14 December 2004
Fifth Committee Takes up 2006-2007 Budget Outline;
Womens Institute, Sierra Leone Court Financing
NEW YORK, 13 December (UN Headquarters) -- At the outset of the final week of its work for the main part of the session, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) took up the preliminary outline of the Organizations requirements for the next biennium, 2006-2007, which -- at $3.01 billion -- represents zero growth compared to the current biennium, before inclusion of special political missions established by the Security Council or General Assembly. Once those missions were taken into account, however, the total amount could come to as much as $3.76 billion.
A budget outline is normally presented at the end of the off-budget year and contains an estimate of resources to accommodate the proposed programme of activities; the Organizations main priorities; real positive or negative growth compared with the previous budget; and the size of the contingency fund. It represents a preliminary indication of the resources that might be required in the coming biennium. Once the outline is approved, the Secretary-General prepares the budget on that basis. The estimates can be either higher or lower than the preliminary estimate.
According to the Secretary-Generals report on the matter, introduced by Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts and United Nations Controller, Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, once required provisions for special political missions were fully included, the total preliminary estimate of $3.359 billion would represent an increase of $180 million (5.7 per cent), compared with 2004-2005. The report recommends that the level of the Contingency Fund be set at 0.75 per cent, or $25.2 million.
Presenting comments by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), its Chairman, Vladimir Kuznetsov, said that the ACABQ was recommending a preliminary estimate of $3.76 billion for the biennium 2006-2007 at revised 2004-2005 rates -- a figure that was nearly $15 million higher than what would have resulted from the updating and recosting of the Secretary-Generals initial proposal made in October. That was because the proposed level of expenditures for special political missions could add at least $30 million to the $180 million initially forecast by the Secretary-General, not including any delayed impact for 2006-2007.
As the Committee turned to a related issue of financing special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the Assembly or the Council, the United States representative expressed full support for the Secretary-Generals proposals in that regard, saying that such missions provided a critical element of country- and regional-specific initiatives for maintaining peace and security. Special political missions were often a critical precursor to broader United Nations involvement on an issue, as had been the case of the Sudan, where the work of the Special Representative had been essential in facilitating a peace agreement.
Introducing the Secretary-Generals report on the matter, Mr. Halbwachs said that the total 2005 requirements of 25 special political missions emanating from the decisions of the Assembly and the Council -- which varied in duration -- amounted to some $177.55 million net ($189.68 million gross). However, $14.9 million would be met through the utilization of anticipated unencumbered balance against the amounts provided in 2004. Therefore, the overall additional requirements requested in the present report would amount to $162.5 million net ($174.8 million gross).
By resolution 58/271, the Assembly appropriated some $169.43 million for special political missions under section 3, Political affairs, of the programme budget for 2004-2005. With some $166.43 million already charged against that appropriation during the course of 2004 and with Assembly action pending on the funding of the United Nations advance team in the Sudan, the Assembly will not only exhaust the full provision for special political missions, but will also appropriate an additional amount of some $17 million net ($17.79 million gross) to cover the remaining requirements of the Sudan team.
Also today, the Committee addressed the budgetary implications of a draft resolution proposed by the Third Committee regarding the revitalization of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), which would amount to $1.18 million for 2005. Even though INSTRAW is supposed to be financed by voluntary contributions, speakers pointed out that the Institute had been without leadership for several years and that voluntary contributions would run out in the course of January 2005. Since the appointment of a new Director, the Institute had taken the right track and had shown financial discipline and should, therefore, be supported, they said.
The Committee also had before it a request for a subvention for $20 million to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, as it will have exhausted its available voluntary contributions in 2005. The request noted that the Court had not needed access to an earlier subvention for 2004, as sufficient voluntary contributions had been made.
Although some speakers, notably the representative of Japan, objected to allocating money to an institution that was, by its establishment, dependent on voluntary contributions, many speakers supported the subvention, as they said the Court was of vital importance to the peace and stability in Sierra Leone and to the national reconciliation process. The representative of South Africa, for example, said that she could not support any decision that could jeopardize the existence of the Court, as the successful conclusion of the Court would serve as an example of the unequivocal stance of Member States against impunity.
Also today, Jaime Sevilla, Principal Inter-Agency Officer, United Nations System chief Executives Board for Coordination, introduced the report on administrative and budgetary coordination of the United Nations with the specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The representatives of Cuba, Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Pakistan, China, Mexico, Qatar (on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China), Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uganda, Venezuela, Brazil (on behalf of the Rio Group), Sierra Leone, Nigeria and United Republic of Tanzania also spoke.
The Fifth Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 14 December, to consider the first performance report for the programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this morning was expected to take up several reports under its agenda item on the programme budget for 2004-2005 and consider programme budget implications of drafts prepared by other Main Committees.
2006-2007 Budget Outline
The Committee had before it a Secretary-Generals report on the Proposed programme budget outline for the biennium 2006-2007 (document A/59/415), submitted in accordance with Assembly resolution 41/213 of 1986 requesting such an outline in off-budget years. The outline contains: preliminary estimate of resources to accommodate the proposed programme of activities; priorities; real positive or negative growth compared with the previous budget; and size of the contingency fund.
According to the report, the preliminary estimate for established activities for 2006-07 is $3.36 billion. Proposed priorities are: maintenance of international peace and security; promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development; development of Africa; promotion of human rights; effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts; promotion of justice and international law; disarmament; drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
The preliminary estimate before inclusion of special political missions ($3.01 billion) has zero growth compared to the previous budget. Once account is taken of required provisions for special political missions, the total estimate of $3.36 billion would represent an increase of $180 million, or 5.7 per cent, compared with existing provisions for the biennium 2004-2005. The report recommends that the level of the contingency fund be set at 0.75 per cent, or $25.2 million.
In a related report (document A/59/600), the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) recommends that the General Assembly adopt a preliminary estimate of $3.76 billion for the biennium 2006-2007 at revised 2004-2005 rates. It also recalls that the purpose of the budget outline is to provide Member States with a preliminary indication of the resources that may be required in the coming biennium. Once the outline is approved, the Secretary-General prepares the budget on that basis. These estimates can be either higher or lower than the preliminary estimate approved on the basis of the budget outline.
