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Statement by

H. E. Dr. R. M.Marty M. Natalegawa

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of

the Republic of Indonesia

to the United Nations

 

Agenda Item 136:

Scale of Assessments for the Apportionment of

the Expenses of the United Nations

 

New York, 5 October 2009

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Since this is the first time for my delegation to take the floor in this session, I would like to join other delegates to warmly congratulate you Mr. Chairman, H. E. Mr. Peter Maurer, and other Members of the Bureau on your election. We are confident in your leadership and I assure you of our cooperation to make this important session a success. In the face of an extremely heavy workload of the Fifth Committee, my delegation believes that under your guidance and with the collective efforts of all member states, we can successfully accomplish all tasks we set out to do. My delegation would also like to extend special acknowledgment to our preceding Chair, H. E. Gabor Brodi, who has successfully led the previous session.

 

As for the issue at hand, my delegation would like to thank Mr. Bernardo Greiver, Chairman of the Committee on Contributions for his introduction of the report A/64/11, and Mr. Lionel Berridge, Chief of the Contributions and Policy Coordination Service, for his introduction of the report of the Secretary-General on multi-year payment plans contained in document A/64/68. My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by the distinguished delegate of Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

 

This session, the Fifth Committee is scheduled to discuss and adopt the scale of assessments for the period 2010-2012. While many might see this issue is merely about money, it is actually more about our commitment to the UN and its work. We therefore must give our utmost to the success of this deliberation.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The expert members of the Committee on Contributions, after their serious and careful considerations at its 69th session, have submitted a report which provides a good basis for our consideration. My delegation appreciates the work of the Committee and has some brief comments and suggestions on the scale methodology.

 

Capacity to pay has been the keystone of the scale methodology ever since the inception of the United Nations and this principle allows no change or distortion. It reflects the general consensus worked out by the broad membership and has been reaffirmed by relevant GA resolutions numerous times. We are against any proposal that deviates from this principle.

 

Taking national income and allowing appropriate adjustment for low per capita income countries proves to be the best way to measure and reflect member states' capacities to pay, hence the need for its continued use. The adjusted GNI takes into consideration not only the overall economic strength of a state as reflected in its national income, but also its actual capacity to pay as reflected in its per capita income. Only by allowing reasonable income adjustment can we be assured that member states are assessed in accordance with their actual capacity to pay.

 

My delegation is in favor of adopting the existing methodology used for the current 2007-2009 scale to prepare the 2010-2012 scale. The existing methodology is the result of long and hard negotiations and full consultations among all member states. It is a consensus that is based on the capacity to pay, but due consideration has also been given to other elements as well as different viewpoints and positions.

 

As the United Nations is undergoing various reforms, it needs to have a solid financial base. To use the same methodology can ensure stability in methodology and the predictability of the scale, reduce uncertainties to a minimum and is therefore of great importance to the normal functioning of the United Nations and its subsidiary organs. The existing scale methodology has served us well and is in the interest of the general membership. We should not further complicate issues by introducing new or additional elements.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

An intriguing fact is that the regular budget of the UN is a trivial sum of money compared to the world’s GDP. The IMF estimates the global GDP in 2010 to be at US$55.92 trillion, while the proposed UN budget for 2010-2011 is only at US$5.06 billion after preliminary rescosting or 0.009 percent of the 2010 global GDP. Our leaders through the General Assembly have consistently declared their commitment to the UN for many years. However, this commitment has yet to be fully reflected by the figures above.

 

We do share and understand the difficulties endured by many of us due to the latest global financial crisis. For Indonesia, despite its promising economic development in recent years and its resilience to withstand the financial crisis relatively to many, economic development, poverty eradication and the realization of modernization remain as daunting challenges. Indonesia's per capita GNI for 2008 is US$2,010 (IMF), outranked by over a hundred other States and a far cry from the average per capita GNI of US$8,597.

 

Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, my government stands ready to make an even greater contribution to the United Nations on the basis of capacity to pay, as our domestic economy continues to grow. Indonesia's assessment rate will continue to go up as its economy develops further and its per capita income increases. According to the data provided by the COC, if the existing scale methodology holds, Indonesia's assessment rate could increase to 0.238% in 2010; the significant 47.8 percentage point increase will not be easy to bear. Nevertheless, so long as the rate is calculated by using the existing methodology, thus in keeping with the principle of capacity to pay, Indonesia is willing to give favorable consideration to it.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The scale of assessments for 2010-2012 is an important agenda for the Fifth Committee at this session. The scale is the basis on which member states' financial obligation is determined, and it is an important means for the United Nations to receive financial resources. All member states have a strong interest in the establishment of a fair and equitable scale methodology, which involves an extremely complicated procedure. My delegation hopes that all sides can, through friendly consultations and dialogue on an equal basis, arrive at a resolution acceptable to all.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333,   Fax: 1.212.972.9780   -   www.indonesiamission-ny.org

 

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