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GA/AB/4370
4 October 2021
Seventy-sixth Session, 1st Meeting (AM)

Member States Must Share Responsibility for United Nations Financial Stability to Avert Liquidity Crisis, Speakers Stress as Fifth Committee Begins Session

Approving Work Programme, Delegates Also Urge Consensus, Discipline during Discussions on Assessment Scale for Regular, Peacekeeping Budgets

Delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today stressed the need to share responsibility for the Organization’s financial stability to avert any liquidity crisis and achieve the essential mandates laid out by the General Assembly.

Several delegates used their opening session to call for consensus and discipline as they prepare for a session that could adjust the scales of assessment — the complex economic gauges used to calculate the annual payments made by Member States to support the United Nations regular budget as well as spending for dozens of peacekeeping missions.  After a wide‑ranging discussion that included a call for the Secretariat’s timely issuance of documents in all official United Nations languages, the Fifth Committee approved its programme of work for the seventy‑sixth session.

The representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said it is essential that all Member States pay their contributions in full and on time.  “We remain deeply concerned that the liquidity situation of the United Nations continues to undermine delivery of mandates,” he said.  “The temporary solutions introduced so far have only alleviated the consequences of this crisis, and they corner the Organization into systemic underperformance.”

The representative of Guinea, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said mandates for the proposed programme budget for 2022 must determine budget proposals “and not the other way around”.  He reaffirmed the critical role played by the Committee for Programme and Coordination.  He said the 10 programmes in the proposed programme budget, which have no conclusions and recommendations from this Committee, should be reviewed by the Assembly or the relevant Main Committee in a timely fashion.  This action would ensure the Fifth Committee can discuss and approve the related budget.

The representative of the Russian Federation expressed confidence that conclusions and recommendations from other Main Committees, regarding programmes which do not now have conclusions or recommendations, will help the Fifth Committee reach its conclusions in a timely manner.  He and other delegates urged the Fifth Committee to increase its number of formal and informal in‑person meetings.  He also stressed that virtual meetings can only be informal in nature.

The representative of the United States said that as the largest contributor to the regular and peacekeeping budgets, the United States has a significant responsibility for United Nations finances.  The methodology for the scale of assessments should be equitable, data‑driven and grounded in the capacity‑to‑pay principle.  In that regard, the United States is interested in discussing special discounts, including those intended for developing countries yet afforded to certain wealthy Member States, he said.

The representative of Jamaica, associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, stressed that if the United Nations is to function at its fullest capacity, Member States must ensure the Organization is given the necessary resources.

Bernando Greiver, Chair of the Committee on Contributions, introduced its report on the scale of assessments.  Noting that the income measure is the first approximation of a Member State’s capacity to pay, he said the Committee recommends that the scale of assessment be based on the most current, comprehensive and comparable data available for gross national income.

The Committee recommends that the Assembly encourage Member States in arrears, under Article 19 of the United Nations Charter, to consider submitting multi‑year payment plans.  Regarding Article 19, the Committee concluded that the failure of the Central African Republic, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia to pay their assessments in total was due to conditions beyond their control, and recommended that they be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of the seventy‑sixth session.

Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary‑General for Programme Planning, Finance and Budget in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Controller of the United Nations, introduced the Secretary‑General’s reports on multi‑year payments and the scale of assessments.

Also speaking today were delegates from Switzerland (also on behalf of Liechenstein), Singapore (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Ghana (on behalf of the African Group), Israel, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Philippines, Mexico, Armenia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Norway, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Peru.

The Fifth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 5 October, to discuss the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations and the peacekeeping budget; the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and the Independent Audit Advisory Committee; and the 2021 Programme Budget for the United Nations Office for Partnerships.

Organization of Work

BOUBACAR DIALLO (Guinea), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the Group believes that during this session, the Committee will have the opportunity to conduct informal consultations in person.  He cautioned that the Committee must not favour the consideration of one agenda item over another and looked forward to the day when interpretation services are fully restored.  He expressed disappointment that several reports from the Secretariat and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) are outstanding and called for steps to be taken to ensure that they are issued on time and in all official languages.

Turning to the proposed programme budget for 2022, he reiterated the Group’s long-standing position that mandates must determine budget proposals “and not the other way around”.  Furthermore, the level of resources approved by the General Assembly must be commensurate with all mandated programmes and activities to ensure their full and effective implementation.  He reaffirmed the critical role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination, adding that the 10 programmes in the proposed programme budget which have no conclusions and recommendations from that body should be reviewed by the General Assembly or the relevant Main Committee in a timely fashion so that the Fifth Committee can discuss and approve the related budget.