The Advisory Committee further comments on the information contained in the Secretary-Generals report that one-time costs amounting to $21.7 million, included in the biennium 2004-2005, would not be required in the next biennium. These provisions relate mainly to the strengthening of the security and safety of the United Nations operations, staff and premises. In addition, there were non-recurrent costs for substantive and public information support related to the Eleventh Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the eleventh session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the World Summit on the Information Society.
Also included in the budget outline is an amount of $10.5 million for new or expanded activities or events foreseen and/or mandated in the biennium 2006-2007. Those resources are foreseen to strengthen human rights and humanitarian assistance, the economic sector, humanitarian activities and the United Nations Office at Nairobi. The estimates also include the requirements for public information support for the conferences and meetings, mentioned therein, foreseen in the next biennium, as well as provisions to meet requirements for after-service health insurance, reflecting the growth of the population entitled, as well as higher insurance costs.
Regarding special political missions, the Advisory Committee points out that the budget outline treats them as being of a recurrent nature. The Committee notes that the initial provision for special political missions in 2004-2005 amounted to $169.4 million. However, it is estimated that full biennial provision in 2006-2007 for special political missions currently existing in 2004-2005 would exceed $350 million. Furthermore, although the present composition may change, it is not anticipated that the overall level will decrease substantively. Taking this into account, an increase of $180 million is included, thus putting the funding level for special political missions at $349.4 million in the biennium 2006-2007.
The ACABQ goes on to concur with the Secretary-Generals proposal to maintain the contingency fund at 0.75 per cent of the proposed outline for 2006-2007 and states that its size should be brought to the attention of governing bodies whenever decisions involving financial implications are taken.
Special Political Missions
An addendum to the Secretary-Generals report on special political missions (document A/59/534/Add.1) contains information on the status of appropriations for special political missions as of November 2004 and seeks funding for the second year of the biennium for 25 special political missions in connection with actions taken or expected to be taken by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council. A complete list of the special missions, indicating their respective appropriations for 2004 and estimated expenditures and requirements for 2005, is contained in Table 1 of the document.
The document recalls that by resolution 58/271, the Assembly appropriated some $169.43 million for special political missions under section 3, Political affairs, of the programme budget for 2004-2005. At the time of writing the report, a total of $166.43 million had been charged against that appropriation during the course of 2004. With the action on the funding of the United Nations advance team in the Sudan for the 90-day period up to 10 December 2004, the Assembly will not only exhaust the full provision for special political missions, but will also appropriate an additional amount of some $17 million net ($17.79 million gross) to cover the remaining requirements of the Sudan team.
By its resolution 58/295 of 18 June 2004, the Assembly augmented the provision for special political missions when it provided $2.5 million for security-related requirements in special political missions. The three appropriation actions of the Assembly in December 2003, June 2004 and December 2004 would amount to a total appropriation provision of $188.9 million.
The report presents estimated requirements in the amount of some $177.55 million net ($189.68 million gross) for the 25 special political missions for the period up to 31 December 2005. Included in these requirements are resources for the liquidation of 2 missions, the mandates of which are not expected to be extended -- the Verification Mission in Guatemala and the Observer Mission in Bougainville. After taking into account the estimated balances expected to remain unencumbered for each of the missions at the end of their current mandate periods ($14.93 million), the additional amount being sought amounts to some $162.61 million net ($174.75 million gross).
Regarding the missions for which the mandates have not yet been extended, the Secretary-General points out that, without prejudice to any decisions that may be taken by the General Assembly and the Security Council, it is desirable, as in the case of peacekeeping budgets, to present the overall level of resource requirements for all missions at one time. That would allow Member States to review the overall level of resource requirements for political missions at one time, reduce the need for piecemeal consideration of budget proposals for special political missions and provide a greater degree of predictability regarding the overall level of resource requirements for political missions for the balance of the biennium.
Addendum 2 to the report (document a/59/534/Add.2) contains a request for a subvention to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. According to the document, owing to the continuing availability of voluntary contributions through 2004, the Special Court will not require access to the funding of $16.7 million contained in the commitment authority authorized by the General Assembly. It is, however, anticipated that the Special Court will have exhausted its available voluntary contributions and a subvention from the United Nations would be required from the start of 2005. Accordingly, the General Assembly may wish to:
Take note that the commitment authority valid through 31 December 2004 to support a subvention has been held unused and is being surrendered in lieu of a request for an appropriation in the following year; decide to appropriate the amount of $20 million, with effect from 1 January 2005 through 30 June 2005, under special political missions of section 3, Political affairs, of the programme budget for 2004-2005; and revert to this matter at the resumed fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly.
[In a previous report on the matter (document A/58/733) the Secretary-General, on the assumption that available voluntary contributions would carry the Special Court only to the end of the second year of its operation (i.e. until 30 June 2004), sought a subvention of up to $40 million to supplement voluntary contributions. In its resolution 58/284 of 8 April 2004, the Assembly authorized the Secretary-General, as an exceptional measure, to enter into commitments in an amount not to exceed $16.7 million to supplement the financial resources of the Special Court for Sierra Leone for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2004, on the understanding that any regular budget funds appropriated for the Court would be refunded to the United Nations at the time of liquidation of the Court should sufficient voluntary contributions be received.]
Related ACABQ reports (documents A/59/569/Add.1 and Add.2) were to be issued over the weekend preceding todays meeting.
Revised Estimates in Connection with ECOSOC Decisions
Also before the Committee was the report of the Secretary-General on revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive sessions of 2004 (document A/59/393). The required expenditures are estimated at $1.54 million, of which $964,000 could be absorbed within the resources approved for the 2004-2005 biennium. A net additional provision of $573,600 is required, which would represent a charge against the contingency fund for the biennium 2004-2005.
The Councils substantive sessions of 2004 related to activities on indigenous issues, on human rights, and of the Councils ad hoc advisory groups on African countries emerging from conflict. Among the resolutions requiring additional expenditures was resolution 2004/59, which urges the ad hoc advisory groups to foster practical recommendations and strategic advice on how to make the transition from relief to development, and to increase relationships with the United Nations Development Group/Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs working group on transitional issues by exploring the complementary nature of their work.
