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STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA, BY MR. GARFIELD BARNWELL, DELEGATION OF GUYANA, ON AGENDA ITEM 127: "ACTIVITIES OF THE OFFICE OF INTERNAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES", IN THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE 54TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
30 June 2008 / 05:11

Madam Chairman,

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

2. The Group of 77 and China notes with deep concern the contents of a media report on October 28, 1999, posted on the United Nations Foundation website which has references to the press conference of Mr. Karl Paschke, Under-Secretary-General of the Office of Internal Oversight Services. In this news item five Member States of the Group of 77 and China have been singled out and are mentioned to have "often opposed suggested reforms". Those Member States have also been accused of opposing changes to their "pet projects".

Madam Chairman,

3. The Group strongly and categorically rejects such unfounded accusations and finds them totally unacceptable. We request the United Nations Foundation which operates under a UN Trust Fund, to act more professionally and responsibly by posting on its Web site news that discloses its source of information in order to avoid itself from being an instrument of "hear-say".

4. We also find it totally unacceptable the reference in the annual report of the OIOS (A/54/393) and media reports to the role of Member States in the decision-making process being termed as "micro-management". The Group is of the view that the Organization should not accept such criticism of Member States by any Secretariat officials. The senior official of the UN, who is an international civil servant, should have refrained from such subjective and misleading remarks. Such uncalled for remarks tarnish the image of international civil servants and undermine the good relationship between Member States and the Secretariat.

5. The role of Member States is clearly enunciated in the Charter. Member States provide resources for this Organization and have an important role to ensure the effective and efficient use of those resources. The members of the Group of 77 and China are fully committed to financial discipline and have a critical role in the sound management of this Organization.

6. The Group of 77 and China reaffirms its commitment to the process of reform. This should, however, be implemented in accordance with the decision of the General Assembly. 7. The Group requests the Secretariat to give written clarification to the allegations made against its members before concluding general discussion on this agenda item. We further request written responses to the questions raised during the general discussion on the annual report of OIOS.

Thank you, Madam Chairman.