ADRIAN HAURI (Switzerland), also speaking on behalf of Liechtenstein, said that successfully implementing the United Nations mandate, ongoing reforms and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires sustainable and predictable funding.  All delegations share the responsibility to ensure that the United Nations has appropriate resources toward that end.  Though the discussion on the scale of assessments is particularly important, it should not slow down or impede progress on other items.  To achieve its aims, the United Nations needs a strong human rights pillar, he said, adding that the protection of human rights is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promoting peace and security.  Switzerland and Liechtenstein are committed to ensuring the human rights pillar receives the necessary resources from the regular budget to fully fund all its mandates.  Turning to the Strategic Heritage Plan, he said it was “an investment in multilateralism” to guarantee a modern, efficient organization, thanking Member States for their commitment to support this important project.

JO-PHIE TANG (Singapore), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, said that during the past two weeks many world leaders stated that addressing current global challenges requires bolstering multilateralism.  That includes supporting the United Nations.  For any organization to succeed, it must be given adequate financial resources to implement its mandates.  It is understandable that countries whose economies have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 may face difficulties in paying their assessments.  “It is therefore all the more important for Member States that have the capacity to pay their assessed contributions to do so in full, on time, and without conditions,” she said, warning:  “Otherwise, the United Nations faces a real risk of not having the resources it needs to carry out its mandates.”

ASEAN will follow with interest the Committee’s deliberations on the scales of assessment, the proposed programme budget for 2022, construction, special political missions and subvention to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, among others, she said.  Stressing the need for Committee members to work together to reach consensus, she added that ASEAN will continue to work constructively with all delegations towards the timely conclusion of the session, in an open and transparent manner.

THIBAULT CAMELLI, representative of the European Union in its capacity as observer, said the bloc’s members continue to support the Secretary‑General’s efforts to effectively implement United Nations reforms.  He called upon all Member States to pay their contributions in full and on time.  “We remain deeply concerned that the liquidity situation of the United Nations continues to undermine delivery of mandates,” he said.  “The temporary solutions introduced so far have only alleviated the consequences of this crisis, and they corner the Organization into systemic underperformance.”  Turning to the Fifth Committee’s efforts to negotiate the scale of assessment for the next three years, he said it is important to uphold the principles of solidarity and capacity to pay that underpin the scales.  The Committee’s main duty is to ensure adequate funding and proper functioning of the Organization’s mandates.  Any efforts by other Main Committees to duplicate Committee for Programme and Coordination discussions should not undermine the latter.  These discussions also should not affect consensus‑based decisions on planning or hamper the Fifth Committee’s ability to negotiate and adopt the 2022 budget in a timely fashion.

The Fifth Committee has a shared responsibility to conclude its programme of work in a timely fashion, he said, stressing: “Working outside normal conference hours, during weekends or over nights and extending the timeline of the session should be the exceptions and not the norm.”  To use the Committee’s time efficiently, European Union members are committed to rationalize the number of questions the bloc asks on different agenda items.  All documents should be submitted on time and in all official languages.  He reiterated the European Union’s strong commitment to reach decision by consensus.  Consensus needs to remain the Committee’s fundamental creed, he said.  Each Member State must engage in a spirit of good faith, collegiality and constructive cooperation to find middle‑ground positions, and must refrain from politicizing the issues at hand in order to responsibly fulfil the Committee’s mandate as the Organization’s administrative and budgetary Committee.

HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN (Ghana), speaking on behalf of the African Group and aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, noted the positive steps taken towards a “return to normalcy” after more than a year of lockdown and remote meetings.  While adjustments to the working methods allowed the Committee to conclude its negotiations successfully during the first and second resumed parts of the last session, he expected the Committee to revert to in‑person meetings held with interpretation services.  Despite noticeable improvements, the late issuance of important reports remains a challenge affecting the Committee’s work, he said, requesting that all pending reports be finalized and issued as a matter of priority.

