We commend the efforts of Mr. Janne Taalas for ably steering the extremely challenging session of the Fifth Committee. We thank him for his leadership.
My delegation recognizes the sterling leadership, wisdom and negotiating skills of Ambassador Sacha Llorenti, the distinguished Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, in this entire process.
We also thank the partners for engaging the Group of 77 and stepping forward to increase the reimbursement rates despite their financial constraints. What we can celebrate is that despite their different perspectives, all sides worked resolutely to explore common ground and to keep the peacekeeping partnership intact and strong. What matters at the end is that the spirit and tradition of consensus prevailed.
Our Fifth Committee experts deserve a tribute for their professionalism, hard work and tenacity of purpose.
We are grateful to the Secretary General for his intercession and outreach. And we thank Madam Susan Malcorra for walking the extra mile to forge consensus and averting a drift towards ad-hocery which the entire membership did not want.
In view of the increasing complexity and demands of UN peacekeeping operations, the Group of 77 and China has long argued for an increase in the reimbursement rate for costs incurred by troop and police contributing countries in deploying their forces to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The reimbursement rate was last revised in 1992. Since then it has remained a vexing issue for the General Assembly. The rate has now been revised. This is a step in the right direction
Our partners, the major fund contributors, always, and I would say rightly, insisted that any fruitful conversation on the rate increase could take place only if there is an empirical evidence to justify an increase in reimbursement rates.
We needed data for the required empirical evidence and for determining common denominator for increase in the reimbursement rates.
The Senior Advisory Group (SAG), established in 2012, gave us the necessary framework and a common denominator.
The SAG Report had made three key recommendations.
One, The typical rotation period be set at 12 months.
Two, A proportional reduction be made to personnel reimbursement to troop or police contributing country in the case of absent or non-functional major equipment.
Three, To provide fair and equitable compensation to TCCs, a Survey be conducted so that a decision could be made on a factual basis, grounded in the reality of the actual costs incurred.
Last year, we agreed with the SAG Report. It was a difficult decision for us. We assumed costly obligations.
In pursuance of the third recommendation, a professional Survey was conducted on the basis of a scientific methodology. The Survey Report clearly recognizes US$ 1,762.55 per contingent person per month as the actual weighted average cost of TCC. The figure is authentic and credible. It should remain an indicative parameter for the next four years. We are glad that the resolution adopted today welcomes the Secretary General's report on the results of the revised survey.
We express satisfaction that the reimbursement rates have been revised and increased formally for the first time. We have broken new ground despite divergences and constraints. Despite the limitations of the outcome, our decision today is a net gain for peacekeeping and the Organization. But we must continue to review reimbursement rates periodically to align them with actual costs incurred, both tangible and intangible. This we hope will be done in four years from now.
Pakistan reiterates its strong commitment to UN peacekeeping. International peacekeeping under the auspices of the United Nations is a cornerstone of our foreign policy.
I thank you.