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Monday, 02 October 2023
AMB. ARIEL R. PEÑARANDA, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations
CR 3, United Nations Headquarters, New York


Thank you, Mr. Chair. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Philippine delegation on the Organization of Work of the Fifth Committee for the main part of its 78th session. The Philippines aligns itself with the statement of Cuba, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and of Singapore, on behalf of ASEAN.

We congratulate you and the newly-elected members of the Bureau on your election. We trust that under your leadership and guidance, the Committee will engage in constructive deliberations in a fully transparent, consultative and timely manner.

The Philippines also expresses its appreciation to Ambassador Philippe Kridelka, outgoing Chair of the Fifth Committee, his team and the bureau members, who effectively facilitated the challenging work of the Committee during the 77th session. Moreover, we thank the secretariat led by Mr. Lionel Berridge, for their work and the usual great assistance extended to all the delegations. We commend their efforts to enable the delegations address their priorities and adopt the best working practices for the benefit of this Committee.

This session will consider the Secretary General’s proposed budget of $3.40 billion, after re-costing, to fund the basic operations of the United Nations (UN) in 2024, as the world’s main organization for deliberating matters on peace and security, and a wide range of areas in the development pillar, including health and humanitarian needs as well as economic and cultural growth.

Guided by the theme of the recently-concluded High-Level Week, which highlights the need to make progress on the “…2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all,” the Philippines joins the call for adequate resources to strengthen support for development. We reiterate the call that mandates approved by the General Assembly should determine budget proposals and the level of resources should be commensurate to the mandated programmes and activities to ensure their effective implementation and peoples’ development needs.

Beginning this year, the annual budget cycle permanently enters the organization’s financial framework, following a three-year trial from 2020-2022. We anticipate the secretariat's comprehensive report in 2028 on this matter, along with any advance updates from the Secretary-General regarding PPB2024, including reports of the CPC and the ACABQ.

The Philippines underscores the importance of the CPC's role. Viewed as a beneficial forum of the UN, the CPC remains a legitimate mechanism for Member States to ensure the effective implementation of mandates and conduct program plans with substantial intergovernmental consultations.

Ten (10) programme plans did not enjoy consensus during the CPC 63rd session. However, we hope that this outcome will not undermine the unique role of the Committee, but rather strengthen it through delegations providing adequate support in order to improve the Committee’s working methods and address its difficulties of reaching agreements every year.

We note that the Fifth Committee will address several other issues of utmost importance to the General Assembly in the forthcoming weeks. The Philippines will endeavor to engage and participate in the deliberations for some of these items during this session.

Meanwhile, cognizant of the pending discussions on the agenda item on Investing in the Prevention and Peacebuilding, which have now been deferred four (4) times in a row, and given that consensus on the source of funding has yet to be reached, we reiterate our support and join the call for Member States to continue to seek innovative ways in order to come to an agreement, and ensure adequate, predictable and sustainable financing for peacebuilding.

We hope that we can eventually find solutions that will be mutually beneficial to all state parties, and ultimately help strengthen the cause of peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding efforts for the benefit of our peoples.

Finally, Mr. Chair, we continue to urge member States for timely, unconditional contributions to the UN budgets. This step is crucial to averting the ongoing liquidity crisis and ensuring the organization's financial stability. With increasing liquidity pressure as arrears escalate at the end of 2023, timely financial commitment is paramount to support both the organization’s regular and peacekeeping budgets.

The Philippines stands committed to collaborating with all delegations on these crucial topics. We look forward to the timely completion of this Committee’s work.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.