Negotiate in Good Faith, Reach Deal, General Assembly President Urges Fifth Committee before Suspension of Final 2022 Meeting, until All Drafts Are Ready for Consideration
Delegates Must Make Maximum Progress in Next 24 Hours, Committee Chair Stresses, Noting Diverging Positions on Review of Annual Budget, Other Issues
Continue progress, negotiate in good faith on remaining issues and reach a deal, delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) heard today, before suspending their final meeting for the main part of their regular session until all draft resolutions are available for consideration.
Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, encouraged the Committee to complete its work in the remaining time. The Committee, he reminded, has successfully worked together to pass important decisions during the seventy-seventh session, which have included, among other things, funding for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and revised estimates on United Nations activities to mitigate global food insecurity and its humanitarian impact for 2022 and 2023. Member States must keep up the excellent momentum and work together to end on time, he encouraged.
In sharing his understanding that there is a basis for consensus on the main issues, he stressed that now is the time to make the remaining part of political compromise happen at the level of implementation. He asked the Secretariat to continue helping Member States even if negotiations end late tonight, and encouraged all Member States to focus on the pending issues and not reopen the ones for which they have jointly and successfully reached consensus.
The Fifth Committee, he underscored, plays a key role in upholding the reputation and credibility of the United Nations by ensuring its finances are managed in a fully accountable, transparent and efficient manner. Transformation — what all would like to see in the United Nations and the world — has already started and is under way, he continued. “It is up to us to make sure it will turn and go in the right direction,” he said, stressing: “This Organization and those people depending on this Organization will look upon you — their fate, their near future, will depend on how you decide.”
He then pledged that he and his office will stand by to expedite the Fifth Committee’s conclusion. In voicing his hope that the remaining time will be sufficient to find bridges, he expressed his trust in the Committee, its Chair, Bureau and members. “Now is the moment we can make a good result,” he emphasized.
Philippe Kridelka (Belgium), Fifth Committee Chair, acknowledging the hard work of delegates, noted that progress has been difficult, with diverging positions persisting on multiple issues. Finding an agreement on the review of the annual budget has taken up much of the Committee’s time and has slowed progress elsewhere — on the regular budget, special political missions and other files — to a trickle. Notwithstanding this, in the past hours, Member States have been able to achieve some substantial progress on several issues, with the remaining items not far from agreement aside from one or two stumbling blocks.
The Fifth Committee can and should conclude a political deal before it departs for any Christmas festivities, he encouraged. To do so, it must increase the pace and make maximum progress in the next 24 hours. If there is a political deal in hand, the Committee would be set to enjoy a well-deserved break with family and friends and convene for the formal adoption right after Christmas, he continued. For its part, the Secretariat has assured that once a deal has been reached, a formal meeting for adoption can be organized as soon as the Committee wishes, be it day or night, he reported, while thanking that entity for its flexibility and dedication.
“All the cards are on the table — let us not needlessly waste more energy and sacrifice more time,” he said, cautioning that “if we choose to play a waiting game, we will all wait for the New Year together in this basement”. This is entirely senseless as negotiation is not a waiting game; making progress entails substantial engagement in good faith and requires sacrifices, he added. “This is what is expected of us in our common service to our Organization, to our United Nations,” he stressed.
Mr. Kridelka then suspended the meeting to enable negotiations to continue and said the meeting will resume once all draft resolutions are available for the Committee’s consideration.