1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 134: Programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017, on the revised estimates relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017 under section 7, International Court of Justice.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller, for introducing the report of the Secretary-General as contained in document A/71/560, as well as Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), for introducing the related report of the Advisory Committee as contained in document A/71/635.
3. The Group of 77 and China reiterate the long-standing position of the Group that the level of resources to be approved by the General Assembly must be commensurate with all mandated programmes and activities to ensure their full and effective implementation.
4. The Group attaches great importance to the roles and functions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as one of the principal organs of the United Nations and the principal judicial organ of the Organization. Considering the unpredictable and complex nature of the Court's workload, the Group is of the view that due regard should be given to an assessment of the estimated requirements of the Court for each respective biennium, and that adequate funding and resources be appropriated accordingly.
5. The Group of 77 and China note that the additional resource requirements related to the judicial exercise of one of the pending cases before the Court, namely the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), amount to $120,000. This would require an additional appropriation under section 7, International Court of Justice, of the programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017 for all the activities of two independent experts needed to fulfill their mandate in compliance with the Court order dated 31 May 2016. The Group recognizes that the appointment of experts is a sovereign decision taken by the Court as the principal organ of the United Nations in the judicial field.
6. Bearing in mind the unavailability of extrabudgetary resources for the Court as well as the overall resource reduction of 10 per cent for this biennium as compared to the appropriation for 2014-2015, it is essential that the Court be further provided with adequate resources to discharge its functions. In this regard, the Group supports the Secretary-General's request for the approval and appropriation of the additional resources in the amount of $120,000 which accounts for all related expenditure required for the completion of the case as mandated.
7. The Group assures you of our continued commitment to participate actively and constructively in the consultations on this agenda item.
I thank you, Madam Chairperson.