11 October 1996
Mr. Morteza Mirmohammad
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
to the Fifth committee
Agenda item 119:
“Scale of Assessments for the apportionment
of the expenses of the United Nations”
New York, October 11, 1996
In the Name of God,the Compassionate,the Merciful
I wish to congratulate you and other members of the bureau on your election.I would also like to thank Chairman of the Committee on Contributions, for his presentation of the report of the C.O.C.
My delegation supports , in principle , the statement made by Costa Rica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The fundamental criterion for determining the scale of assessments is the principle of capacity to pay which has been frequently reaffirmed by the General Assembly. We believe that the criteria for the assessment of capacity to pay, if determined only by the national income and per capita income, do not truly represent the real capacity to pay of Member States which are at different levels of development. The countries’ present economic realities pertaining to grave disparities between developed and developing countries would make it unjustifiable to put them both on an equal footing when determining their share of the expenses of the United Nations. We consider that the present methodology for apportioning the expenses of the United Nations needs to be improved so as to better reflect the capacity of Member States to pay. In this regard, we concur with the view of the committee on contributions expressed in paragraph 22 of it’s report A/5o/11/Add.2 that stability should not imply rigidity in the scale methodology , since future changes , such as evolving economic trends , or changes in the comparability , reliability and availability of data, might well call for further adjustments in the scale methodology. We even call for the earliest possible implementation of measures that would bring the scale of assessments more closely into the real capacity to pay of Member States. But, we would not be in a position to agree with the so called “Clean Slate” approach, which would neither be a suitable alternative to the present methodology nor would it contribute to solve its imperfections. We believe that many of the current adjustments bring fairness and equity to the capacity to pay of Member States.
Therefore, elements which are important to a more precise determination of Member States’ capacity to pay should be taken into consideration. Among these are natural and man-made disasters, and the problems of refugee host countries affecting adversely their national economy , which are the two factors reaffirmed by the General Assembly in its resolution 46/221, as well as debt burden adjustment and low per capita income formula which are necessary steps in determining the capacity of Member States’ to pay.
The Islamic Republic of Iran in the last 4 scale periods was paying many more times of its capacity to pay. Even with 50% phase out of the scheme of limits in the current scale period, the assessment rate for Iran still exceeds twice the one reflecting the complete phase out of the scheme. Accordingly, my delegation supports the immediate phase-out of the remaining of the scheme of limits in the next scale.
So far as the question of statistical base period is concerned, we firmly believe that with the structural adjustments in national economies of many member states, a shorter base period, preferably three years will better reflect the real capacity of member states to pay. A three-year base period would have the advantage of providing the most recent , and therefore realistic , approximation of Member States ‘ current capacity to pay. We do not expect a scale on the basis of obsolete data. Indeed, there is a three year gap between the base period and the scale period, which in effect, adds three more years to the calculated length of the base period. We remain flexible to this gap at the compromise of a three year base period benefiting from clear and exact statistics. As such, we believe that the longer base period is distorted by the problem of outdated data.
It is obvious that the ceiling is a departure of the principle of capacity to pay , affecting adversly the assessment to the other membership , including the developing countries. Therefore, my delegation fully supports the position of the G 77
and China and that of others that the ceiling should not be lowered any further.