Noting that the Fifth Committee will consider a new scale of assessments for both the regular and peacekeeping budgets, he said the Committee on Contributions’ report is a critical basis for adopting the new scales.  “Any attempt to modify the elements of the current methodology must not be detrimental to developing countries and should bear in mind their peculiarities, particularly African countries that at this time confront multiple and unprecedented challenges in the health, economic and social dimensions,” he said.  The Group will pay particular attention to discussions on the regular budget, reports of the Board of Auditors, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, and construction and property management.  Turning to the special political missions, he said the Committee has so far failed to provide them with adequate financial and human resources.  As the missions provide early warning mechanisms in conflict situations, they must be adequately resourced in order to lessen the need to fund peacekeeping operations and thus save lives.  “Approved mandates should dictate budgetary allocations and not the other way round,” he said, stressing the Group’s commitment to working with all partners to ensure adequate resources for the Economic Commission for Africa, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, among others.

SHERRY ZILBERGELD (Israel) said technology is very important to ensure the effective delivery of the Organization’s mandates.  The health and well-being of the staff must be a primary guiding principle of the Organization.  The use of technology has allowed the Organization to work effectively and more nimbly during the pandemic, she said, adding that strengthening the technological capacity of the United Nations is very important and can help the Organization achieve effective oversight.  Digital best practices should be used.  The Organization should address any issues of sexual harassment.  Gender parity is a core value that must be achieved, she said, adding that there should be more efforts to recruit women at all levels of posts in the field and non‑field.  She urged the Organization to use new innovations and best practices and to deliver its mandates more effectively.

RICHARD CROKER (United Kingdom) recalled that last year, significant delays in completing the Committee’s work and adopting the programme budget for 2021 threatened mandate delivery.  “Such an approach borders on irresponsible.  We do not want to see that happen again,” he said.  He stressed the importance of refining the methodology for the scale of assessments so that it is firmly based on the principle of capacity to pay.  The United Kingdom also looks forward to engaging on the latest proposals of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) for the common system, important questions about the United Nations pensions and after-service health insurance schemes and strengthening accountability and transparency in the Organization and on special political missions.

KIMURA TETSUYA (Japan) said that the Committee should strive to be even more effective and efficient in order to complete the immense tasks on its agenda ‑ including the scale of assessments ‑ in a timely manner, especially in this challenging time.  “We should maximize the benefits of the annual budget cycle, making the United Nations budget more nimble, responsive, and accountable so that we can address global needs properly and promptly,” he said.  During negotiations, Japan will continue to call for budgetary discipline, which is indispensable for the Organization to deliver on its mandates in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner, he said.

ZHANG JUN (China), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that the Organization’s financial situation remains worrisome, as one major contributor still has long‑time unpaid assessments.  That is the main cause of the liquidity crisis.  China, as the second‑largest contributor, always pays its regular and peacekeeping assessments in a timely manner, he said, calling on Member States, especially the large contributors, to fulfil their obligations in time, in full and without conditions.  Regarding the scale of assessments, he called upon developed countries to show greater responsibility and to take the challenges and concerns of developing countries into consideration.

ARIEL R. PEÑARANDA (Philippines) stated that the late issuance of documentation in all six official languages, as well as the lack of simultaneous interpretation during informal consultations, continue to affect the Committee’s timely consideration of the Secretary‑General’s proposals.  “It is important that the UN is properly equipped with the necessary resources to work at its fullest capacity,” he said.  Member States’ timely payment of their financial contributions, without precondition, is necessary for this purpose.  He stated that the crucial role of special political missions could be further enhanced if improvements to their existing financing arrangements are made.  Aligning with the statements delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and ASEAN, the Philippines renews its support of the important work of the Fifth Committee, he concluded.

JESÚS VELÁZQUEZ CASTILLO (Mexico) said that the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the costs of the United Nations and for the costs of the World Trade Organization must be adequate and reflect the reality of the international system and be based on the capacity‑to‑pay principle.  The regular budget must be realistic and balanced, with austerity and savings measures presented at the outset.  Highlighting the importance of providing the special political missions with the necessary financial resources, he recalled that the current 38 missions represent 22 per cent of the regular budget, and noted with concern that after years of debate, the question of a specific budget line and a separate account for the missions has not yet been decided.  He stressed the importance of resolving cases regarding the ICSC and common system, and giving to resolving long‑standing issues concerning the global service delivery model.

