Press Releases

    GA/AB/3624
                                                                                        4 June 2004

    Budget Committee Approves $2.8 Billion for 2004-2005 Peacekeeping, as It Concludes Second Resumed Session

    NEW YORK, 3 June (UN Headquarters) -- The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this morning approved some $2.8 billion gross to finance 11 active peacekeeping missions for 2004-2005, as it concluded its second resumed session. That amount includes some $113.13 million gross for the peacekeeping support account, and some $25.25 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy.

    Having been warned at the outset of the session that the Organization was facing the possibility of unprecedented growth in the peacekeeping budget due to newly deployed missions in West Africa and Haiti, the Committee today recommended that the Assembly appropriate some $864.8 million for the United Nations Mission in Liberia.  A further $211.10 million was recommended for the Organization’s expanding operation in Côte d’Ivoire.

    At the same time, the Secretary-General was authorized, by the actions taken today, to enter into separate financial commitments to support through 31 October 2004 the newly launched United Nations Operation in Burundi and the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH), as well as the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

    As the financial year of peacekeeping operations runs from 1 July to 30 June, the Committee customarily devotes its late spring session to assessing their budgetary and administrative needs. Most of the 25 resolutions and one decision approved today address the various aspects of peacekeeping, including budgets of individual missions, the financing of the Logistics Base in Brindisi and the peacekeeping support account.  The Committee also took note of the Secretary-General’s note on the prorated share of the peacekeeping support account and the Logistics Base.

    Echoing the concerns expressed by the Secretariat at the beginning of the session, Japan’s representative said the projection that the next peacekeeping operations budget could rise to $4.5 billion was slowly becoming a reality. In that regard, he questioned whether Member States actually had the capacity to pay for a precipitous increase of more than 60 per cent over the last budget. The very steep increase in the peacekeeping budget would consume resources that could have been allocated for humanitarian assistance or poverty reduction.

    The Committee had two votes on the draft resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was introduced by the “Group of 77” developing countries and China last week. The text was adopted by a vote of 137 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with one abstention (Cameroon) (see Annex II).

    Prior to the vote on the draft as a whole, the Committee decided to retain in the text the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 by 80 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 51 abstentions (see Annex I). Those paragraphs refer to several previous General Assembly resolutions, which call for Israel to pay some $1.12 million for the damage resulting from a 1996 incident at Qana, Lebanon.

    The financing of the support account for peacekeeping operations represents one of the most important aspects of the United Nations peacekeeping budget. Established to allow the Secretariat to plan and deploy peacekeeping operations in a coordinated manner, the support account is financed through assessments on all active missions, according to their size, as is the Logistics Base.

    By the terms of the draft resolution adopted today, the Assembly, recognizing the importance of the of a relevant Security Council resolution, would approve support United Nations being able to rapidly deploy a peacekeeping operation upon adoption account requirements for 2004-2005 of some $121.6 million, including 743 continuing and 18 new temporary posts. 

    By other terms of the draft, the Assembly would reaffirm the need for adequate funding for the backstopping of peacekeeping operations, as well as the need for full justification for that funding in the support account. It would also decide to continue its consideration of the implementation of Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ restructuring at the second part of the fifty-ninth session and requests the Secretary-General to report on the status of the civilian rapid deployment roster, including measures to improve its utility. The Secretary-General would also be requested to review the level of the support account, taking into consideration the number, size and complexity of peacekeeping operations.

    Also by the terms of that text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit, during future consideration of the support account budget, information on posts that have been vacant for at least 12 months by 30 June of a given year, on the understanding that, until the Assembly’s consideration, the recruitment process would not be affected.

    On the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base, the Committee recommended that the Assembly approve cost estimates amounting to some $28.42 million for 2004-2005. It would also take note of the Secretary-General’s report on progress in the implementation of the field assets control system, as well as the report on the status of the implementation of the strategic deployment stocks. The Secretary-General would also be requested to report at the fifty-ninth session on the functioning mechanisms of the strategic deployment stocks, in light of lessons learned from experiences with mission start-ups.

    Also without a vote, the Committee approved a Chairman’s text on strengthening the security and safety of United Nations operations, staff and premises, which would have the Assembly establish 58 new field security posts for the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator (UNSECOORD). It would decide -- without prejudice to cost sharing arrangements later -- to appropriate $2.58 million under current budgetary formulas and revert to the required residual funding of $8.2 million at its next session when determining cost-sharing arrangements. The Committee would return to the possibility of converting the extrabudgetary posts at its next session.

    By other terms of the text, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments not exceeding some $38 million for financing infrastructure projects. It would also request that the Secretary-General submit next year a comprehensive relevant report, which should contain, among other things, clearly established criteria for determining long-term needs, a rational framework for enhancing system-wide security arrangements, and establishing clear lines of accountability and responsibility and a clear chain of command for all participants in field security and duty stations.

    The resolution would also have the Assembly decide that the resource requirements in that requested report should be based on and justified in terms of the Secretary-General’s comprehensive review of safety and security. The text also requests the Assembly to approve an additional appropriation under the regular budget in the amount of some $18.28 million, broken down among 16 of the Organizations’ various administrative divisions, offices and regional commissions.

    In other action today, the Committee recommended that the Assembly:

    -- Authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of $6 million for United Nations support to the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission until 30 November 2004, on the understanding that any decision on further financing must be taken by 31 October;

    -- Accept the audited financial statements of the United Nations peacekeeping operations in 2002-2003;

    -- Take note of the Secretary-General’s report on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse;

    -- Request the Secretary-General to provide a comprehensive report at the main part of the fifty-ninth session on the conversion of 300 series contracts;

    -- Take note of several Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) reports, including the evaluation of the impact of the recent restructuring of Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and return to the OIOS report on the audit of policies and procedures for recruiting Department staff.

    The Committee decided to defer its consideration of several agenda items to the fifty-ninth session, including the capital master plan, the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions and the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund.

    Several speakers expressed disappointment that the Committee had been unable to reach consensus on the issue of surplus cash from closed peacekeeping missions, specially the return of some $94 million to Member States. Australia’s representative, on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, said that by not returning the money, the Committee was in effect punishing the Member States that paid in full, on time and without condition.

    At the outset of the meeting, the Committee decided to recommend to the Assembly the appointment of Gilberto Coutinho Paranhos Velloso as a member of the International Civil Service Commission, beginning on the date of appointment by the Assembly until 31 December 2005.

    Also speaking in today’s meeting were the representatives of Austria, South Africa (on behalf of the African Group), Canada (also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand), Switzerland, India, Egypt, Norway, United States, Ireland (on behalf of the European Union), Uruguay, Venezuela and Singapore, Israel, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and Haiti.

