Press Releases

    GA/AB/3681
    9 June 2005

    Budget Committee Approves $3.2 Billion for 2005-2006 Peacekeeping, As It Concludes Resumed Session

    Also Recommends to General Assembly Comprehensive Text Aimed at Strengthening Peacekeeping Management, Administration

    NEW YORK, 8 June (UN Headquarters) -- The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) approved this morning a record-breaking $3.2 billion 2005-2006 peacekeeping budget for 14 ongoing missions and emphasized the need for budgetary discipline, improved management and adequate controls over budget implementation, as it concluded its second resumed session.

    The Committee customarily devotes its late spring session to assessing the budgetary and administrative needs of peacekeeping for the coming financial year, which runs from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.  Most of the 26 texts approved today address various aspects of peacekeeping, including budgets of individual missions, the financing of the Logistics Base in Brindisi, and the peacekeeping Support Account. 

    The main highlight of the session, however, was the elaboration of a 22-part consensus draft on cross-cutting issues relating to peacekeeping administration and management.  Lauded by some delegations as a milestone text, it is intended to help the Organization deal with the current unprecedented surge in peacekeeping operations and provide policy guidance at Headquarters and in the field.  The text addresses all aspects of peacekeeping, ranging from budget presentation and training to the conditions of service, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, procurement and recruitment in the field.

    Trying to elaborate a coherent and focused approach to peacekeeping management, the Committee, by this draft, recommended that the Secretary-General submit an annual overview on peacekeeping financing, which should include information on trends in the size, composition and funding of missions, relevant developments in peacekeeping, efforts to improve the missions’ functioning and management priorities for the coming year.

    The Assembly would also request the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), as a matter of priority, to carry out a comprehensive management audit to review the practices of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and identify risks of duplication, fraud and abuse of authority.  In the light of increasing demands on the Department, the Oversight Office would also be entrusted with a review of the Department’s management structures, paying particular attention to its cooperation and interaction with other departments, offices, relevant funds and programmes.

    Under the draft’s terms, the submission of budget proposals would become part of the leadership and accountability functions of the head of mission/special representative.  To ensure cost-effectiveness, the Secretary-General would be requested to review the functions of the posts on an ongoing basis and to determine their level according to changing requirements, actual responsibilities and functions performed.  He would also be asked to monitor the evolution of structures in individual operations to avoid duplication and an excessive proportion of higher-grade posts, bearing in mind the mandates and specificities of each mission.

    By the section of the text that is devoted to sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions, the Assembly would emphasize the need to develop a comprehensive, well defined and coherent policy to prevent and address allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in all United Nations activities.  It would also affirm that the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy and procedures towards acts of sexual exploitation and abuse should be clearly defined as a core management function, also addressing clear lines of responsibility and accountability relating to non-enforcement of codes of conduct, policies and preventive measures.

    Acting on the individual mission budgets for 2005-2006, the Committee approved the following amounts:

    MINURSO (Western Sahara)

    $   47,948,400

    MINUSTAH (Haiti)

    494,887,000

    MONUC (Dem.Republic of the Congo)

    403,408,500

    ONUB (Burundi)

    307,693,100

    UNAMSIL (Sierra Leone)

    113,216,400

    UNOCI (Côte d’Ivoire)

    386,892,500

    UNDOF (Israel-Syria Disengagement)

    43,706,100

    UNFICYP (Cyprus)

    46,512,600

    UNIFIL (Lebanon)

    99,228,300

    UNOMIG (Georgia)

    36,380,000

    UNMEE (Ethiopia and Eritrea)

    185,993,300

    UNMIK (Kosovo)

    252,551,800

    UNMIL (Liberia)

    760,567,400

    UNMISET (Timor-Leste)

    1,757,800

    Total

    $3,180,743,200

     

    The appropriation for each mission includes a prorated share for the Support Account and the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi.  The total requirements for the Support Account amount to some $130.4 million, and for the Logistics Base $29.07 million.

    The table does not include the resources approved for the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) for the period from 1 July to 31 October 2005.

    All but one of the drafts -– that on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) -– were adopted without a vote.  That text was approved by a vote of 128 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Honduras, Panama) (Annex II).

    A separate vote was held on several paragraphs of the text relating to the call for Israel to pay some $1.28 million for damage resulting from an Israeli assault on the UNIFIL base at Qana in southern Lebanon on 18 April 1996.  The Committee adopted those paragraphs by a recorded vote of 79 in favour to 3 against (Australia, Israel, United States) and 50 abstentions (Annex I).