An addendum to this report (document A/59/393/Add.1) informs the Assembly of the budgetary requirements resulting from resolution 2004/69 adopted by the ECOSOC at its last resumed substantive session of 2004, relating to activities of the newly reconstituted Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters in the areas of tax policy and tax administration. The Committee, as of 2005, will meet on a yearly basis for not more than five days in Geneva, within existing resources. The requirements arising as a result of the resolution, estimated at full cost of $294,900 for 2005, can be absorbed within resources approved for the biennium 2004-2005. The related requirements for the biennium 2006-2007 and beyond are estimated at $589,800 per biennium. These requirements would be included in the proposed programme budgets as of the biennium 2006-2007.
A report by the ACABQ (document A/59/542) recommends that the Fifth Committee take note of the estimate of $573,600 on the understanding that necessary appropriations will be requested by the Secretary-General in the context of a consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revised estimates to be submitted to the General Assembly. Information provided by the Council on current performance for the affected sections of the programme budget indicates that there is currently under-expenditure. The Advisory Committee expects that this situation would lead to an additional capacity to absorb and intends to take this into account when considering the possible appropriation of the amount requested by the Secretary-General.
In another report (document A/59/597), the Advisory Committee recommends approval of the Secretary-Generals proposals in connection with ECOSOC decisions. The expenditure requirements arising as a result of the adoption of resolution 2004/69, estimated at full cost of $294,900 for 2005, can be absorbed within resources approved for the biennium 2004-2005 under section 2, General Assembly affairs and conference services ($126,100), section 9, Economic and social affairs ($165,900) and section 29E, Administration, Geneva ($2,900). The related requirements for the biennium 2006-2007 and beyond are estimated at $589,800 per biennium. These requirements would be included in the proposed programme budgets for the biennium 2006-2007 and subsequent bienniums.
Programme Budget Implications of Committee Drafts
The Committee had before it a report of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) (document A/59/560), the report of the Secretary-General on the financial situation of INSTRAW (document A/59/433) and the statement submitted by the Secretary-General on the programme budget implications of draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.26, concerning the future operation of INSTRAW (document A/C.5/59/16).
Commenting on those documents, the ACABQ, in a related report (document A/59/579) notes that following the appointment of a new Director last December, the new team has analysed the underlying causes of the Institutes chronic financial crises. It concluded that one of the factors had been the lack of trust of the donor community. This was further exacerbated by the fact that the post of Director had been vacant for two years prior to the appointment of the current incumbent. It was therefore essential to rebuild trust, and the work programme of the Institute has been designed to achieve this goal. The Director indicated that she was confident that trust could be restored.
In its strategic framework, INSTRAW has outlined its four main areas of work, namely, research, information and communication, capacity-building and training, and institutional development. In the area of institutional development, the Institute intends to develop results-based management processes that optimize the use of resources with transparency and accountability. Other objectives include development of new initiatives for resource mobilization, exploration of new funding sources, strengthening of the working relationship with the Executive Board and working more closely with partners and stakeholders.
The Advisory Committee points out that funding of the core activities of the Institute from the regular budget since 1999 has been an extraordinary, temporary measure, intended to allow the Institute to become financially viable. The statute of INSTRAW stipulates that the Institute shall be funded by voluntary contributions by States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, foundations, including the United Nations Foundation, private and other sources. It has been incumbent upon INSTRAW to develop a realistic strategy for achieving financial autonomy. To continue to provide support on an extraordinary basis is not sound, and the ACABQ urges that consideration be given to a more long-term, viable solution.
Draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.26 on the future operation of INSTRAW, by which the Assembly would decide to provide its full support to the current efforts to revitalize INSTRAW and ensure that the Institute would be able to continue functioning for a period of at least one year (from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2005), was adopted by the Third Committee on 4 November 2004.
The Secretary-Generals statement on the programme budget implications of that text indicates that resource requirements for 2005 are estimated at some $1.18 million. The balance of the Trust Fund for the Institute as at 31 December 2004 is projected to be approximately $91,300. Additional pledges of $12,900 to the Fund were made by four countries during the Pledging Conference for Development Activities on 11 November. These funds would enable the Institute to continue its operations until January 2005. At present, it is not possible to determine whether the Institute would have adequate resources from voluntary contributions to function beyond 31 January 2005.
In the event that insufficient voluntary contributions are received prior to 31 January 2005, continued operation of INSTRAW through the end of 2005, as called for in the draft, would give rise to additional requirements of $1.09 million under section 9, Economic and social affairs, of the programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005. The Advisory Committee understands that, should additional voluntary funds become available, they would be used to offset the amount of the regular budgetary requirement. The additional requirements would need to be considered for appropriation in the context of the review of the consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revised estimates, provided for in the procedures established for the use of the contingency fund, which contains resources for previously unscheduled activities.
As indicated in the Secretary-Generals statement on draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.49 on human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.5/59/19), under the terms of operative paragraph 4 of that text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue to provide his good offices and to pursue his discussions on the situation of human rights and the restoration of democracy with the Government and the people of Myanmar; to give necessary assistance to enable his Special Envoy for Myanmar, as well as to the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, to discharge their mandates; and to report to the Assembly at its sixtieth session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixty-first session on the progress made on the implementation of the resolution.
The Secretary-General estimates that the costs of continuing the good offices efforts through his Special Envoy for Myanmar, for a one-year period (1 January to 31 December 2005), amount to $294,900 gross ($252,400 net). Resources include the provision of salaries for the Special Envoy, at the rate applicable on a when-actually-employed basis, and that of a General Service (Local level) to provide support to the Special Envoy as and when required ($102,600). It also includes provision for travel of the Special Envoy ($95,600), the services of a consultant ($48,500) and miscellaneous services in support of the Mission ($5,700).
The Advisory Committee, in document A/59/597, states that the Fifth Committee may wish to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.49, a total of up to $288,700 gross ($246,200 net) would be required for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2005 for the continuation of the good offices of the Secretary-General relating to the situation in Myanmar.
Also before the Committee was a programme budget implication arising out of the decision by the Sixth Committee (Legal) (document A/C.5/59/20) to establish a working group to finalize the text of a United Nations declaration on human cloning. The proposal was made on the basis of draft resolution A/C.6/59/L.26. The working group would meet on 14, 15 and 18 February 2005, and the Sixth Committee would meet in the afternoon of 18 February 2005 to consider its report.
Should the Assembly approve that decision, the conference-servicing requirements, at full cost, are estimated at $128,600 (at 2004-2005 rates). However, it is understood that the working groups meetings would be held in lieu of the meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee on an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings, which have already been programmed for the biennium. Therefore, no additional appropriation would be required to service the five meetings of the working group.