    The representatives of Israel and Saudi Arabia spoke in the exercise of the right of reply.

    Catherine Pollard, the Director of the Peacekeeping Financing Division, introduced the Secretary-General’s note reflecting the resources to be approved by the Assembly in respect of each peacekeeping mission, including the prorated shares of the support account and the Logistics base. Committee Secretary, Movses Abelian, also made a statement.

    Committee Chairman, Hynek Kmoníček (Czech Republic) made a closing statement and informed members that the Committee would meet on Thursday to elect a new bureau.

    The Committee will meet again at a time to be announced.

    Action on Drafts

    The Committee first approved, without a vote, the draft resolution on the financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/C.5/58/L.89). That draft had been submitted by Yasser El Naggar ((Egypt), who had also led the informal consultations. By the terms of the text, the Assembly would accept the audited financial statements of the United Nations peacekeeping operations for 2002-2003. It would also take note of and endorse the Board’s recommendations, as well as the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).

    By further terms, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Board of Auditors’ recommendations concerning United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period ending 30 June 2003, and request the Secretary-General to continue to ensure that internal control in peacekeeping missions is improved with respect to the optimum use of audit resources. The Secretary-General would also be requested to fully implement the Board’s recommendations and the related recommendations of the Advisory Committee in a prompt and timely manner.

    Programme Budget for Biennium 2004-2005

    The Committee then approved, also without a vote, the draft resolution on estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council (document A/C.5/58/L.86). By its terms, the Assembly -- emphasizing the importance of the work of the Secretary-General’s good offices in support of the work of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission -- would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the matter, noting also with concern its late submission.

    By further terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide, by the end of the fifty-eighth session, a comprehensive financial report on the requirements for United Nations support to the Mixed Commission, including clearly defined requirements to be provided from the regular budget and elements being financed from other sources, for its consideration at the early part of the fifty-ninth session.

    The Assembly would, by other terms, authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of $6 million for United Nations support to the Mixed Commission until 30 November 2004, on the understanding that any decision on further financing must be taken by 31 October 2004.

    Following the vote, ENNO DROFENICK (Austria), who headed the negotiations on the text, thanked all delegations that had participated in the consultations. He said that widespread concern had been raised about the late submission of documents on the text. Throughout the consultations, participants stressed the need for the timely submission of documents.

    Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of South Africa, speaking on behalf of African Group, said that the Committee had on occasion considered items for which documentation had been submitted late to both the ACABQ and the Committee itself. The Group had collectively expressed its dissatisfaction, but understood its moral obligation and importance of taking decisions on the relevant matters nonetheless.

    She stressed that at no time was the group indisposed to considering the subjects under discussion, except once, on this item, when a selective approach had unfortunately been adopted. An explicit paragraph on the late issuance of documents had been introduced in this resolution and for the first time the Committee found time in its crowded work schedule to negotiate a commitment authority level recommended by its ACABQ Committee. That was despite the fact that the commitment authority was not an appropriation and was designed to introduce safeguards and discipline in spending. Such a selective approach was not the Fifth Committee’s way of working and should be avoided at all costs.

    Also without a vote, the Committee approved a Chairman’s text on strengthening the security and safety of United Nations operations, staff and premises (A/C.5/58/L.91) which would have the Assembly establish 58 new field security posts for the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator (UNSECOORD). It would decide -- without prejudice to cost-sharing arrangements later -- to appropriate $2,583,000 under current budgetary formulas and revert to the required residual funding of $8,162,100 at its next session when determining cost-sharing arrangements. The Committee would return to the possibility of converting the extrabudgetary posts at its next session.

    Also by the text, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments not exceeding some $38 million for financing infrastructure projects. It would also request that the Secretary-General submit next year a comprehensive relevant report, which should contain, among other things, clearly established criteria for determining long-term needs, a rational framework for enhancing system-wide security arrangements, and establishing clear lines of accountability and responsibility and a clear chain of command for all participants in field security and duty stations.

    The resolution would also have the Assembly decide that the resource requirements in that requested report should be based on and justified in terms of the Secretary-General’s comprehensive review of safety and security. The text also requests the Assembly to approve an additional appropriation under the regular budget in the amount of some $18.28 million, broken down among 16 of the Organization’s various administrative divisions, offices and regional commissions.

    Before action on the draft, the representative of Ireland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said her delegation greeted the imminent adoption of the resolution with “relief and regret”. Relief that the Committee had eventually agreed to authorize a large portion of the funds the Secretary-General had requested in order to strengthen the security of personnel and premises. But, the Union regretted that there appeared to be less unanimity than had been expected about the need for urgently strengthening security measures in light of the new threats facing the Organization, threats that had been tragically apparent last August in Baghdad.

    Following consultations, the Union had been convinced, in particular, that the need to reinforce the capacity of UNSECOORD, at Headquarters and especially in the field was incontrovertible. Regrettably, that opinion had not been shared by all delegations. The agreed resolution, therefore, represented a compromise which fell far below the European Union’s initial expectations. So, while she welcomed the creation of 58 new field security posts and the rather modest sum for general temporary assistance that had been agreed for UNSECOORD, unfortunately, that meant that the urgent requests for general temporary assistance funding sought by Geneva, Nairobi, Santiago and elsewhere would not be met.

    The European Union continued to attach importance to transferring the financing of the newly created field positions to the regular budget. It was inappropriate that such a core function as security of staff should be funded through voluntary, rather than assessed contributions. The Union expected a change to that system in the fall and trusted that all delegations would agree to ending that anomaly before the end of the year. The Union also looked forward to the report of the Secretary-General on the matter and urged that the debate during the Committee’s next session not evolve into a micromanagement of security procedures and remain within the parameters of the authority of the Committee.

    The representative of Canada, speaking also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand (CANZ), said the resolution had been an important first step in response to the bombing of United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. The group looked forward to the coming report of the Secretary-General, which would lay out clear lines of responsibility and accountability. Still, the delegation was perplexed at the Committee’s failure to convert the extrabudgetary posts at UNSECOORD, and was baffled by the panels’ refusal to provide more generous funding for general temporary assistance.

    The outcome had been less than any of the options discussed in the closing days of the negotiations.  He was interested to know which delegations were opposed to providing the security requested -- for example, for Nairobi, Addis, Afghanistan, Santiago and Beirut -- and why. The overall negotiations had been difficult, and he had wondered why discussions on such an important issue had “come down to the wire”. The Committee’s credibility and methods of work were under challenge. It had been deemed credible to find space to refer to a human resources management resolution, while refusing to refer to the bombing in Baghdad, which had killed so many staff and cast the new security environment in stark relief.  The result did not reflect the balance and mutual respect he expected of the Committee.

