STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA
BY MR. SEBASTIAN DI LUCA OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF ARGENTINA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON AGENDA ITEM 135: PROGRAMME PLANNING, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SIXTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 135, entitled "Programme Planning".
2. The Group wishes to commend the Chairperson of the Committee on Programme and Coordination (CPC), Mr. Gastón Lasarte for introducing the report of the Committee contained in document A/66/16.
3. Programme Planning deals with the crucial task of translating the intergovernmental mandate into implementable programs. In this regard, the Group wishes to underline the importance of the work of the Committee on Programs and Coordination as the main subsidiary organ of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council for planning, programming and coordination. The CPC not only gives guidance to the Secretariat by interpreting legislative intents but also considers and develops evaluation procedures for the improvement of programme design and avoid overlap and duplication. In fact, the work of the CPC forms the core of the General Assembly's capacity to provide oversight in this key area.
4. The Group of 77 and China appreciates the work of the Committee on Programme and Coordination during its fifty-first session. Like in previous years, the Report of the CPC provides an excellent basis for the consideration of the relevant issues in the Fifth Committee. We highly value the inputs provided by the CPC and fully endorse the recommendations and conclusions contained in its report.
5. We welcome the guidance provided by CPC on the changes occurred in the strategic framework for the period 2012-2013. The Group stresses the fact that setting priorities of the United Nations is the sole prerogative of the Member States.
6. It is worthy of note to recall that the CPC during its last session examined the first set of strategic frameworks for the normative work of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).
7. The work of the United Nations in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women is considered by the Group fundamental. That is why the G-77 and China endorses the view expressed that the work of UN Women should assume universal character in the discharge of its mandate.
8. In addition the Group shares the view that the support provided to Member States by UN-Women at the national level should be provided at their request. Moreover, the work of the entity should be carried out in coordination with other United Nations agencies, funds and programmes.
9. The Group of 77 and China reiterates its view that the strategic framework constitutes a tool to allow Member States to evaluate the work of the different entities of the United Nations in the performance of their various functions and allocate appropriate resources to them. In this context, the Group expresses its endorsement of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Committee regarding the proposed strategic framework of UN-Women that include an important set of constructive amendments.
10. It should be noted that the CPC considered during its session a report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on strengthening the role of evaluation and the application of evaluation findings on programme design, delivery and policy directives.
11. Given the importance of the evaluation processes in the Secretariat, G77 and China expects that the recommendations and conclusions of the CPC regarding evaluation are diligently implemented by the managers of the Secretariat.
12. The Group of 77 and China continues to strongly believe that the United Nations Chief Executives Board (CEB) should play an important role in improving coordination in the UN system and thus enhance the effectiveness of the Organization.
13. The Group of 77 and China, however, urges the Secretary-General, in his capacity as Chairman of the CEB, to continue to take actions in order to enhance the Board's transparency and accountability to Member States. As the CPC recommended, there is a need for the Board to act in accordance with its mandate of enhancing system-wide coordination and in conformity with the intergovernmental mandates of its member organizations.
14. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the continued cooperation among the CEB, the International Civil Service Commission and the Joint Inspection Unit and encourages a more effective dialogue and cooperation on matters of mutual interest.
15. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the steps taken by the United Nations systems in supporting the New Partnership for Africa's Development and the debate generated around it during the session of the CPC.
16. In this context, the Group finds it hard to understand the delay in filling the vacant post of Under-Secretary-General in charge of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa. The Group of 77 and China fully endorses the conclusion of the CPC contained in paragraph 131 that reads as follows:
"The Committee reiterated that the primary objective of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa was to promote advocacy and support for the New Partnership for Africa's Development at the international, continental and regional levels. In this regard, the Committee noted that this critical Office was still not being led at the legislatively mandated level of Under-Secretary-General. The Committee once again recalled General Assembly resolutions 57/7 and 57/300 by which the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa had been established, as well as recommendations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, subsequently endorsed by the Assembly in its resolutions 62/236, 63/260, 64/243 and 65/244 and the decisions contained therein, urging the Secretary-General to fill the vacant post of Under-Secretary-General in charge of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa."
17. During the main part of the 65th Session of the General Assembly the Membership of this Committee was promised a report on the matter that would have explained the situation. Such document was never produced officially. The Group of 77 and China simply expects urgent action on the issue at hand.
18. Finally, the Group of 77 and China reiterates its appreciation for the work done by the Members of the CPC and for the support received from the Secretariat during the past session. Allow me to assure you of the constructive participation of the Group during the negotiations on this item.
I thank you.