Thank you, Mr Chair.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the Organization of Work of the second resumed part of the Fifth Committee of the 77th UN General Assembly. ASEAN aligns itself with the statement made by Cuba on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, we would like to thank the Secretary General and the ACABQ for their efforts to ensure the timely submission of the reports, for consideration of the Committee.
ASEAN pays tribute to the peacekeeping personnel for their sacrifices and heroism. We commend their work in ensuring that peace in affected countries and regions will be able to take root, thrive, and sustain including the delivery of political and peacebuilding support to prevent the outbreak of war and help countries transition from conflict to sustainable peace.
In this regard, we look forward to engaging in the spirit of constructive engagement to seek consensus on UN peacekeeping policies and related budgetary issues.
We recognize the enormous efforts of this Committee during the second resumed 76th session of the UNGA when it successfully reached an agreement on Cross-cutting resolution after six years without consensus. The said resolution has been instrumental in providing policy guidance and resources to allow missions to efficiently and effectively carry out their mandates. This was especially significant given that the landscape of UN peacekeeping has changed in the past several years, including having to adjust its missions during the COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter. We hope to maintain this momentum and that a resolution on cross-cutting policy issues could be concluded by consensus again, not only for this session but also in the future.
For this session, ASEAN will continue to support the deliberations on the following:
- Adequate resourcing for the full and effective implementation of peacekeeping mandates. ASEAN will work with other delegations in examining carefully the Secretary-General’s budget request of around USD $6.8 billion, as well as the ACABQ’s recommendations on related aspects of peacekeeping operations.
- Enhancement of peace and security agenda. We will continue to prioritize efforts in this regard including enhancement of gender parity in peacekeeping operations and the effective participation of women in peacekeeping.
- Reimbursements to Troop- and Police- Contributing Countries, or T/PCCs. ASEAN continues to recognize the invaluable contribution of T/PCCs to the maintenance of international peace and security, and for this purpose, we stress the importance of continued and close consultations between the Secretary-General and these countries on all matters related to peacekeeping operations. ASEAN also appreciates the Secretariat’s firm resolve to settle the outstanding claims of T/PCCs on their respective formed units’ service in peacekeeping missions, which have closed. We would also like to take stock of the progress made regarding the application of the rates of reimbursement to T/PCCs.
- Strengthening transparency, accountability and support of victims. ASEAN reaffirms our commitment to a zero-tolerance policy and accountability at all levels, and the upholding of preventive measures to eradicate sexual exploitation and abuse committed against the very people whom peacekeepers have duty to protect.
- Relatedly, ASEAN Member States also actively participate in various activities of related Groups of Friends including, the Accountability of Crimes Against Peacekeepers. In this connection, we look forward to hearing progress made to achieve a more unified and robust system-wide approach to preventing SEA in peacekeeping operations and ensuring accountability for those who have been wronged.
- Comprehensive Planning and Performance Assessment System (CPAS). ASEAN would welcome updates on the implementation of the CPAS and the increased use of digital technologies in PKOs including for the improvement in safety and security of Missions and their personnel. Among others, we would like to understand better how the system can support effective responses to mitigate the effects of multi-faceted challenges faced by these operations.
- Investment in prevention and peacebuilding. We note that the negotiations have not reached consensus since the 76th second resumed session. ASEAN remains of the firm view that assessed contributions for the Peacebuilding fund should be based on the peacekeeping scale of assessment, since the fund supports initiatives related to the maintenance of international peace and security. We stress that a decision on this topic should be reached through consensus.
- Finally, on improving the financial situation of the organization, we look forward to hearing updates on the use of $100 million arising from unspent funds from the 2021 regular budget that were supposed to be credited to Member States. While we commend the Secretary-General and his team for their efforts at liquidity management, we continue to urge all Member States to fulfil their financial obligations on time, in full and without conditions, as set out in the Charter of the United Nations to ensure that the organization has adequate resources to deliver on its mandates, which the Member States, themselves, have established.
We look forward to concluding our deliberations on time to ensure that the necessary resources are provided to peacekeeping missions in order that they can effectively fulfil their mandates. ASEAN hopes to contribute to the discussions toward a positive outcome for this session.
I, thank you, Mr. Chair.