    The representative of Switzerland said no one could deny that security of United Nations personnel and its premises had deteriorated badly over the past couple of years. The resolution was a step in the right direction. Her country would fulfil its obligation in that regard, as a United Nations Member State and as host country of the Organization’s Office in Geneva.

    The representative of India said his delegation attached great importance to the issue of safety of United Nations staff. India had been dismayed by the grim picture of the state of the Organizations security arrangements that had been painted following the tragedy in Baghdad. It was clear that the situation could not continue, but it was also clear that just “throwing money at it” was not enough. In that regard, he looked forward to the outcome of the Secretary-General’s report and coming resource negotiations in the fall.

    The representative of Egypt, while aligning his delegation’s statement with that of India, went on to emphasize Egypt’s concern about the Committee’s methods of work.

    After the vote, the representative of Norway said she was of the view that the Committee had been in the position to take informed decisions on the matter. Norway supported the Secretary-General’s proposals, but was disappointed that the Committee did not acknowledge the change in security situations and, consequently, did not make the necessary appropriations for urgently required security measures. It was only out of a spirit of compromise and out of respect for the working methods of the Committee that Norway had joined consensus. She also had concerns regarding the process leading up to the resolution. Indeed, what should have been a straightforward matter on such an important issue had become difficult. She strongly urged Member States to reflect on how they could ensure more constructive and cost-effective deliberations.

    The representative of the United States said her delegation was pleased that a short and action-oriented resolution had been adopted. It was a positive and long-overdue step towards the creation of robust security arrangements for the Organization. Effective security provisions were of paramount importance to the effective running of the Organization, and providing a secure environment for all staff was to the benefit of all Member States and should transcend political boundaries. Nevertheless, the Committee should continue to work to send a strong and consistent message about the importance of the lives of United Nations Staff.

    Speaking on the capital master plan, the representative of Ireland, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, noted that in March the Committee had discussed the United States proposal for the financing of the capital master plan. The Union had stressed the responsibility of the host country and had expressed disappointment at the provisional offer and had stated that more options were needed for the financing of the plan. While it had not been possible, the Union had felt it was relevant, during the resumed session, for the Assembly to adopt a resolution with four main messages.The Union stressed the urgency of renovating and modernizing the United Nations Headquarters, in particular for safety and security reasons.

    Member States had proceeded with the capital master plan on the understanding that the United States would offer an interest-free loan to finance the plan, she said. The host country’s current intention to offer an interest-bearing loan to the Organization of up to $1.2 billion, repayable over a maximum period of 30 years at an interest rate of up to 5.54 per cent, would bring the overall cost to more than $2.5 billion. That provisional offer did not meet the Union’s expectations of the host country’s responsibility, as it would effectively cause an increase of more than 5 per cent per year for 30 years.

    In light of the United States offer, she urged the Secretariat to explore more financing options for the discussions to be held in the fifty-ninth session, including through the establishment of the Financial Advisory Board.  Regarding a specific scale of assessment, the idea would be to create a United Nations financial facility for repayment of principal and payment of interest on the United States-provided loan. That facility would be fed by national contributions in accordance with the United Nations scale of assessment, without the “cap” for the United States, however. In other words, the United States would contribute in accordance with its share in world gross domestic product (GDP), approximately some 31 per cent, instead of 22 per cent.  Having prepared a draft text along those lines, the Union had had the impression from informal-informal talks that the vast majority of Member States had supported the resolution. Many of the proposals could easily have been taken on board. Regrettably, some of the key elements had not met consensus and did not get the approval of the host country.

    She said she was very disappointed that it had proven impossible to agree on a resolution that sent the right message. In light of the crucial importance of the fifty-ninth session for the entire project, it was especially unfortunate.

    The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/C.5/58/L.87). By its terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide a comprehensive report at the main part of the fifty-ninth session on the issue, including the conversion of 300 series contracts, addressing in particular the Organization’s strategy for meeting current and future human resources requirements for peacekeeping missions, taking into account the ACABQ’s recommendations.

    Endorsing the ACABQ’s recommendations contained in paragraphs 35 to 39 of its report (document A/58/705) concerning the wholesale conversion, bearing in mind the fact that the Assembly has taken no decision to support the replacement of the 300 series contracts as a mechanism for the employment of staff in peacekeeping missions, the Assembly would decide to suspend the application of the four-year maximum limit for appointments of limited duration under the 300 series of the staff rules in peacekeeping operations until 31 December 2004, pending a decision by the Assembly on the matter at the fifty-ninth session.

    Introduced by MICHEL TILMANS (Belgium), the draft resolution was approved without a vote.

    Before action was taken, the representative of Uruguay said his delegation regretted that the Committee did not have enough time to consider all the opinions expressed during the negotiations, which had been intended to ensure sufficient resources for all peacekeeping operations. Uruguay would proceed on the understanding that the Secretariat would take into consideration in the fall matters related to the provision of foodstuffs, vehicles and other administrational issues.

    The representative of Venezuela shared Uruguay’s opinion and hoped the Secretariat would take into account the concerns expressed by his and other delegations during informal consultations during the fifty-ninth session.

    Acting again without at vote, the Committee approved a draft decision on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (document A/C.5/58/L.71), by which the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the matter.

    Financing of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

    Approving, without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base (document A/C.5/58/L.72) submitted by Committee Vice-Chairman ASDRUBAL PULIDO LEON (Venezuela), the Committee recommended that the Assembly note with appreciation the facilities provided by the Government of Italy to the Base.  Endorsing the ACABQ’s recommendations and requesting the Secretary-General to implement them fully, the Assembly would reiterate the need to implement, as a matter of priority, an effective inventory management standard, especially in respect of peacekeeping operations involving high inventory value.

    By other terms, it would take note of the Secretary-General’s reports on progress in the implementation of the field assets control system and the status of the implementation of the strategic deployment stocks, and request the Secretary-General to report at its fifty-ninth session on the functioning of existing mechanisms of the strategic deployment stocks, in the light of lessons learned from experiences with mission start-ups.

    It would also take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the analysis of establishing a global procurement hub in Brindisi. Endorsing the ACABQ’s recommendations, it would request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.

    The Assembly would, by further terms of the draft, take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Base for the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003. It would approve the cost estimates for the Logistics Base amounting to $28.42 million for the period 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005.