    Acting on special political missions, good offices and other political institutions authorized by the Assembly and the Security Council, the Committee recommended the appropriation of some $24.2 million for the United Nations Political Office for Somalia and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

    To provide for the continuation of design work and other pre-construction projects under the Capital Master Plan, the Committee recommended that the Assembly convert $17.8 million of existing commitment authority into an appropriation with assessment for the current year and renew the existing commitment authority for the balance of $8.2 million for 2006.

    As many parameters of the Plan remain unclear, the Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to report during its next session on all its aspects, including current estimates of costs and time line; viable options for swing space during construction; the status of UNDC5; and an assessment on the viability of constructing a permanent building on the North Lawn of the United Nations Headquarters premises, as well as the range of financing options and overall cost of the Plan. 

    The Committee also recommended that the 2003/2004 excess balance of $13.79 million in the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund should be applied to meet the financing of the Support Account for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

    In other action, the Committee addressed reformed procedures for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment, as well as the programme budget implications of its own cross-cutting resolution and a Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) draft on a comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

    By several texts, the Assembly would take note of various reports taken up by the Committee, including those on the financial position of closed peacekeeping missions and standardized access control to the United Nations.  It would also defer to its sixtieth session several issues and related documents, including those on the outstanding assessed contributions of the former Yugoslavia; the use of gratis personnel; and possible changes in the number of posts subject to the system of geographical distribution.

    Action on Texts

    The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) first took up two texts related to the programme budget for the current biennium (2004-2005).

    The first one of those was a two-part draft resolution on special subjects and questions relating to the programme budget for the 2004-2005 biennium (document A/C.5/59/L.71).  By the terms of part I, strengthened and unified security management system for the United Nations:  standardized access control, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report and endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) in its related report.

    By the terms of part II, estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political institutions authorized by the Assembly and/or the Security Council, the Assembly would take note of the reports of the Secretary-General’s and the ACABQ concerning the Secretary-General’s request for additional funding relating to the expansion of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and for the subvention to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  Endorsing the Advisory Committee’s recommendations, the Assembly would decide to appropriate an amount of some $24.2 million under section 3, Political affairs, of the 2004-2005 programme budget for the United Nations Political Office for Somalia and the Special Court.  It would also decide to appropriate some $377,200 under section 34, Staff assessment, to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section I, Income from staff assessment, of the 2004-2005 programme budget.

    The Assembly would, by the terms of the text, approve the budget for the United Nations Political Office for Somalia in the amount of $5.02 million net ($5.4 million gross) for the period from 1 June to 31 December 2005.

    By further terms, noting the Secretary-General’s request for an additional subvention of $13 million to supplement the Special Court’s financial resources for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2005, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General, as an exceptional measure, to enter into commitments in an amount not to exceed $13 million to supplement the financial resources for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2005 on the understanding that any regular budget funds appropriated for the Court would be refunded to the United Nations at the time of the Court’s liquidation, should sufficient voluntary contributions be received.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to provide relevant information regarding the use of funds appropriated from the Court’s regular budget in the context of the second performance report for the 2004-2005 programme budget.  The Secretary-General is also asked to keep Member States informed about the Court’s completion strategy.

    Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution.

    Following action on the draft, a representative of Mexico said that it had been a pleasant surprise for him to note the position of several delegations and groups of delegations on granting of subsidies from the general budget to entities not belonging to the United Nations.  His delegation would work constructively with those delegations during the sixtieth session, when the time would be available to further analyse the issue.

    The Committee then approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the Capital Master Plan (document A/C.5/59/L.74).

    Prior to action on the text, the representative of Cuba pointed out a discrepancy between the English and Spanish versions of the text.

    By the terms of the text, the Assembly would decide to convert $17.8 million of the existing commitment authority into an appropriation with assessment for the year 2005 and to renew the existing commitment authority for the balance of $8.2 million for 2006, so as to provide for the continuation of design work and related project management and management of pre-construction services.

    By further terms of the text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report during the main part of the sixtieth session on all aspects of the Capital Master Plan, including current estimate of costs and time line for implementation of the Plan; viable options for swing space during construction, including the costs of all such options; the status of UNDC5; and an assessment on the viability of constructing a permanent building on the North Lawn of the United Nations Headquarters premises to be used as a swing and/or consolidation space.

    The Secretary-General would also be asked to report on such aspects as the range of financing options for the Plan and overall cost and full analysis of such options, taking into account that direct assessment would be the simplest and cheapest option for meeting the costs of the Plan, the progress of design and pre-construction work and proposals for a working reserve fund.

    Administrative and Budgetary Aspects of Peacekeeping Financing

    The first text on this agenda item was a draft resolution on cross-cutting issues (document A/C.5/59/L.53), introduced to the Committee by MORTEZA MIRMOHAMMAD (Iran), who had conducted informal consultations on the matter.  This 22-part text covers the issues ranging from budget presentation to the conditions of service, a global audit of field security management and procurement.