An additional appropriation of $37,500 (at 2004-2005 rates), as a charge against the contingency fund, would be required in respect of the one formal meeting of the Sixth Committee anticipated for 18 February 2005.
In this connection, the Advisory Committee (also in document A/59/597) recommends informing the Assembly that the implications of the proposals contained in the decision of the Sixth Committee would not entail additional requirements for the five-day session of the working group in February 2005. The requirements related to the formal meeting of the Sixth Committee anticipated for 18 February 2005 ($37,500) need not be appropriated at this time; instead, such requirement, if any, should be reflected in the second performance report for the biennium 2004-2005.
According to another programme budget implications statement (document A/C.5/59/21), the adoption of the Third Committees (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.31, as orally revised, would not give rise to any additional requirements under the programme budget for 2004-2005.
By the text, the Assembly would welcome the establishment of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as well as the report of its first session, which took place from 1 to 5 March 2004. Paragraph 8 of that report states that the Committee decided to hold two week-long sessions in 2005, one in July and one in October. This arrangement would replace a three-week session, which had been initially programmed in the budgetary estimates prepared before the establishment of the Committee, only for 2005. The sessions of the Committee will be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The actual savings resulting from the reduction of conference-servicing requirements will be reported to the Assembly in the context of the second performance report for 2004-2005.
The Advisory Committee (document A/59/597) recommends that the Fifth Committee inform the General Assembly that, should it adopt draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.31, as orally amended, it would not give rise to additional requirements under the programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005. Moreover, the actual savings resulting from the reduction in conference-servicing requirements will be reported to the General Assembly in the context of the second performance report for the biennium 2004-2005.
The Committee had before it a programme budget implications statement (document A/C.5/59/22) on resolution A/C.3/59/L.29/Rev.1, entitled Rights of the Child. Among other things, that resolution would propose that the Committee on the Rights of the Child work in two chambers for a period of two years to clear the backlog of report of States parties. It would also request the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and Armed Conflict to continue to submit reports to the Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights.
The document points out that implementation of those terms would entail additional resource requirements of $1.622 million (gross) under the 2004-05 programme budget. That would represent a charge against the contingency fund and would require a related increase in appropriations for the biennium 2004-05. A staff assessment of $120,000 would be offset by the same amount under income section 1: Income from staff assessment.
Commenting on this document, the ACABQ (document A/59/597) notes that the bicameral work would increase the number of reports of States parties to be examined from 27 to 48 per year. However, the Committee was informed that it is not expected that the backlog will be cleared up completely. The ACABQ therefore stresses the importance of pursuing additional avenues in the context of the treaty body reform.
The Advisory Committee concludes that should the Assembly adopt draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.29/Rev.1, additional requirements of $1.62 million gross ($1.5 million net) would arise under the programme budget for 2004-2005. The additional appropriations would be considered by the Assembly in accordance with the procedures for the use and operation of the contingency fund.
The Committee also had a programme budget implications statement regarding recommendations contained in the report of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (document A/C.5/59/13) and a related report of the ACABQ (document A/59/567). The programme budget implications concerns paragraphs 347, 348 and 349 of the CPCs report (A/59/16), on Programme 24, Management and support services.
Paragraph 347 of the CPCs report would request the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its sixtieth session and biennially thereafter on the contribution made by the Department of Management to improvement of management practices in the Secretariat. Under paragraph 348, the Secretary-General would be requested to develop a time-bound plan for the reduction of duplication, complexity and bureaucracy in the Organizations administrative processes and procedures. The statement notes that the reports related to the requests in paragraphs 347 and 348 can be prepared within the existing resources currently allocated.
By the terms of paragraph 349, the Secretary-General would be requested to develop improved tools for identifying the cost of activities and outputs. Such a request would necessitate a feasibility study in 2005. The additional resource requirements for the feasibility study are estimated to amount to $500,000.
The Advisory Committee notes in its report that cost measurement exercises have been attempted by the United Nations a number of times with varying degrees of success. It point out that such exercises should not be time-consuming and cumbersome and that, once the initial data has been collected, any long-term system should be simple to administer. The cost of such an exercise must always be considered in relation to its potential benefit and practical usefulness.
The Advisory Committee recommends that the Fifth Committee inform the Assembly that, should it endorse the recommendations, the programme budget for the biennium 2004-05 would be modified as indicated in the statement, and that an additional amount of $500,000 would be required under section 29B, Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, of the programme budget for the biennium 2004-04, subject to the procedures for the use and operation of the contingency fund.
Also before the Committee was a report of the Secretary-General on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses relating to costs certified by the President of the International Court of Justices (document A/59/90). In accordance with Assembly resolution 58/273 of 23 December 2003, the Secretary-General is authorized to enter into commitments to meet unforeseen and extraordinary expenses during the biennium, without the concurrence of the ACABQ. The present report, which was submitted following a request by the Advisory Committee, reviews the adequacy of the provisions of the resolution on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses relating to expenses certified by the President of the Court.
The only adjustments recommended by the Secretary-General involve the provision on the designation of ad hoc judges to the Court, for which the ceiling currently is set at $330,000. While the International Court of Justice consists of 15 members elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council, a party to a dispute before the Court may choose an ad hoc judge whenever a judge of its nationality is not included on the bench. As the total number of ad hoc judges in any one year varies according to circumstances, the exact expenditure that will arise against this provision is not fully predictable. However, there has been a continuous use of this provision over the past years. Since 1999, when the ceiling was last raised, payments have varied from a low of $202,400 in 2001 to a peak of $456,800 in 2002.
In view of the consistent use of this provision and the fact that ad hoc judges will continue to be used routinely, the Secretary-General proposes that a continuing provision of $400,000 be established in the regular budget of the Court in the proposed 2006-2007 programme budget -- and that the ceiling under this component of the resolution on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the 2006-2007 biennium be adjusted to $200,000. No change is proposed for the biennium 2004-2005.
The report of the ACABQ (document A/59/551) recommends that the General Assembly take note of the report of the Secretary-General and approve his proposals related to the expenses for ad hoc judges of the Court.
And the last report before the Committee was a statistical report of the Chief Executives Board on the budgetary and financial situation of the organizations of the United Nations system (document A/59/315). Among other statistics presented in the document are assessments payable by members under approved regular budgets; percentage amounts of the assessed contributions payable by each member under approved regular budgets in 2004 and 2005; the level of voluntary contributions; and the level of working capital funds in relation to the level of approved regular budget estimates for 2004-2005.