    On the financing of the budget estimates, the Assembly would decide to apply the balance of other income and adjustments in the total amount of $3.17 million at 30 June 2003 to the resources required for 2004-2005. It would also decide that the increase of some $9,900 in estimated staff assessment at 30 June 2003 be added to the credits from the $3.17 million. The balance of some $25.25 million among the individual active peacekeeping operation budgets would be prorated to meet the financing requirements of the Base for 2004-2005.

    By other terms, the Assembly would decide to set off against the balance of $25.25 million the estimated staff assessment of $1.41 million for 2004 to 2005, representing the difference between the estimated staff assessment income of $1.56 million for 2004 to 2005 and the adjustment in the staff assessment income of $148,100 related to the period ending 30 June 2001, to be prorated among the individual active peacekeeping operation budgets.

    The Committee turned to the draft resolution on the support account for peacekeeping operations, submitted by MICHEL TILEMANS (Belgium) and contained in document A/C.5/58/L.88. By the text, the Assembly would approve the support account requirements for 2004-2005 in the amount of $121.61 million, including 743 continuing and 18 new temporary posts, deciding to maintain the current funding mechanism for the account. It would also take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the support account for 2002-2003.

    By further terms of the text, on the financing of the budget estimates, the Assembly would decide that the unencumbered balance and other income in the total amount of $8.5 million, comprising $8.4 million for the period ending 30 June 2003 and the adjustment of $127,800 for the period ending 30 June 2001 would be applied to the resources required for 2004-2005. The increase of $59,000 in the estimated staff assessment income, representing the difference between $682,000 for the period ending 30 June 2003 and the adjustment of $741,000 for the period ending 30 June 2001, would be applied to the unencumbered balance and other total income. The balance of $113.13 million would be prorated among the budgets of the active peacekeeping operations for 2004-2005. The estimated staff assessment income of $16.51 million for 2004-2005 would be off-set against the balance of $113.13 million and prorated among the budgets of the individual active peacekeeping missions.

    By other terms of the text, the Assembly would reaffirm the need for adequate funding for the backstopping of peacekeeping operations, as well as the need for full justification for that funding in the support account. It would also reaffirm the need of the Secretary-General to ensure that delegation of authority to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and field missions is in strict compliance with relevant Assembly resolutions and decisions, as well as the relevant rules of procedure on the matter.

    The Assembly would also decide to continue its consideration of the implementation of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ restructuring at the second part of the resumed fifty-ninth session, and request the Secretary-General to report at the fifty-ninth session on the status of the civilian rapid deployment roster, including measures to improve its utility, taking into account recent experiences with its use. The Secretary-General would also be requested to review the level of the support account, including the need for existing posts, in future budget submissions, taking into consideration the number, size and complexity of peacekeeping operations.

    By further terms, the Assembly would note with concern, as observed by the ACABQ in its related report, that the implementation of paragraph 18 of resolution 57/318 is not consistent with the requirement of the resolution. [By the terms of paragraph 18 of resolution 57/381, the Assembly decided that any support account posts that remained vacant and any new posts that were not filled for 12 months from the date of their establishment required rejustification in the subsequent budget submission. In its report, the ACABQ emphasizes that the intent of the recommendation was to reconsider posts that were vacant at the time of the next budget submission. The implementation of the recommendation, as described in the Secretary-General’s report on the matter, is not consistent with paragraph 18 of resolution 57/318 in that it deals with posts that were vacant for 12 months as of 31 August 2003.]

    The Assembly would reiterate paragraph 18 of resolution 57/318, and request the Secretary-General to submit, during future consideration of the support account budget, information outlined in the ACABQ’s report with respect to posts that have been vacant for at least 12 months by 30 June of a given year on the understanding that, in the interim and until the Assembly’s consideration, the recruitment process will not be affected.

    The draft resolution was approved without a vote.

    The draft resolution on the reports of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) (document A/C.5/58/L.90) was submitted by Mr. TILEMANS (Belgium) and approved without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly took note of various OIOS reports, including the evaluation of the impact of the recent restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the administration of the peacekeeping trust funds.  It would decide to revert to the consideration of the OIOS report on the audit of the policies and procedures for recruiting staff for the Department during its fifty-ninth session. Noting that the Board will act on Assembly resolution 57/318 of 18 June 2003 once it has considered the report of the OIOS and assessed what additional evaluation it might provide, it would also note that the Assembly may revert at that time to the OIOS report.

    The representative of Singapore said that although intensive informal consultations had been held on the issue of closed peacekeeping operations, the Committee had been unable to arrive at consensus on the issue.

    The Committee approved, without a vote, a draft resolution, submitted by Mr. DUTTON (Australia), on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) (document A/C.5/58/L.68). By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the final disposition of the Mission’s assets, as well as his report on the Mission’s financial performance for the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003.

    By further terms, the Assembly would decide that Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission shall be credited their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income totaling some $16.84 million at 30 June 2003. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income. It would further decide that the increase of some $342,600 in the estimated staff assessment income in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credits from the amount above.

    The representative of Australia, the coordinator of the discussions on the draft resolution, said the Committee had traditionally adopted a number of standard paragraphs for each peacekeeping operation. During informal consultations on the issue, some had raised concerns about standard paragraphs, arguing they were outdated.  They also questioned the value of repeating the same paragraphs each year. Others had argued that they contained vital arguments and that they had not become irrelevant. He had proposed that the Committee agree to adopt the paragraphs by consensus, on the understanding that he would make a formal statement and ask the next bureau to keep in mind that the matter would likely rise again and that sufficient time would be needed to discuss the matter.

    The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/C.5/58/L.77) was then introduced. By the terms of the text, which was approved without a vote, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as of 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $15.7 million, representing some 7 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 38 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding arrears.

    The Assembly would also take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Force for 2002-2003.  Regarding budget estimates for 2004-2005, it would decide to appropriate $51.99 million to the special account for UNFICYP for 2004-2005, inclusive of $47.24 million for the Force’s maintenance, $2.2 million for strengthening the security and safety of the staff and premises of the Force, $2.11 million for the peacekeeping support account and $469,800 for the Logistics Base.

    By other terms, the Assembly would note with appreciation that a one-third share of the net appropriation will be funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus and some $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.

    As for the unencumbered balance of $1.01 million at 30 June 2003, for those Member States that had fulfilled their final obligations to the Mission, their respective share of the those amounts would be set off against their apportionment for 2004-2005. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to UNFICYP would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income. The increase in estimated staff assessment income of $85,000 for the period ending 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credits from the above amount.

