29 September 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Ms. Carmen Csernelházi, Counsellor, European Union Delegation to the United Nations, 71th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee on Item 138. Scale of assessments
— As delivered —
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, I wish to thank Ambassador Bernardo Greiver, Chairman of the Committee on Contributions, for presenting the Committee’s report of its 76th session, as well as Mr. Lionel Berridge, Chief of the Contributions and Policy Coordination Service, for the presentation of the Secretary-General’s report on multi-year payment plans, contained in document A/71/73.
While our Committee is not tasked to prepare a decision on the methodology for the scale of assessments at this session, we are pleased to note that the review of the elements of the methodology presented by the Committee on Contributions provides valuable recommendations that merit our fullest attention in our efforts to find ways to enhance the methodology.
This year’s review by the Committee on Contribution is thorough and comprehensive. We wish to stress once again that funding the Organisation is the joint responsibility of the whole membership and is essential to its sustainability and effective functioning. There is still room to improve the methodology if it is to reflect a more equitable and balanced distribution of the financial responsibilities among Member States according to their capacity to pay. We look forward to further discussing ways to achieve this goal, in the common interest of the Organisation.
Let me continue by addressing the issue of the requests for exemption under Article 19. The EU Member States have constantly stressed that the payment of assessed contributions in full, on time and without condition is a fundamental duty of all member states. Our position has not changed. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that, for reasons beyond their control, some member states may, at times, face genuine, temporary difficulties in fulfilling their annual financial obligations to the United Nations.
Once arrears have accumulated, multi-year payment plans seem to be an effective tool to help member states to reduce their unpaid assessed contributions.
We are content to endorse the recommendations of the Committee on Contributions permitting the countries that requested exemption under Article 19 to vote in the General Assembly until the end of its 71st session.
Given the heavy agenda of the 5th Committee during the main session of the 71st General Assembly and our previous calls to enhance working methods and speed up the procedures of the 5th Committee, we call upon all partners to close the scale of assessments item as quickly as possible after a short round of informal consultations. In that regard it is not a good use of the Committee’s time to discuss proposals that would deviate from Article 17 of the Charter and the capacity to pay principle.
I thank you, Madame Chairperson!
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
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