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Friday, September 22, 2017
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 30 2017 (IPS/G77) - The Group of 77 reaffirmed its “strong belief that peacekeeping budgets must provide the necessary resources to enable the United Nations to fulfill its mandates”.
The Group said it does not believe in arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises that do not take into consideration the situation on the ground.
“We acknowledge that our negotiations over the last two months have been difficult at times. We hope that the conclusions we have reached will enable the UN Secretariat to carry out its work effectively and efficiently,” a delegate from the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary)
Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, she said the Group is pleased to have made progress towards addressing sexual exploitation and abuse.
The Group reiterates that the United Nations must continue efforts to harmonize its approach to this issue, prioritizing the needs of victims. The zero-tolerance policy must also apply equally to all whether they are uniformed personnel or civilians, including all non-United Nations forces authorized under a Security Council mandate, she added.
As of 30 June 2016, 15 active United Nations peacekeeping missions were in operation, with 115 countries contributing 89,002 military personnel and 86 countries contributing 13,059 police personnel. In addition, there were 17,350 civilian staff of over 176 nationalities and 1,772 United Nations Volunteers.
Concluding its second resumed session, the Fifth Committee sent 21 draft resolutions to the General Assembly, asking the body to authorize the allocation of $6.80 billion to finance 14 peacekeeping missions for the year beginning 1 July 2017, according to a UN press release.
As a follow-up, the General Assembly will address a range of items, including expressing serious concern over sexual exploitation and abuse allegations involving peacekeeping missions. The Committee also approved related drafts on the support of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, and the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.
The Ecuadorean delegate told the Fifth Committee that the Group of 77 recognizes the invaluable contribution of troop and police-contributing countries to the maintenance of international peace and security.
“We emphasize the importance of continued close consultation between the Secretary-General and troop and police contributing countries on all matters related to peacekeeping operations.”
The Group noted the progress that the UN Secretariat has made over the past year in making peacekeeping more field-focused and effective. The Group looks forward continued efforts in this regard, including the full utilization of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe to maximize efficiency gains and benefits.
But she also pointed out that the Group regrets that once again, “we could not reach agreement on addressing closed peacekeeping missions. We trust that when we next consider this issue, there will be new options for a sustainable solution to address claims payable to Member States, particularly troop and police contributing countries from closed peacekeeping operation budgets.”
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