DAVIT KNYAZYAN (Armenia) reiterated his support for the Secretary‑General’s reform agenda aimed at strengthening the Organization and its resilience in the face of emerging global challenges.  As the world embarks on the path of pandemic recovery and rebuilding, Member States must reinforce their commitment to properly equip the Organization with the necessary resources to respond timely and efficiently to the challenges on the ground.  To that end, Armenia attaches utmost importance to sustainable and adequate resourcing of the United Nations mandates.  As such, Member States’ timely fulfilment of their financial obligations is key to addressing the Organization’s financial crisis.  For many consecutive years, Armenia has continued to be on the honour roll of those Member States who pay their regular budget assessments in full within the first 30 days of the year, he pointed out.

ENKHBOLD VORSHILOV (Mongolia), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, welcomed the Secretary‑General’s reform initiatives to make the United Nations more effective and develop new capabilities promoting agility, integrity and cohesion across the international system.  Mongolia will closely follow issues like the proposed programme budget for 2022, the regular and peacekeeping scales of assessment, construction and property management and the Organization’s financial situation.  His delegation is committed to concluding the work of the Fifth Committee within the allocated time frame, he stated.  To this end, the relevant Secretariat and ACABQ reports should be issued on time to allow for open, transparent and inclusive negotiations.  On the methodology for deciding the scales of assessment, Mongolia shares the position of the Group of 77 and China.  The current methodology that includes the principle of “capacity to pay” must remain the main criterion in apportioning the Organization’s expenses, he said.

RABAB FATIMA (Bangladesh), associating herself with the Group of 77, reiterated the Group’s position on the scale of assessments and emphasized her country’s commitment to pay its assessments on time.  With COVID‑19 still posing formidable challenges to the Organization, the Committee, in considering the proposed programme budget, must take the pandemic’s impact on its operations into account.  She also emphasized the importance of budgetary discipline, saying that the Secretariat is expected to use its resources in a cost‑efficient manner and to maintain utmost transparency in its reporting.

PATRICK KENNEDY (United States) said that during this session, the United States will urge budget discipline across the United Nations system and closely examine increasing demands for assessed contributions.  That includes ensuring that only necessary construction work is undertaken and that major projects avoid cost overruns.  The Organization should also try to contain increased spending in response to new and expanded mandates by eliminating outdated ones, consolidating duplicative areas of work and repurposing existing resources.  The United States supports adequate funding for special political missions and maintaining full funding for the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria and the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, he said.

Re‑establishing a unified salary scale in the United Nations remains a top priority for the United States, he said, noting that staff entitlements and conditions of service make up nearly two‑thirds of the Organization’s costs.  That can be achieved through, among other things, addressing divergent decisions by different administrative tribunals, greater transparency on compensation costs and reaffirming the authority of the ICSC while improving its methodology.  Turning to this year’s negotiations on scales of assessment, he said that the United States — as the largest contributor to the regular and peacekeeping budgets — has a significant responsibility for United Nations finances.  The methodology for assessments should be equitable, data‑driven and grounded in the capacity‑to‑pay principle.  In that regard, the United States is interested in discussing special discounts, including those intended for developing countries yet afforded to certain wealthy Member States, he said.

MONA JUUL (Norway) said that despite the pandemic, the United Nations has delivered on its mandates.  “This goes to show that we must continue focusing on delivery,” she said.  Norway strongly supports the Secretary‑General’s reform agenda and applauds his call for a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system that is anchored within the United Nations.  She stressed the importance of results‑based management, adding however that adequate resources — and the flexibility to fulfil mandates — are key to ensure a relevant Organization.  That extends to the United Nations human rights system, which is hampered by persistent underfunding, as well as the Organization’s development system, oversight mechanisms and peacekeeping operations, she said.

OH HYUNJOO (Republic of Korea) said that the Organization’s reform efforts must be fully incorporated into the budget negotiation, with lessons learned from the pandemic taken into account.  Revising the scale of assessments must be based on Member States’ capacity to pay, as well as the most comprehensive data available.  She also emphasized the need for full transparency in the selection of global service delivery centres.

MATHU JOYINI (South Africa), aligning herself with the African Group and the Group of 77 and China, called for restoring in‑person meetings with full interpretation services as soon as the COVID‑19 situation improves.  All outstanding reports must be issued as a matter of priority.  Stressing the importance of the scale of assessments for the regular budget and peacekeeping operations, and finalizing deliberations on the item as soon as possible, he underscored that the existing methodology must be kept intact.  Also of interest to South Africa are the agenda items on the 2022 programme plan and proposed programme budget — least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, global communications, review of implementation of the management paradigm, human rights and humanitarian affairs, economic and social development in Africa, construction and property management, United Nations support for NEPAD, the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the special political missions, among others.  He expressed hope that the Committee will reach a swift decision on the scale of assessments that will grant exemptions under Article 19 of the United Nations Charter to countries unable to fulfil their financial obligations to the United Nations due to circumstances beyond their control.