Introduction of Documents
Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts and United Nations Controller, JEAN-PIERRE HALBWACHS, introduced the proposed budget outline for 2006-2007, saying that the preliminary estimate before inclusion of special political missions ($3.01 billion) had zero growth compared to the current budget. Once account was taken of required provisions for special political missions, the total estimate would represent an increase, compared with existing provisions for 2004-2005. The report recommended that the level of the contingency fund be set at 0.75 per cent, or $25.2 million.
Chairman of the ACABQ, VLADIMIR KUZNETSOV, introduced a related ACABQ report (document A/59/415), saying that in order to arrive at the most realistic and up-to-date preliminary estimate, it was necessary to take into account the latest costing adjustments, based on those contained in the first performance report. This year, it was also necessary to take into account proposals for security, special political missions and other revised estimates and programme budget implications currently before the Fifth Committee. Information in that respect was, of course, subject to adjustment as the result of the actual decisions to be taken by the Assembly.
He went on to say that the Advisory Committee was recommending a figure, which was nearly $15 million higher than what would have resulted from the updating and recosting of the Secretary-Generals initial proposal made in October. That was because the proposed level of expenditures for special political missions, if accepted by the Assembly, could add at least $30 million to the $180 million initially forecast by the Secretary-General, not including any delayed impact for 2006/2007.
NORMA GOICOCHEA ESTENOZ (Cuba) said in paragraph 5 of report A/59/415, two references were made to humanitarian assistance and humanitarian activities, and she wanted to know why there were two references. Were there going to be two different sections in the upcoming budget, she asked?
Noting that paragraph 7 of the same report stated that the budget proposals would reflect benefits from obsolete activities, cost-effective measures and simplified procedures, she asked what projects in that regard were envisioned.
THOMAS REPASCH (United States) asked, concerning implementation of regulation 5.6 mentioned in report 415, why it was possible to come up with specific proposals for expected increases, but not for ways to reduce the budget. He also asked for more specifics on obsolete activities, cost-effective measures and simplified procedures.
He said he did not understand the comments made in a related report by the ACABQ. What was the basis for the rounding up in the funding for special Political missions?
WARREN SACHS, Director, Programme Planning and Budget Division, Office for Programme Planning, budget and Accounts answered that the double reference of humanitarian activities in the report, as noted by the representative, was an error in drafting. The second reference should be ignored. Regarding obsolete activities, cost-effective measures and simplified procedures, he said the Assembly had called for continued activities under regulation 5.6 in the budget review. Obviously, there would be a net effect from such reviews, as obsolete activities and cost-effective measures would be identified. He could not be more specific regarding increases and decreases until the budget process had gone into more details. He stressed that the mandate calling for a budget outline was to produce a preliminary estimate.
Ms. GOICOCHEA (Cuba) asked for some further clarifications, for she had not understood the last portion of the explanation.
Mr. SACH replied that a standard conventional approach had been applied to the budget outline. He hoped he would be able to go into greater detail in informal consultations.
Mr. KUZNETSOV, ABACQ chair, responded to several questions on paragraphs 8 and 10 of the ACABQ report. Paragraph 8 related to the contingency fund, he said. The Advisory Committee concurred with the proposal of the Secretary-General on the level of the contingency fund, which should be set at 0.75 per cent of the proposed outline. The second idea contained in the report -- to which the United States had referred -- was that whenever a governing body took a decision involving programme budget implications it should also be informed about the level in the contingency fund, so that its members could be aware of the financial implications of their decisions.
On paragraph 10, he said that it would be clearer when the Committee took up special political missions. When projecting resource requirements in October, the Secretariat had not taken into account the latest developments in November and December. When dealing with the performance report, the Advisory Committee noted that those developments made for a difference of some $30 million. Thus, the Advisory Committee felt it might be prudent to add another $50 million to the level proposed by the Secretariat and round up the projection to some $3.76 billion to provide for potential charges for special political missions.
Introduction of Further Documents
Presenting several other reports, including the document on special political missions, the request for a subvention for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the estimates resulting from ECOSOC decisions, INSTRAW and programme budget implication statements on several draft resolutions before the Assembly, Mr. HALBWACHS first focused on the special political missions. The total 2005 requirements of 25 special political missions emanating from the decisions of the Assembly and the Security Council -- which varied in duration -- amounted to some $177.55 million net ($189.68 million gross). However, $14.9 million would be met through the utilization of anticipated unencumbered balance against the amounts provided in 2004. Therefore, the overall additional requirements requested in the present report would amount to $162.5 million net ($174.8 million gross).
As for the 2005 proposed staffing, it totalled 2,512 positions and reflected a net reduction of 233 positions from 2004. Requirements between individual missions varied widely, ranging from $180,000 for the Observer mission in Bougainville to over $63 million for the Mission in Afghanistan. In line with the Secretary-Generals commitment to further refine the results-based budgeting elements and to extend its application to other special political missions where practicable, the results-based budgeting techniques had been applied to special political missions included in the report, which together represented 99.6 percent of the total level of resources requested (22 out of 25 missions).
He added that, in resolution 58/272, the Assembly had requested the Secretary-General to further explore synergies and complementarities between various missions and other relevant entities of the United Nations in order to ensure efficiency and optimum use of resources and to report thereon in the context of future budget proposals on special political missions. The report provided a summary of efforts to achieve synergies and complementarities between various political missions and other entities.
Requirements for the two largest missions -- in Afghanistan and Iraq -- accounted for over $123 million, or nearly 70 per cent of the total resources requested. In Iraq the current mandate expired on 11 August 2005, and the report contained requirements only for the first 4 months of 2005. These amounted to $59.6 million. Requirement for Iraq beyond April 2005 would be requested at a later stage, taking into account developments over the coming months.
The current mandate in Afghanistan expired on 25 March 2005, but on the expectation it would be extended, resources for a 12-month period amounting to $63.6 million had been included, he continued. The two missions accounted for 1,789 positions or about 71 per cent of the total positions included in the report.