    It would further decide, taking into account its voluntary contribution for the period ended 30 June 2003, that one third of other income in the amount of $641,666 at 30 June 2003 shall be returned to the Government of Cyprus. Taking into account its voluntary contribution for the period ended 30 June 2003, it would decide that the prorated share of other income in the amount of $286,055 for the period ended 30 June 2003 be returned to the Government of Greece.

    The Assembly, by further terms, would also decide to maintain as separate the account established for the Force for the period prior to 16 June 1993, invite Member States to make voluntary contributions to that account and request the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in appealing for voluntary contributions.

    By the terms of the draft resolution on the financing of United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document A/C.5/58/L.75), the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions amounting to some $111.1 million, representing 6 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 36 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    The Assembly would, by further terms, endorse the recommendations of the ACABQ, subject to the provisions of the present resolution, and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation. It would also request the Secretary-General to take all necessary measures to improve the distribution of food rations in the Mission. In the context of the comprehensive review of the Mission’s organizational structure, the Secretary-General would be requested to consider the posts required for the election process.

    By other terms, the Secretary-General would be authorized to employ, if necessary, 17 additional staff, up to a total of 34, in the Office of Public Information for the purposes of the election process, within the approved budget level for 2004-2005, and to report thereon in the Mission’s next performance report. The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to present in his next budget proposal workload indicators for the international staff in that Office.

    The Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003.  It would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for MONUC some $746.1 million for 2004-2005, including some $709.12 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $30.21 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $6.74 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of some $133.44 million at 30 June 2003 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income. The increase in the estimated staff assessment income of some $393,400 at 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credits from the above amount.

    Taking note of the Secretary-General’s note on the financing arrangements for the Mission for 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, the Assembly would, by further terms, decide to apportion among Member States some $59.03 million already appropriated for the Mission’s maintenance for 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004.

    The text, submitted by Committee Vice-Chairman, Mr. PULIDO LEON (Venezuela), was approved without a vote.

    The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the financing of United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) (document A/C.5/58/L.85). DENISA HUT’ANOVA (Slovakia) submitted the text, by the terms of which the Assembly would endorse the recommendations of the ACABQ, requesting the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation. The Assembly would also emphasize that it will consider the number and level of posts, the administrative structure, lines of accountability and reporting in support of the substantive mandate in the context of the full budget proposal to be submitted to the fifty-ninth session.

    The Secretary-General would be authorized, by the terms of the text, to enter into commitments of some $30.48 million for the Mission’s maintenance for the period 1 July to 31 October 2004 and decide to apportion that amount among Member States for that period.

    Acting without a vote, the draft was approved.

    The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) (document A/C.5/58/L.78).  By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions of some $24.8 million, representing about 4 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 36 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    Taking note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Mission for 2002-2003, the Assembly would also decide to appropriate some $216.03 million to the special account for UNMEE for 2004-2005, inclusive of $198.33 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $17 million for the strengthening of safety and security of its premises, $8.75 million for the peacekeeping support account and $1.95 million for the Logistics Base.

    The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of $24.5 million at 30 June 2003 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income.  The decrease of $5,100 in the estimated staff assessment income at 30 June 2003 shall be set off against credits from the above amount.

    Submitted by Mr. DUTTON (Australia), the draft was approved without a vote.

    The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) (document A/C.5/58/L.74), which was submitted by Mr. DUTTON (Australia) and approved without a vote, would have the Assembly take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions of some $12.4 million, representing some 6 per cent of the total assed contributions. Noting with concern that only 30 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    By further terms, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Observer Mission’s financial performance for the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003. It would decide to appropriate some $33.59 million to the special account for UNOMIG for the period 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, including some $31.92 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $1.36 million for the peacekeeping support account and $303,500 for the Logistics Base.

    The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of $4.1 million at 30 June 2003 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income.  The increase of some $142,200 in the estimated staff assessment income at 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credits from the above amount.

    Before its adoption, Committee Secretary MOVSES ABELIAN said the ACABQ had concluded its work last week. The Advisory Committee’s Chairman had asked him to read out a statement of clarification on paragraph 32 of the ACABQ’s related report requested during informal consultations on the matter regarding security services for the Mission.

    Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) (document A/C.5/58/L.69). By the terms of the text, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2004, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of some $7 million, representing some 2 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 81 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure the payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.  It would express its continued appreciation to the Government of Kuwait to defray two thirds of the cost of the Observation Mission effective 1 November 1993.

    By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Observation Mission’s financial performance for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003. Taking into account the unspent balance and other income in the total amount of some $12.66 million for the period ending 30 June 2003, it would decide that Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Observation Mission shall be credited their respective share of the unspent balance and other income in the total amount of some $4.3 million. Outstanding obligations of Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Observation Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unspent balance and other income.

    The Assembly would further decide that the decrease of some $114,900 in the estimated staff assessment income for the financial period ending 30 June 2003 shall be set off against the credits from the above amount. Taking into account the voluntary contribution of Kuwait’s Government, it would also decide that two thirds of the net unspent balance in the amount of $8.4 million shall be returned to the Government.

    The draft resolution, submitted by Mr. DUTTON (Australia) was approved without a vote.

    The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/C.5/58/L.79), also submitted by Mr. DUTTON (Australia), was then approved without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission at 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions of some $108.2 million, representing some 6 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 32 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding contributions.

    The Assembly, by further terms, endorsing the recommendations of the ACABQ, would request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation, bearing in mind that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General has requested additional police and judicial resources.

    Taking note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for 2002-2003, the Assembly would decide to apportion $278.41 million to the special account for UNMIK for 2004-2005, inclusive of $264.62 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $11.27 million for the peacekeeping support account, and $2.51 million for the Logistics Base.

    The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of $10.8 million at 30 June 2003 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income. The increase of $2.11 million in the estimated staff assessment for the period ended 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credits from the above amount.

    By the terms of the draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/C.5/58/L.73), submitted by GUILLERMO KENDALL (Argentina), the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as of 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions amounting to some $17.4 million, representing some 1 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  Noting with concern that only 38 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    The Assembly would, by other terms, endorse the conclusions of the ACABQ, except those in paragraphs 16 and 20, and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation. [In paragraph 16 of its report A/58/759/Add.7, the Advisory Committee does not recommend, at the current stage, the establishment of a new P-3 post, Security Officer in the Office of the Force Commander.  In paragraph 20, noting a cost overrun of some $31,100 for overtime payments for national staff who drive shuttle buses for the Mission, the ACABQ reiterates its recommendation that alternative solutions to door-to-door pickups be found.]

