STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. SEBASTIÁN DI LUCA, OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF ARGENTINA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE ORGANIZATION OF WORK OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SIXTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the organization of work of the Fifth Committee for the main part of the 66th session of the General Assembly.
2. The Group of 77 and China wishes to congratulate you Mr. Chairman as well as the other members of the Bureau on your election. We thank the Bureau for preparing the programme of work and appreciate the current process of designation of Coordinators to facilitate on behalf of the Committee for the negotiations on the various items during the main part of the 66th session of the General Assembly.
3. The Group expresses its deep appreciation to H.E. Mr. Gert Rosenthal, the outgoing Chairman, Ambassador and former Permanent Representative of Guatemala, as well as to the other distinguished members of the previous Bureau, for their outstanding work during the 65th session.
4. We note with appreciation some improvements made over the last few years in increasing the timely submission of documents for the Fifth Committee in accordance with the mandated timeframes. The goal of 90 per cent compliance, however, has not been met. The Group in this regard would like to stress on the necessity of the timely issuance of all documents, in all official languages, in accordance with the six weeks rule, and expects that further progress be made, inter alia, through an approach that explores solutions to the perennial difficulties of the late issuance of documents to the Fifth Committee. This would contribute to the effective work of the Committee and well informed decision making.
5. Given the heavy agenda to deliberate upon during the main session, the Group appreciates the efforts of the Bureau in preparing a balanced programme of work which will be adjusted throughout the session based on the progress made by the Committee in the negotiations. In accordance with past practice, the Group is in a position to accept the programme of work as presented on the understanding that it will be reviewed and amended after the first week, as needed.
6. The Group of 77 and China as always stresses the importance of respecting the fundamental principle of the Fifth Committee in conducting the negotiations in an open, inclusive and transparent manner, thus ensuring a decision-making process based on the entire membership and not in small group configurations. In this regard, the Group wishes to emphasize that the negotiation process is a member states driven one and that consensus is a confidence building exercise that must be allowed to run its course.
7 At this stage, the Group wishes to thank the work of the Bilateral Meeting Unit, headed by Mrs. Emma Pioche during the High Level Segment and General Debate of the current session of the General Assembly.
8. In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China wishes to state that we stand ready to consider and conclude the items before us within the timeframe of the allocated Programme of Work. We believe that as Member States, we have a collective responsibility to take decisions that are beneficial to the Organization and enable it to fulfill its mandates effectively and efficiently. The Group of 77 and China reiterates its assurances of full cooperation and constructive engagement with our partners for a successful outcome for this session.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.