He also drew the Committees attention to two missions that were not anticipated to be extended and, as such, only resources for the liquidation phase had been proposed -- those two missions were the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala and the United Nations Observer Mission in Bougainville. In the case of one mission -- Special Envoy for Myanmar -- it was under consideration by the Assembly, and the related statement of programme budget implications would be presented separately at todays session. However, in accordance with the previous recommendation of the Advisory Committee on the presentation of consolidated budgets for political missions, it had been included in the present report on special political missions.
With regard to the Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee created by the Security Council in resolution 1535, the requirements were outlined in the report. In that case, the Secretariat wanted to have the six-month rule for the recruitment of former consultants waived. That was a requirement contained in paragraph 26 of General Assembly resolution 51/226, which stipulated that consultants could not apply for, or be appointed to, posts in the Secretariat for a period of six months after the end of their service. The ACABQ had been provided with the rationale for the waiver of a six-month rule.
Presenting the ACABQ comments on the matter, Mr. KUZNETSOV said that the most important of the Advisory Committees recommendations on special political missions concerned presentation and format. The ACABQ had noticed that two large missions, Afghanistan and Iraq, accounted for more than 70 per cent of all financial and staffing requirements.
It had been the Advisory Committee that had called for a budgetary provision for special political missions and for consolidated reporting, he continued. Nevertheless, as those large missions had emerged, they demanded consideration in a manner suitable to their size and complexity. He called for the Secretary-General to come up with a format that would allow for a detailed consideration of initial estimates for large missions, as well as the opportunity to monitor their budgetary performance. In other words, those missions would be reported on in much the same way as peacekeeping missions. At the same time, he stressed that the ACABQ was not calling into question the future status of those activities as special political missions, or the current mode of their funding.
The Advisory Committee was also calling for a reorganization of the report on special political missions, so that they could be presented in clusters based on thematic or regional considerations. He also recalled the ACABQs previous recommendation that arrangements in support of the Security Council be streamlined so that they could be integrated, thus increasing efficiency and optimizing the use of staff and other support services. Other main concerns of the Advisory Committee related to the need to: expand information on synergies and complementarities; maximize the use of existing resources with regard to aircraft, vehicles, facilities, equipment and human resources; fully justify requirements for travel, consultants and experts; and coordinate and integrate security requirements.
Regarding the request for a subvention to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, he said that it was the second time that a subvention had been requested. This year, the Advisory Committee had found itself in much the same situation as in March 2004, when the original subvention had been requested. The detailed and justified submission would not be submitted until the resumed session. Therefore, the ACABQ was not in a position to make a detailed recommendation as to the level of financial assistance required by the Court. Should the Assembly, as a matter of policy, agree to another subvention, the Advisory Committee recommended the grant of a commitment authority, instead of an appropriation pending the submission of the detailed report.
A discussion regarding the Programme of Work evolved, as there had been a request that the United Nations web site be considered under the current item. The representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union, objected, as there was now a need to concentrate on the agenda as set during the final week of deliberations.
The representative of Syria, however, emphasized that the item should be included as a sub-item, as it would not longer be possible to employ the web site under available resources, unless the Secretary-Generals proposals of two years ago were implemented.
The representatives of the United States, Jordan, Tunisia, Japan, Pakistan, China and Mexico also participated in the discussion. The Committees Chairman, DON MACKAY (New Zealand) announced that the Bureau would take up the matter following the informal consultations this morning.
MISHAL MOHAMMED AL-ANSARI (Qatar), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing States and China, taking note of the reports containing resource requirements of the special political missions, said he could not give detailed consideration to the contents of the reports, due to their late issuance. He stressed that the Assembly was the only body authorized to consider and approve the United Nations budget and that, in accordance with the Charter, the staff of the Organization should be appointed by the Secretary-General under regulations established by the Assembly.
Noting that phase II security-related requirements of special political missions were estimated at $31.8 million, he shared the view of the ACABQ that security requirements and arrangements of special political missions should be closely coordinated with the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator. Programme budget implications should be treated in accordance with Assembly resolution 41/213 and 42/211 guiding the operation of the Contingency Fund. Noting that the programme budget implications and revised estimates subject to the Contingency Fund were within the level of the Fund, he asked for an indication of the status of other items under consideration by plenary and other main committees that might have bearing on the level of the Fund.
He emphasized the preliminary nature of the estimate contained in the programme budget outline for the biennium 2006-2007, noting that the proposed amount of $3.36 billion would increase on the basis of the Fifth Committees decisions, which might increase the final level of the preliminary estimate to $3.76 billion. He agreed with the Secretary-Generals proposal to include in the budget outline the total amount related to special political missions, without prejudice to the outcome of the Committees negotiations on that item. He also agreed with the Secretary-General to maintain the level of the Contingency Fund at 0.75 per cent of the preliminary estimates. He further concurred with the proposed priorities for the biennium 2007-2007.
Turning to the item of INSTRAW, mentioning that Mexico also associated itself on that item with the Group of 77 statement, he welcomed the constitution of the Executive Board of INSTRAW, the adoption of programme of work for 2005 and the strategic framework. He also welcomed the fact that the first phase of the revitalization programme had been completed, following the recent appointment of the Director. He took note of the numerous important initiatives undertaken, including the redesign of the web site and cooperation with other United Nations entities, governmental agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector. That initiative had addressed the need of developing and developed countries, underscoring the integral part of the Institute in the United Nations system. He urged Member States to make voluntary contributions to the trust fund.
MARK ZELLENRATH (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, noted with interest the proposals of the ACABQ related to the presentation of the requirements for special political missions. He supported the Advisory Committees comments on the need to consider those missions in a manner that would be more suitable for their size and complexity, as well as the proposal to consider them in clusters. He supported the aim of improving transparency and emphasized support for continued consolidation of reporting. However, that in no way carried implications for the mode of funding for any mission.
He also welcomed extensive use of results-based budgeting and invocation of complementarities and synergies among missions. The Union welcomed the reiteration by the ACABQ of the need for efficient use of resources. The delegations he represented were prepared to approve the Secretary-Generals proposal and ACABQ recommendations on the matter and looked forward to further discussing it in informals.
MELANIE ATTWOOLL (United States) said her country fully supported the Secretary-Generals proposals on the resource requirements for his special political missions and good offices, as they provided a critical element of country- and regional-specific initiatives for maintaining peace and security. She commended the Secretary-General for successfully fulfilling the mandate of United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala.
