– Electronic Statement –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.
First, let me thank Ambassador Bernardo Greiver, Chair of the Committee on Contributions, for presenting the Committee's report of its eightieth session, as well as Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget, for the presentation of the Secretary-General's report on multi-year payment plans.
We want to commend the Committee for this year's review despite this challenging context. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee on Contributions decided to take note of the documentation provided regarding the methodology of the scale of assessments and to perform a full review of said methodology in its next session. We encourage the Committee to perform a thorough review next year, which could provide valuable recommendations in our efforts to find ways to enhance and improve the methodology.
While our Committee is not tasked to prepare a decision on the methodology for the scale of assessments, we continue to perceive the matter of financial health of the organization and predictability of financing of the utmost importance. That is why we wish to stress once again that funding the organization is the joint responsibility of the whole membership and is essential to its sustainability and effective functioning.
Let me continue by addressing the issue of the requests for exemption under Article 19. The European Union member states have constantly stressed that the payment of assessed contributions in line with the Charter is a fundamental duty of all member states. Our position has not changed. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that some member states may face temporary difficulties in fulfilling their annual financial obligations to the United Nations.
Allowing for the exemption under Article 19 should be based on a thorough analysis of the capacity to pay and be decided on the basis of the expert advice of the Committee on Contributions. The European Union is pleased that given the difficult circumstances the number of Member States requesting an exemption under Article 19 is limited.
The mechanism of Article 19 is meant to incentivise Member States to pay and 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 therefore encourage Member States that have requested for exemption under Article 19 to enter into such multi-year payment plans.
We 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 75th session.
Since this is a year in which the scales methodology is not up for review, we call upon all partners to close the scale of assessments item as quickly as possible.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.