BRIAN WALLACE (Jamaica), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, stressed that if the United Nations is to function at its fullest capacity, the Member States must ensure that it is properly equipped with the necessary resources.  The United Nations continues to grapple with a regular budget liquidity crisis, resulting from late and non‑payment of assessed contributions by Member States, he said, adding that this situation has been further exacerbated by the ongoing implications of COVID‑19.  He urged all Member States to make every effort to reduce their arrears to the United Nations regular and peacekeeping budgets.  He attached importance to the critical negotiations on the scale of assessments, reaffirming Jamaica’s support for the Group of 77’s longstanding position on the matter.

DAVID PEDROZA (Peru), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that during this session, his delegation is attaching priority to the regular budget for 2022, the scale of assessments for the triennium 2022‑2024 and the apportionment of peacekeeping expenses.  Peru believes that the methodology for calculating the scale of assessments should not be changed, especially given the difficult socioeconomic situation faced by many developing countries.  He added that negotiations should be undertaken in a way that achieves the best results for all.

EVGENY V. KALUGIN (Russian Federation) referred to the work of the Committee for Programme and Coordination and said issues for which no recommendations had been reached required comments from the General Assembly’s relevant Main Committees.  He expressed confidence that conclusions and recommendations from other Main Committees regarding these programmes will help the Fifth Committee achieve its conclusions in a timely manner.  The Fifth Committee needs to increase its number of formal and informal in‑person meetings, he said, stressing that virtual meetings can only be informal in nature.  The timely issuance of documents in all official languages is crucial.  Negotiations should be transparent and resolved as quickly as possible.

The Fifth Committee then approved its proposed programme of work.  It also decided to set 9 November as the date for elections to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other appointments, with 15 October as the deadline for the submission of candidatures and regional group endorsements.

Scale of Assessments for Apportionment of United Nations Expenses

BERNARDO GREIVER, Chair of the Committee on Contributions, presented the report of that body’s eighty‑first session (documents A/76/11 and A/76/11.Add.1).  He recalled that when it adopted the current scale of assessments, the Assembly requested that the Committee review the methodology used to calculate the scale of assessments and to make recommendations in order to reflect the capacity of Member States to pay.  Noting that the income measure is the first approximation of a Member State’s capacity to pay, he said that the Committee recommends that the scale of assessment be based on the most current, comprehensive and comparable data available for gross national income.  It supported efforts by the Statistics Division to enable Member States to submit national accounts data on a timely basis with the required scope, detail and quality, and recommended that the Assembly encourage Member States to submit their national accounts questionnaires on a timely basis.  It reaffirmed its recommendation that national currencies be converted on the basis of market exchange rates, except in those cases where that would cause excessive fluctuations and distortions in gross national income of some Member States expressed in United States dollars.  Income data expressed in United States dollars must be averaged over a designated base period, he said, adding that there are advantages of using the same base period for as long as possible.

The debt-burden adjustment has been an element of the methodology since 1986, but while Committee members have divergent views on this aspect, and with data now available on public external debt and repayments, the Committee decided to further consider this question at its future sessions in light of guidance from the Assembly, he said.  The Committee also considered options for revising the low per capita income adjustment, with members expressing different views on various alternatives.  It agreed that an alternative approach for setting the threshold could be the world average per capita debt‑adjusted gross national income, rather than the current unadjusted per capita gross national income.  It also agreed that another alternative approach could be an inflation‑adjusted threshold.  It decided to consider further the low per capita income adjustment considering the Assembly’s guidance.

The Committee also decided to further consider the maximum assessment rate — currently 22 per cent, with a maximum rate for least developed countries of 0.010 per cent and a minimum assessment rate of 0.001 per cent — in light of guidance from the Assembly, he said.  To identify the impact of new data on the scale of assessments for the period 2022‑2024, the Committee decided to consider applying the application of the new data to the methodology used in preparing the current scale.  The results are shown in chapter II, section D, of the report.  He recalled the Committee’s earlier recommendations regarding the assessment of non–Member States, adding that for the upcoming period, the notional rates of assessments would be fixed at 0.001 per cent for the Holy See and 0.011 per cent for the State of Palestine.