    By further terms, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to fund the 14 contractual posts mentioned in his report on the Force’s budget for 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005 through general temporary assistance, without prejudice to a future discussion and decision on the proposal. The Secretary-General would be requested to resubmit with full justification the request in the context of the budget proposal for 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, taking into account the ACABQ’s recommendation against the proposed conversion and its intention to revisit the issue next year.

    The Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance for the Force for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003. It would decide to appropriate some $43.03 million to the special account for the Force for 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, including some $40.9 million for the Force’s maintenance, $1.74 million for the peacekeeping support account and $388,900 for the Logistics Base.

    The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of some $1.89 million at 30 June 2003 of Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force would be set off against their apportionment. Outstanding obligations of Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force would be set off against their respective share of the unspent balance and other income. The increase of some $86,600 in the estimated staff assessment income at 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credits from the above amount.

    The draft resolution was approved without a vote.

    The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on the financing of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/58/L.81), which had been introduced by Qatar on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China (see Press Release GA/AB/3623 of 27 May). By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2004, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of some $77 million, representing some 2 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 28 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all other Member States to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    Endorsing the recommendations of the ACABQ in its report (document A/58/759/Add.6), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation. Regarding the recommendation contained in paragraph 16 concerning the Secretary-General’s proposal to convert 45 individual service agreements into 45 national posts, the Secretary-General would be requested to provide further information so that the Assembly may decide on the matter at its fifty-ninth session.

    The Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financing of UNIFIL for 2002-2003, and decide to appropriate to the special account for UNIFIL the amount of some $97.8 million for 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, inclusive of some $92.96 million for the maintenance of the Force, $3.96 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, and $883,800 for the Logistics Base.

    As for the unencumbered balance and other income of some $15.78 million for the period ended on 30 June 2003, the respective share of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force would be set off against their apportionment for 2004-2005. The shares of those States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the force would be set off against their outstanding obligations. The increase of $878,900 in estimated staff assessment income in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credit from the unencumbered balance and other income.

    Further, the Assembly would decide for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force to offset against their apportionment their respective share of the retained surplus in the amount of some $63.32 million, representing the net accumulated surplus in the Force’s account from 1978 to 1993. For Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, their respective share of the retained surplus of $63.32 million shall be set off against their outstanding obligations.

    By further terms, the Assembly, expressing deep concern that Israel did not comply with several previous resolutions on the matter, the latest of which was resolution 57/325 of 18 June 2003, would stress that that country should strictly abide by them and would stress once again that Israel shall pay $1.12 million resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996.

    Before taking action the text, Mr. ABELIAN, the Committee Secretary, noted a correction to the English text.

    The representative of the United States said that the United States could not agree to consensus on the draft resolution, as it was fundamentally flawed and internally inconsistent. The use of a funding resolution to produce claims against a Member State was incorrect. No other funding resolution had been used in a similar matter. Preambular paragraph 4, and operative paragraphs 3,4 and 13 not only contradicted past practice and the United Nations Charter, but also operative paragraph 7 of the draft itself, which stated that all peacekeeping missions should be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements. The resolution also violated the spirit of Assembly resolution 41/213 which called for the broadest agreement. The United States had worked in good faith to achieve such consensus.  He requested a single recorded vote on preambular paragraph 4, and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13.

    On the request of the United States, the Committee decided to hold a separate vote on those paragraphs.

    The Committee then decided to retain the paragraphs in question by a vote of 80 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 51 abstentions (see Annex I).

    Voting on the draft resolution as a whole, the Committee then approved the text by a vote of 137 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States) with one abstention (Cameroon) (see Annex II).

    The draft was then approved, as orally corrected.

    In explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Australia, speaking on behalf of CANZ, said that her delegation welcomed the fact that the resolution provided for the necessary continuation of financing for UNIFIL, but it was regrettable that the text continued the precedent of addressing political elements that were inappropriate for a financing resolution. Her delegation had therefore abstained in the vote.

    The representative of Israel said his delegation welcomed the continuation of UNIFIL’s important work, and added that Israel had paid its assessments to the operation and would continue to do so, as contrasted with some supporters of the draft who had yet to pay their assessments. The voted paragraphs were one-sided and politically motivated and violated the principle of collective responsibility. There was no precedent for one State carrying the financial burden in this way.  Expenses incurred by previous peacekeeping operations, regardless of circumstances, were covered under the principle of collective responsibility. Indeed that principle had always prevailed.  Israel was being singled out unfairly.

    The representative of Lebanon said his delegation supported the principle of collective responsibility, but would stress that that principle did not contradict the general principle of international law that applied responsibility to States for their actions or events leading to a peacekeeping operation. It was under that principle that the nine previous resolutions on this matter had requested specific payment from a Member States.

    The Chair announced that rights of reply should be exercised at the conclusion of the meeting.

    The representative of Saudi Arabia pointed out discrepancies in the statements of Israel’s delegation on the matter at previous sessions, notably the fifty-fifth session, at which the representative of Israel had said that the bombs had been launched from 300 metres beyond the compound. That same representative at that time had said that the bombs had come from within the compound.  Those contradictory statements were just proof of Israel’s continued attempts to obfuscate the truth and continue with its lies.

    The representative of Ireland said its position on the matter was well known and would not be repeated today.

    The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) (document A/C.5/58/L.80). By the terms of the draft, which was submitted by Mr. PULIDO LEON (Venezuela), the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone as of 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $85.5 million, representing some 6.5 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  Noting with concern that only 33 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    By other terms, the Assembly would endorse the ACABQ’s recommendations and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation, bearing in mind that the budget may be revised in light of Security Council resolution 1537 (2004).

    It would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for 2002-2003, and decide to reduce the appropriation for the Mission for that period under the terms of resolution 56/251 B of 27 June 2002 from $699.83 million to $633.45 million.

    Taking into account the amount of $622.5 million already apportioned for 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 in accordance with the provisions of resolutions 56/251 B and 57/291 A of 20 December 2002, the Assembly would decide to apportion among Member States the additional amount of $10.98 million for 2002-2003.  It would further decide to approve the decrease in the estimated staff assessment income for 2002-2003 from $10.7 million to $9.56 million.

    Regarding budget estimates for 2004-2005, the Assembly would, by the terms of the text, decide to apportion to the special account for United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone the amount of $207.24 million, inclusive of $196.92 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $8.39 million for the peacekeeping support account and $1.87 million for the Logistics Base.

    The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of $27.22 million at 30 June 2003 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income. The increase of $230,000 in the estimated staff assessment income at 30 June 2003 shall be added to the credits to the above amount.

