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Ambassador Zhang Jun laid out China's positions on UN Financial and Budgetary Issues at the UNGA Fifth Committee and Called on Developed Countries to Shoulder more Financial Responsibilities for the UN

2021/10/04

On October 4, the Fifth Committee of the 76th Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly opened of its main session and discussed issues including the program of work, and scale of assessments of UN regular budget and peacekeeping budget. Ambassador Margaryan, Chair of the Fifth Committee and Permanent Representative of Armenia, chaired the meeting. Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, attended the meeting and made a statement, in which he laid out China’s positions on UN finance, budget and management related issues.

Ambassador Zhang Jun said that at the recent UNGA General Debate, leaders of all countries strongly called for enhanced unity and cooperation to address global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, resilient recovery, and climate change. Multilateralism remains the broadest consensus of the international community, and all countries made a strong voice for strengthening the role of the UN. This year marks 50th anniversary of China’s restoration of its lawful seat in the UN. China is always a practitioner of multilateralism, is actively engaged in the reform and improvement of the global governance system, and firmly upholds the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the UN’s central role in international affairs. In his UNGA statement, President Xi Jinping laid out in depth China’s propositions on enhancing global governance, and proposed a Global Development Initiative, which reflects the common expectations of the international community, especially developing countries.

Ambassador Zhang Jun emphasized that to maintain the role of the UN, all member states should shoulder responsibilities and fulfill obligations. Finance serves as the foundation and an important element underpinning UN governance. The current financial situation of the UN remains worrying. Despite repeated calls by most member states and the Secretary-General’s letters to member states expressing his concerns, one major contributor still has long-time unpaid assessments, which is the main cause of the UN liquidity crisis. As the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget and peacekeeping assessments, China is always highly responsible, pays the assessments under regular and peacekeeping budgets in a timely manner, and has recently paid the peacekeeping assessments within the mandated period as of the end of this year by the Security Council. China calls on member states, especially large contributors, to fulfill their financial obligations on time, in full and without conditions. Member states should translate their promises into actions to ensure the UN’s work and mandate implementation.

Ambassador Zhang Jun pointed out that regarding several important issues which will be reviewed during this main session, China calls on all parties to conduct broad consultations and strive for mutual benefits through cooperation. Regarding scale of assessments, recent years witnessed an increase in the shares of developing countries as a whole and a decrease in those of developed countries in the scale of assessments. Such situation is very unreasonable and not in line with the principle of “capacity to pay”. China calls on developed countries to shoulder more financial responsibilities for the UN, and fully take into account the difficulties and concerns of developing countries. The relief measures for developing countries contained in the current methodology should only be strengthened, rather than diminished. Program planning should adhere to the member states-driven principle, and take into account legitimate interests and aspirations of member states. The function of the Committee for Program and Coordination (CPC) should be strengthened and each main committee should play its role. Program budget should be maintained at a reasonable level, and sufficient resources should be guaranteed to the area of development as a priority. The Secretariat should improve comprehensive budgetary performance, enhance cost-saving and efficiency gain, and make sure that spending is linked to performance and performance linked to accountability. The UN bodies and departments should focus on their core functions, avoid unnecessary expansion and duplication of mandates, thus prevent impact on efficiency and waste. China supports the Board of Auditors, as the most important external auditor, to audit fully and independently. The UN should take more measures to increase the geographical representation of developing countries in the Secretariat, and effectively address the concerns of underrepresented countries.

The Fifth Committee, as one of the UNGA main committees, is responsible for UN administration, finance, budget, management and human resource related issues. China is the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget and peacekeeping assessments. This year’s Fifth Committee main session will review important agenda items such as 2022-2024 scale of assessments of regular and peacekeeping budget for each member states, 2022 UN program budget, program planning, major construction projects, report of Board of Auditors and human resource management.

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