She said the activities of special political missions were often a critical precursor to broader UN involvement on an issue, as had been the case of Sudan, where the work of the Special Representative had been essential in facilitating steps towards a lasting peace agreement. She wholeheartedly supported the recent provisions for the continued work of the Special Representative and his staff.
Noting the many ways in which the missions and offices had become integrated with the efforts of other United Nations entities -- and in particular with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the country level, she asked for further information on efficiencies and savings realized as a result of that collaboration. She encouraged continued and strengthened coordination and cooperation with all relevant entities.
Mr. REPASCH (United States), addressing the issue of extraordinary expenses of the International Court of Justice, said he did not see the value of allocating fixed resources to a budget that was contingent in nature. The President should seek approval for the expenses mentioned, so that he could be held accountable. He supported the proposals regarding the subvention for the Sierra Leone court, including the recommendations of the ACABQ. Regarding the programme budget implications for the Convention against Reproductive Cloning, he expected that the $37,000 mentioned could be absorbed in the budget.
Regarding INSTRAW, he said that, according to the relevant report, the Board had approved the programme of work and the finances, noting that there were no resources. He asked, in that regard, what the purpose of the Board was, if it did not plan for finances. He supported the goals for the advancement of women, but was disappointed that the Board had not been successful in fulfilling the terms of the mandate. Regarding the cost-measurement exercise as mentioned in the report of the Committee of Programme and Coordination, he noted that the ACABQ had indicated that those cost-measurement exercises had been tried before. He asked, in that regard, for more information on the result of those exercises. He also asked if the ACABQ thought that the recommendation of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) was a good one.
LUIS LITHGOW (Dominican Republic), aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, noted that his country was the host country for INSTRAW. It was the only entity of the United Nations system located in a developing country dedicated to research and training for the advancement of women. He reiterated his countrys unconditional support for the Institute, noting that during the short time the Director had been appointed, the Institute had managed to take the right path. He urged all Member States to give their backing to the Institute at an important transitional time, so that it could continue to do its work.
DIEGO SIMANCAS (Mexico) addressed the issue of INSTRAW, endorsing the statement by the representative of Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. He said that INSTRAWs initiatives targeted not just developing, but also developed countries. The Institute was an integral part of the United Nations system, and he had every confidence that, provided it got all the resources it needed, along with strengthened mandate, the Institute could play an important role.
Continuing, he also emphasized the importance of voluntary contributions from those States that were able to do so and expressed his appreciation to those who had made pledges for the functioning of the Institute. His country had made a financial contribution and provided assistance to INSTRAW. Member States should provide assistance to the Institute, particularly at this critical time.
FRANCIS MUMBEY-WAFULA (Uganda) addressed the issues of the draft related to the rights of the child and the Office of the Special Representative for the Great Lakes region. He associated himself with the statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and said that the position of his delegation had been consistently articulated in the Security Council and other relevant bodies. Children were the most beautiful things in our lives, and the rights of the child had a special place in his countrys national policies. However, his delegation had also expressed its displeasure with the way the Office of Children and Armed Conflict was operating. The debate on the comprehensive assessment of the United Nations response to children affected by armed conflict would be a good point of departure for his delegation to discuss alternatives for funding the Office of Children and Armed Conflict. The Secretary-General in his report was requesting Member States to look at alternatives for funding that Office, and Member States should also be examining the adequacy of their recommendations as a solution to the problems that were affecting its work.
With all that in mind, his delegation concurred with the Secretary-General in a number of areas, he said. His delegation continued to be concerned over the mandate, which should focus on advocacy, monitoring and reporting on the matter to the Council. Reports continued to be lacking in appropriate context analysis, and there was a lack of sustained momentum or improvement of child protection. It was also necessary to effectively mainstream the activities on children and armed conflict. Among other concerns, there was also a lack of a systematic monitoring and reporting system. His delegation was also concerned about the politicization of the Office, and he called on the Secretary-General to address those concerns, including those related to managerial problems.
For mainstreaming to be effective, funding for children and armed conflict projects would have to be increased. However, it would be difficult to realize the increase if voluntary funds were withdrawn, due to discomforts related to operational matters. The Office would have to be supported beyond regular funds. Funding for development programmes, and especially those aimed at crisis prevention and recovery, would be essential. His delegation would support the Secretary-Generals proposal on the understanding that, in streamlining of the Office, its facilitative leadership would be taken into consideration. He would support the provision of $950,000 for the Office of Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict on the grounds proposed by the Secretary-General, with the foregoing statement in context.
In conclusion, touching on the Special Representative on the Great Lakes region, he said that he would support the proposed budget, but wanted to put on record that he had concerns on the quality of staffing, especially as far as knowledge of the region was concerned.
ASDRUBAL PULIDO LEON (Venezuela), aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, paid tribute to the new Director of INSTRAW on the job done since she had been appointed. He pointed out that Assembly resolution 57/311 had asked for a report a year after appointment of the Director, but that the appointment had occurred only six months ago. He noted that since the appointment of the Director, there had been a strict budgetary control, resulting in significant savings. He said the Institute had been adrift in the past years, without leadership and guidance. Now, the Institute had taken the right track. The Institute had assigned particular importance to resource mobilization, seeking partners in financing. He hoped that those would come from developed countries. He also hoped that the Institute would take the recommendations made by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) into account.
HITOSHI KOZAKI (Japan) endorsed the ACABQ recommendations on the whole costs of the special political missions and the Contingency Fund. Regarding United Nations activities in the Sudan, he asked more information regarding the possibility of duplications. As for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, he said his country had difficulty in approving the budget for a body that had been established on the understanding that it was dependent on voluntary contributions. He was therefore not in a position to approve the proposal to appropriate $20 million. Recalling that his country had voted against resolution A/C.3/59/L.26 regarding INSTRAW, he stressed that that vote related to budgetary discipline, and did not reflect his countrys position on gender issues.
Ms. GOICOCHEA (Cuba) said that the issues under discussion were of great importance and she regretted the time limitations faced by the Committee. Her delegation supported the position of the Group of 77 and China and endorsed the interventions on INSTRAW. Today, she wanted to focus on special political missions, fully supporting the recommendations of the ACABQ on the presentation of the budgets of the missions, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The missions of that scale needed to be independently presented, like peacekeeping missions, without prejudging political aspects. With the high level of resources, a clear-cut and transparent presentation and proper supervision by the Assembly were needed. It was also necessary to improve the budgetary format for those missions.