    The draft was approved without a vote.

    Also approved without a vote was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/C.5/58/L.70). By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to MINURSO as of 15 April 2004, including outstanding contributions of some $44.9 million, representing about 8 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 33 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of outstanding assessed contributions.

    By further terms, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003.

    Regarding budget estimates for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, it would decide to appropriate some $44.04 million to the Special Account for MINURSO for the period 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, including $41.86 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $1.78 million for the peacekeeping support account and $398,000 for the Logistics Base.

    The respective shares of the unspent balance and other income of $5.95 million at 30 June 2003 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment. Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unspent balance and other income. The decrease of some $444,800 in estimated staff assessment at 30 June 2003 shall be set off against the credits from the above amount.

    Mr. DUTTON (Australia) submitted the draft resolution.

    The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/C.5/58/L.76) was submitted by FELICITY BUCHANENE (New Zealand) and approved without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission, including outstanding contributions of some $139.3 million, representing some 31 per cent of the total assessed contributions. Noting with concern that only 38 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    The Assembly would also endorse the ACABQ’s recommendations, subject to provisions of the resolution, and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation. The Secretary-General would be requested to review the projects that may require the services of consultants to ensure the implementation of projects that are required for the mandate’s successful implementation. 

    By further terms of the text, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNOMIL some $864.815 million for the period 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, including some $821.98 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $35.015 million for the peacekeeping support account and $7.814 million for the Logistics Base.

    Taking note of the Secretary-General’s note on the financing of the appropriation from 1 August 2003 to 30 June 2004, the Assembly would, by other terms, decide to apportion among Member States the additional amount of some $114.5 million already apportioned for the Mission’s maintenance for the period from 1 August 2003 to 30 June 2004 under the terms of resolution 58/261 at a monthly rate of $10.41 million. It would also approve the reduction in the estimated staff assessment income approved for the Mission in the amount of some $1.45 million, from $5.2 million to $3.76 million.

    By the terms of the draft resolution on the financing of United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/C.5/58/L.84), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to review the Operation’s organizational and management structures, paying particular attention to the level and functions of the Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General positions and providing detailed information thereon in the next budget submission. Taking note of paragraphs 26 to 28 of the ACABQ’s report, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that that functions assigned to the Deputy Special Representatives are performed consistent with the Operation’s mandate until such time as the Assembly is able to decide on the revised organizational structure.

    The Assembly would, by further terms, authorize the Secretary-General to establish a special account for UNOCI for the purpose of accounting for the income received and expenditure incurred by the Operation. It would decide to appropriate to the special account some $96.4 million for the period from 4 April to 30 June 2004 for the Operation’s establishment, inclusive of the amount of $49.94 million previously authorized by the ACABQ. It would also decide to appropriate to the special account some $211.101 million, inclusive of $200.65 million for the Operation’s maintenance for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2004, $8.547 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $1.907 million for the Logistics Base for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005.

    On the financing of the appropriation, the Assembly would, by further terms, apportion among Member States the amount of $96.4 million for the Operation for the period from 4 April to 30 June 2004.

    The draft, submitted by KARLA SAMAYOA-RECARI (Guatemala), was approved without a vote.

    The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) (document A/C.5/58/L.82), which was submitted by Mrs. HUT’ANOVA (Slovakia), would have the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to establish a special account for the Mission. The Secretary-General would also be authorized to enter into commitments of some $172.5 million for the period from 1 July to 31 October 2004 for the Mission’s maintenance, in addition to $49.24 million for the period from 1 May to 30 June 2004 authorized by the ACABQ for the establishment of the Mission under the terms of section IV of General Assembly resolution 49/233 A of 23 December 1994.

    By further terms of the draft, which was approved without a vote, the Assembly would decide to apportion among Member States some $221.74 million, comprising the amount of $49.23 million for 1 May to 30 June 2004 and $172.5 million for 1 July to 31 October 2004.

    Speaking after action, the representative of Haiti thanked delegations for supporting Haiti by approving the Mission’s provisional budget. He expressed gratitude to all members who had spared no assistance in assisting his country. In adopting the text, the Fifth Committee had provided the Organization with the instrument it required to begin the operation in Haiti. It was also participating in laying the first cornerstone in building a new Haiti, inspired by democracy and human rights.  He was convinced that a detailed budget would be submitted at the fifty-ninth session.

    The Committee also approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Operation in Burundi (document A/C.5/58/L.83). By the terms of the text, which was introduced by Mrs. HUT’ANOVA (Slovakia), the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to establish a special account.

    The Assembly would, by other terms, authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for the Operation for the period from 21 April to 31 October 2004 in a total amount not exceeding some $156.04 million, comprising the amount of $49.71 million for 21 April to 30 June 2004 for the Operation’s establishment, inclusive of the amount of $49.5 million previously authorized by the ACABQ for the period from 21 April to 30 June 2004 and the amount of $106.33 million for the period 1 July to 31 October 2004 for the Operation’s maintenance.

    On the financing of the commitment authority, the Assembly would decide to apportion among Member States the total amount of $156.04 million, comprising the amount of $49.71 million for 21 April to 30 June 2004 and $106.33 million for 1 July to 31 October 2004.

    CATHERINE POLLARD, Director of the Peacekeeping Financing Division, introduced the Secretary-General’s note on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base (document A/C.5/58/39). The annex to the note reflects the resources to be approved by the Assembly in respect of each peacekeeping mission, including the prorated shares of the support account and of the Logistics Base. It notes that resources to be approved by the Assembly for UNSMIH, UNOB and UNMISET are commitment authorities with assessment for the period from 1 July to 31 October 2004. 

    The Committee took note of the information contained in the document.

    The representative of Japan said the projection that the next peacekeeping operations budget might rise to $4.5 billion was slowly becoming a reality, representing a precipitous increase of more than 60 per cent over the last budget to a level unprecedented in history. He questioned whether Member States capacity to pay could actually accommodate such a precipitous increase. Japan’s Government was not blessed with a budget mechanism that could easily absorb a more than 60 per cent increase in a major budget item. There was criticism within Japan for providing money to peacekeeping operations for the benefit of the parties who might not be willing to settle their conflicts. That criticism was reinforced by the fact that Japan, which was not a permanent member of the Security Council, often had no say in the Council’s decisions concerning the long-term policies of individual peacekeeping operations, despite Japan’s obligation to shoulder about one fifth of the related costs.  It was intolerable for Japan to be left out of discussions especially if those discussions, were held without due consideration for facing “the moment of truth” for cases where there was a perceived lack of will to pursue peace.

