7 December 2016
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 149 in particular on the Review of the United Nations Office to the African Union.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller for presenting the report of the Secretary-General as contained in document A/71/551, as well as Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for presenting the related report as contained in document A/71/646.
3. The Group attaches great importance to the strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in particular in the areas of peace and security in Africa, including the work of the United Nations Office to the African Union, noting that the partnership has grown as a result of increasing in scale and in complexity of issues over time.
4. The Group welcomes and fully supports the proposal by the Secretary-General on the restructuring of the Office submitted in response to the General Assembly's request in its resolution 70/287 which called for the Secretary-General to undertake a comprehensive review of the United Nations Office to the African Union.
5. The Group notes that the proposal before us is aimed at strengthening and reorganization of human resources in the Office in order to enhance the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union by better integrating the political affairs and the institutional and operational partnership pillars of the Office with a view to better deliver the given mandates.
6. The Group notes that the proposed revised structure introduces the reorganization of the Mission support and administrative components as well as the establishment of the Institutional and Operational Partnership Service to lead the Operational Planning and Advisory Section and the Mission Support Planning Section. The Group will be interested to learn further details on a number of elements including on how the proposed staffing structure will strengthen the coordination and management of the Office, including its advisory and operational role in relation to the engagement with the African Union.
7. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China would like to reassure you of our readiness to engage constructively in the consideration of this agenda item with a view to reaching conclusion in a timely manner.
I thank you, Madam Chairperson.