Turning to the proposals related to the Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she said that she wanted to focus on the sensitive issue of the Security Council encroaching on General Assembly prerogatives. By its resolution 1535, the Security Council had decided that the revitalized Committee would be assisted by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, established as a special political mission. In paragraph 4 of the resolution, it had also addressed the organizational plan of the Directorate, including its structure, staffing requirements and budget needs. The Council had, in fact, taken a position on the features that must be followed in hiring those officials, recognizing the need for an effective management structure of the secretariat and staffing with suitably qualified and experienced personnel, who would be international civil servants subject to article 100 of the Charter.
That was a violation on the part of the Security Council of the prerogatives of the General Assembly, for administrative and budgetary aspects were within its purview. It appeared that it was not an isolated occurrence, but a newly established trend. That made it far more difficult to achieve agreement in the General Assembly, and Cuba rejected the practice where any major principal body would take upon itself the responsibilities allocated to other bodies. Such scattering, or dispersion of duties should be avoided when dealing with special political missions.
Beyond that, she wanted in informal consultations to receive information on the structure of the Executive Directorate, she continued. The ACABQ report indicated that the proposed staffing complement of that body for 2005 comprised 34 positions to be funded from general temporary assistance. She insisted that justification should be provided for that bloated super-structure. There seemed to be an attempt to secure a bloated budget, while departing from an established procedure. She also did not approve of the proposal to have the six-month rule for the recruitment of former consultants waived. That was an issue to which the General Assembly had been paying attention for some time now. She also had questions about the level of resources to cover travel expenses, which was mentioned in paragraph 35 of the ACABQ report.
NAJIB ELJI (Syria) endorsed the statement by Qatar on INSTRAW, as well as statements by representatives who attached great importance to the work of INSTRAW. He supported providing financial support to that Institute, which would allow it to expand its activities.
Mr. ZALUAR (Brazil), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, supported the position of the Group of 77, Dominican Republic and Venezuela on INSTRAW. He recalled that in 2002, the OIOS had conducted a comprehensive audit of the Institute and presented 13 recommendations, which had been fully implemented by the Institute and its new Director. Following the appointment of that official last December, the new team had analyzed the underlying causes of the Institutes chronic financial crises. It concluded that one of the factors had been the lack of trust of the donor community, which was further exacerbated by the fact that the post of Director had been vacant for two years prior to the appointment of the current incumbent. 2005 would be a critical year, when the General Assembly would be able to ensure long-term viability of INSTRAW by approving the modest proposal before the Committee.
J.O.C. JONAH (Sierra Leone) said the Special Court played a very critical role in efforts to establish peace, security and stability in the post-conflict environment of his country. His Government fully supported the current management of the secretariat of the Court. He hoped that the Secretary-Generals report would receive the full endorsement of the Committee.
KAREN LOCK (South Africa), aligning herself with statements made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the Rio Group regarding financing of INSTRAW, said she also supported the statement made by the representative of Sierra Leone. The creation of a Special Court should be seen as the practical support of the international community for the administrative of justice in Sierra Leone and was a critical part of the national reconciliation process.
She said the Secretary-General had previously expressed a preference that the court be financed by assessed contributions of Member States. Although the Security Council had approved financing based on voluntary contributions, it had not objected to requests for subventions. The Assembly had a subvention in its resolution 58/284, but the Court had not needed the funding authorized. However, now the Court had exhausted the resources available to it through voluntary contributions. She could not support any decision that would jeopardize the existence of the Court. The successful conclusion of the Court would serve as the unequivocal stance of Member States against impunity.
Regarding revised estimates resulting from ECOSOC actions, she noted that the items mentioned would fall within the level of the Contingency Fund. She hoped the Committee would, in that regard, only limit themselves to the financial implications and not dwell on matters that came under the purview of other Committees. She fully supported the Group of 77 statement relating to the role of the Assembly.
Mr. PULIDO LEON (Venezuela), adding to his statement made earlier during the meeting, said his country also endorsed the statement made by the representative of the Dominican Republic regarding INSTRAW.
NONYE UDO (Nigeria) agreed with the representative of Cuba, who had expressed regret that the Committee did not have adequate time to consider various reports. Her delegation fully associated itself with the position of the Group of 77 and China and endorsed the statements by representatives of several other countries, including South Africa and Sierra Leone. She took note of the request by Japan for additional information on the outcome of the efforts to raise additional extrabudgetary funds for the Secretary-Generals good offices, particularly the Cameroon-Nigeria Commission. There was going to be a meeting with donors, and she wanted to receive information in that regard. Also, the work of the Special Court on Sierra Leone was important for her delegation and she shared the views of Sierra Leone on that issue, as well as those by South Africa. The court should be properly funded, as its work was of utmost importance.
Continuing, she also emphasized the importance of the rights of the child issue and took note of the need for some clarifications in that regard. She awaited comments by the Secretariat on the matter. Although the Committee did not have enough time to study several important issues, all concerns should be taken on board.
JOHN J. NGONGOLO (United Republic of Tanzania) associated himself with Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and focused on the Secretary-Generals statement on the programme budget implications contained in document A/C.5/59/22. Part C of part II of that document addressed the current financial situation of the Office of the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. That office was to be funded by extrabudgetary resources, but the Secretary-General was informing Member States that donors had not been contributing funds, and available resources were to be exhausted in 2004. He was concerned over that situation, as it undermined the realization of the objectives for which the Office had been established. It should be funded from the regular budget.
Mr. KUZNETSOV, Chairman of the ACABQ, answering a question raised by the representative of the United States, said that ensuring the reliability of cost-accounting techniques was beneficial for both the Member States and the Secretariat. In the past, studies on cost-accounting techniques had been undertaken in the context of the conference services and, recently, by the OIOS regarding the process of internal justice. Within the Organization, there was no expertise available to carry out such studies. The cost of implementing the study could not be reliably projected and the results of the study were not certain either. Cost-accounting techniques should not be cumbersome and should be practical.
JAIME SEVILLA, Principal Inter-Agency Officer, United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, introduced the report on Administrative and Budgetary Coordination of the United Nations with specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as contained in A/59/315, saying that the report, the eighth of its kind, was produced every two years. It provided statistical data submitted to the Secretariat and covered, among other things, information on the regular budget and assessed contributions. The data covering peacekeeping information was not included in the report.
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