Warren Sach, the Acting Under-Secretary-General for Management and Mr. Rajat Saha, chairman of the ACABQ for their respective introduction of the relevant reports. The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by the representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The United Nations Headquarters complex is a group of landmark buildings well-known to people around the world. In 2000, the Secretary-General made a proposal on the Capital Master Plan together with the alternative plans on cost at the 55th session of the General Assembly. In 2005, the 60th session of the GA, by resolution 60/282, decided in favor of Strategy IV recommended by the Secretary-General, namely, phased renovation of the United Nations buildings. In our view, this strategy is the most realistic option and the cost involved is reasonable. However, we note with concern that five years after its approval, the CMP still remains on paper. In the meantime, the projected cost has been increasing at an annual rate of 8-12% due to the escalation of housing and construction costs in New York City. Therefore, we urge member states to make greater efforts to move forward the actual implementation of the CMP for the sake of the image of the UN and the safety and health of the representatives of member states, the Secretariat staff and other people concerned, bearing in mind the need for cost effectiveness and efficiency.

Mr. Chairman,

In our view, funding is the key to the successful implementation of the CMP. The current session of the GA will review the total project cost, financing mechanisms and assessment options. In calculating the total project cost, we should aim at maximizing the value of the funds. As to the modality of financing, we are in favor of direct cash assessment among member states while we are flexible as to whether it should be one time assessment or multi-year assessment. We hope the Secretary-General would establish a mechanism to ensure that member states that pay their CMP assessments in full and on time will not bear any financial liabilities and/or other obligations derived from the possible utilization of credit facilities or instruments.

In resolution 60/282, the General Assembly noted the benefits accruing to host countries from the presence of the United Nations and the costs incurred, and stressed the special role of the host country government with regard to support, including financial support, for the UN. It is our hope that the host country will respond to the appeal of the vast majority of member states by taking positive measures as its due contribution to the implementation of the Capital Master Plan.

We also notice that the same resolution requests the Secretary-General, in the implementation of the Capital Master Plan, to increase procurement opportunities for vendors from developing countries and economies in transition. The current GA session is considering the issue of UN procurement reform. We believe that the procurement concerns of the above mentioned countries should be taken into full account in the implementation of the CMP on the basis of fairness, transparency and cost-effectiveness.

Mr. Chairman,

China supports the Capital Master Plan which, in our view, is of critical importance for the safety of the headquarters buildings and the security and well-being of all the people concerned. As my delegation stated in its statement on the financial situation of the United Nations, China has already paid part of its assessed contribution for the CMP and will pay up the remaining balance soon. It is our hope that with the joint efforts of all involved, the implementation of the Capital Master Plan can proceed expeditiously.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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