    The very steep increase in the peacekeeping budget would consume resources that could have been allocated for humanitarian assistance or poverty reduction, he said.  Japan’s share of the burden was expected to reach some $900 million -- an amount almost equal to the total Japanese annual voluntary contribution to all United Nations funds and programmes. The next assessments for peacekeeping might have a devastating impact on Japan’s support for emergency and humanitarian assistance through international organizations. The $900 million was equivalent to about one tenth of Japan’s total official development assistance (ODA), and was slightly more than Japan’s current annual bilateral assistance to African countries.  If limited resources were consumed in the name of peace, there might be little left for helping those who were in extreme poverty and were unable to live in dignity.  He urged the Council to give serious thought to exit and completion strategies of the ongoing operations.

    The fact that almost 70 per cent of peacekeeping operation activities were taking place in Africa should be taken seriously, he said. Peacekeeping operations without exit/completion strategies seemed synonymous to a situation where there was lack of will to pursue peace. The parties to the conflict must play the key roles for peace.  In that regard, he welcomed the establishment of the Peace and Security Council in the African Union.

    Finally, the Committee adopted, without a vote, a draft decision on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/58/L.92). By its terms, the Assembly would decide to defer to its fifty-ninth session several items, including the Secretary-General’s report on the status of possible funding arrangements for the capital master plan. Under the agenda item on the financing of peacekeeping operations, it would decide to defer consideration of the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as of 30 June 2003 and the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund.

    Speaking before action, the representative of the United States regretted that the Committee had been unable to take a position on application of surplus cash from closed peacekeeping missions. Many had expressed concern about arrears and delayed payment to troop-contributing countries. Some had blocked consensus on the issue. The United States remained committed to addressing the question of arrears. The action of a few, however, had prevented action on the matter during the fifty-eighth session.

    The representative of Uruguay also expressed disappointment on the lack of will to resolve the difficult situation of troop-contributing countries that had not been reimbursed for longer than 10 years. While his delegation had made a number of proposals in an attempt to find a solution to the problem, none of the proposals had been discussed on the basis of their merits. He was concerned with the new format of discussions taking place in the Fifth Committee.

    Australia’s representative, speaking also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand (CANZ), said he was disappointed that consensus had not been reached on closed mission cash and the peacekeeping reserve fund. Any solution to the problem needed to address the fundamental issue of Member States non-payment, which was the reason why it had been impossible for the Secretariat to reimburse Member States owed monies. He was disappointed that one or two had blocked agreement on the return of $94 million to Member States. That money was usually being returned on an annual basis. By not returning the money, the Committee was punishing Member States that paid in full, on time and without condition. At the next session, he would ask the bureau to schedule a discussion on the issue very early, so that the money could be returned to Member States in the 2004-2005 financial year, when all would receive substantial increases in assessments.

    India’s representative said it had been the tradition in the United Nations to take the concerns of all on board in adopting a resolution. He, too, was disappointed at the lack of will to negotiate on some issues during the session. His delegation had also made many proposals and it was regrettable that those issues had to be deferred to the next session.

    Egypt’s representative stressed the need for adequate time to consider the issues before the Committee.

    Ireland’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Union was disappointed that the Committee had been prevented by one Member State from concluding negotiations on the return to Member States of the $94 million from closed peacekeeping missions. That Member State had objected to the return of the closed-mission money and transfer of the

    $11 million in the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund in the hope that funds could be used to liquidate debts to troop-contributing countries. The Union shared that country’s dissatisfaction that arrears to closed peacekeeping operations rendered the United Nations unable to reimburse fully troop-contributing countries for those missions. While she sympathized with attempts to address that, the myopic manner in which that was now being done failed to address the root cause of the problem.

    Using the $94 million to reimburse only troop-contributing countries overlooked the vast majority of Member States who would not gain any benefit as they were not troop-contributing countries to those missions, she said. By taking that step, troop-contributing countries would be given priority and reimbursed at the expense of the wider membership. As it was unlikely that arrears to closed peacekeeping operations would soon be cleared, using the $94 million to reimburse troop-contributing countries would simply be a transfer to the wider membership of the current debt to troop-contributing countries. The Union would strongly question the signal such a move would send to Member States.

    Rights of Reply

    Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Israel asked that Chair to have the representative of Saudi Arabia further clarify his earlier statement.

    The representative of Saudi Arabia said that Israel’s representative had said that “military operations” had taken place close to the United Nations buildings in Lebanon and had put them in danger. Saudi Arabia would only point out that another Israeli representative had made a contrasting statement on the matter during the Assembly’s fifty-fifth session.

    The representative of Israel said that the word “military” did not appear in his statement.  He went on to give a detailed description of the incident. He said that, while he regretted having to make a long statement, when his previous statement had been manipulated by another delegation, such historical perspective was necessary.

    The representative of Saudi Arabia drew attention to a Security Council resolution from 1996, which he said clearly showed that it was unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of any “errors”.

    Closing Remarks

    In closing remarks, Chairman HYNEK KMONÍČEK (Czech Republic) said that negotiations had been lengthy and often difficult, but in the spirit of compromise, decisions had been reached and the Committee had “delivered”. He said that before he had become Chair of the Committee he had been aware that, throughout the United Nations system, Ambassadors whispered that the Fifth Committee should be avoided at all costs.  Nevertheless, he had learned many lessons and would use his experience as an opportunity to promote the position of Chair and of the Committee itself.  He said that the Committee’s work ebbed and flowed like the tides, and his experience during the session would no doubt live on in his dreams -- “not nightmares”. He thanked his colleagues on the bureau, members of the ACABQ, all delegations and Secretariat support staff that had helped out over the past weeks and months of the Committee’s work.

    Also making closing remarks were the representatives of Ireland (speaking on behalf of the European Union), Qatar (speaking on behalf of the Group of 77), the United States, Guyana (speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), Nigeria (speaking on behalf of the African Group), Japan, Canada (speaking on behalf of New Zealand, Australia and Canada) and Slovenia, (speaking on behalf of Eastern European States).

    (annexes follow)


    ANNEX I

    Vote on Separate Paragraphs/Financing Lebanon Force

    Preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 of the draft resolution on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/58/L.81) were retained by a recorded vote of 80 in favour to 2 against, with 51 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Israel, United States

    Abstain:  Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

    Absent:  Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Costa Rica, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

    END OF ANNEX I



    ANNEX II

    Vote on Financing United Nations Lebanon Force

    The draft resolution on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/58/L.81) was approved by a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 2 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

    In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Israel, United States.

    Abstain:  Cameroon.

    Absent:  Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

    * *** *