He went on to say that the Committee recommends that the Assembly encourage Member States in arrears under Article 19 of the United Nations Charter to consider submitting multi‑year payment plans.  With regard to Article 19, he added, the Committee concluded that the failure of the Central African Republic, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia to pay their assessments in total was due to conditions beyond their control, and recommended that they be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of the seventy‑sixth session.  Subsequently, the Central African Republic paid the minimum amount and is no longer subject to Article 19, he added.

CHANDRAMOULI RAMANATHAN, Assistant Secretary‑General for Programme Planning, Finance and Budget in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Controller of the United Nations, introduced the Secretary‑General’s report on multi‑year payments (document A/76/70).  He said that since the introduction of the system in 2002, six Member States have successfully implemented multi‑year payment plans, which lets them pay their assessed contributions in full.  The report’s remaining plan was submitted by Sao Tome and Principe in 2002 and contains the status of its implementation.  No new payment plans have been submitted in recent years although several Member States have indicated the matter was being considered.

He then introduced the report of the Secretary‑General on the implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236 (document A/76/296/Rev.1), in connection with the scale of assessment for peacekeeping operations.  With resolution 55/235, the Assembly established a new system for adjusting Member States’ regular budget rates of assessment in order to determine the rates of assessment for peacekeeping operations.  The Assembly asked the Secretary‑General to update the list of countries in each contribution level every three years, in conjunction with the review of the regular budget scale of assessments.

With resolution 55/236, the Assembly welcomed the voluntary commitment of a number of Member States to contribute to peacekeeping operations at a rate higher than required by their per capita income, he said.  The rates of assessment for peacekeeping operations were last considered at the seventy‑third session.  In resolution 73/272, the Assembly reaffirmed the principles set out in resolution 55/235 and recognized the need to reform the current methodology for apportioning expenses of peacekeeping operations.  It decided to review the structure of the levels during its seventy‑sixth session.  The current report updates the composition of the contribution levels, in accordance with established criteria and in conjunction with the review of the regular budget scale of assessments, he said.  The updated contribution levels, subject to any adjustments that may emerge from the Assembly’s review, would be used to establish each Member State’s peacekeeping rate of assessment for the 2022‑2024 period.  The effective rates will only be determined once a new regular budget scale is adopted.

Mr. DIALLO, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said difficulties faced by some developing countries that prevent them from temporarily meeting their financial obligations to the Organization must be fully considered.  On multi‑year payment plans, he emphasized that the plans must remain voluntary.  He stressed the capacity‑to‑pay principle for the scale of assessments and rejected any changes to the elements of the current methodology.  The current maximum assessment rate was fixed as a political compromise, contrary to the capacity-to-pay principle, and it fundamentally distorts the scale of assessments.  The Group notes that the ceiling has historically benefited only one Member State, and that it will result in a 6.565 percentage reduction for this Member State in the coming cycle, or almost 25 per cent of that Member State’s share without the ceiling.  In dollar terms, this discount is approximately $200 million.  He therefore urged the General Assembly to review this arrangement, in accordance with paragraph 2 of resolution 55/5 C.

Organizations with enhanced observer status at the United Nations should also have the same financial obligations as observer States, and the Assembly must consider a decision on an assessment for such organizations, he said.  Applying the current methodology to the 2022‑2024 scale cycle will increase the contributions of the Group’s members by 27.27 per cent, which is three times higher than 10 years ago.  Meanwhile, developed countries’ scales continue to decrease, he said, stressing that they should take on greater financial responsibility.  The rationale for reducing the ceiling to 22 per cent in 2000 was to facilitate the payment of arrears and thereby improve the Organization’s financial situation.  Recalling that these arrears were largely owed by a single Member State, he said the Group will request detailed information on the history of payment of arrears, to determine whether this rationale has been met.  He also rejected any attempt to unilaterally withhold contributions as a tool to pressure the United Nations.

On the peacekeeping scale of assessment, he said it must clearly reflect the special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Security Council for the maintenance of peace and security.  The Group rejects attempts by developed countries to shift obligations to developing countries.  The peacekeeping scale should also reflect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities between the developed and developing world, with special consideration given to the least developed countries.  “Developing countries are not in a position to agree to any further reductions in their discounts,” he said.  He stressed that any discussion on the system of discounts applied to the peacekeeping scale should take into account the situation faced by developing countries, and no Group of 77 member that is not a permanent Council member should be classified above Level C.

For information media. Not an official record.