    Presenting the text, Mr. Mirmohammad emphasized the importance of the ACABQ’s reports for the work of the Committee.  However, based on his observations during informal consultations and since 2005 was a budget year, he believed it was important to bring to the attention of the Advisory Committee the fact that in many rounds of negotiations, members of the Committee found it difficult to decide whether comments of the ACABQ were, indeed, comments, recommendations or conclusions.  It was important to clarify that issue in the future.

    Expressing appreciation for the efforts of all peacekeeping personnel in dealing with the current unprecedented surge in peacekeeping operations, the Assembly, by the terms of the draft, would request the Secretary-General to submit an annual overview on peacekeeping financing, which should include information on trends in the size, composition and funding of missions, relevant developments in peacekeeping, efforts to improve the missions’ functioning, and management priorities for the coming year.  Information on the efficiencies resulting from the implementation of the resolution should be provided in individual budgets of peacekeeping operations for the financial year 2006/2007.

    The Assembly would also express concern over the unevenness in the quality of the presentation of budgets, reiterating its request to the Secretary-General to fully justify his budget submissions.  In the context of the overview report, the Secretary-General would also be requested to provide detailed information on major policy changes impacting on resource levels, human resources management or operational requirements that needed the Assembly’s approval.

    Also emphasized in the draft is the importance of budgetary discipline and the need to enforce adequate controls over budget implementation.  The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to entrust the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) with conducting a business process review of the preparation of peacekeeping budget proposals, including respective roles of staff in missions and Headquarters.  It would also decide that submission of such proposals should constitute part of the leadership and accountability functions of the head of mission/special representative.  To ensure cost-effectiveness, the Secretary-General would be requested to review the functions of the posts as an ongoing exercise and to determine their level according to changing requirements, as well as actual responsibilities and functions performed.

    Recalling its previous request for complex peacekeeping operations to review their structures, bearing in mind the specificities of each, the Assembly would further request the Secretary-General to ensure that the remaining complex operations conduct such a review and streamline their structures.  It would also ask the Secretary-General to monitor the evolution of structures in individual operations to avoid duplication and an excessive proportion of higher-grade posts, bearing in mind the mandates and specificities of each mission.

    As a matter of priority, the OIOS would be entrusted with a comprehensive audit to review the practices of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and identify risks and exposures to duplication, fraud and abuse of authority in the areas of finance, human resources and information technology.  The Assembly would also request an OIOS report reviewing the management structures of the Department, while taking into account the Security Council mandates and existing recommendations by the Office and the Board of Auditors.  Specific attention should be paid to interaction, coordination and cooperation of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations with other Secretariat departments and offices, as well as relevant funds and programmes.

    To achieve economies in resources, the Secretary-General would be requested to review, streamline and simplify procedures, on a continuing basis, and to recommend changes to regulations and rules in order to support more effective and efficient administrative processes.  The Assembly would also note the ACABQ’s observation regarding the need for full and timely implementation of recommendations of all oversight bodies, and urge the Secretary-General to expedite the establishment of the high-level follow-up mechanism towards that end.

    Further by the draft, the Assembly would stress the need to improve the cooperation and coordination between the missions and Headquarters with regard to lessons learned and areas of common interest that could be used by all missions.  The Secretary-General would be requested to take additional measures to ensure the safety and security and finalize the process for the establishment of guidelines for the enforcement of basic standards of conduct and behaviour for all United Nations system personnel.

    The Assembly would support strengthening coordination of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes in an integrated approach; note that reinsertion activities are part of the process; and stress the importance of a clear description of respective roles of peacekeeping missions and all other relevant actors.  To ensure effective use of resources and coherence on the ground, it would stress the importance of strengthened cooperation between various actors, both within and outside the United Nations system.  When submitting future budget proposals containing mandated resource requirements for disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion, the Secretary-General would be requested to provide clear information on these components and associated costs.

    In its staff-related paragraphs, the draft deals with such issues as training, recruitment and staff in the field.  The Assembly would emphasize the importance of finalizing a comprehensive training strategy and request the Secretary-General to report on the matter, along with the framework of the evaluation of training, at its sixtieth session.  Until the strategy is finalized, away-from-mission/Headquarters training of civilian personnel would be restricted to training specific to the implementation of the mandate of the mission, its effective functioning, the function of a post, or where it is cost-effective.

    On recruitment, the Assembly would recall that, in its resolution 59/266 of 23 December 2004, it has decided to establish an overall target of no more than 5 per cent of authorized General/Field Service posts across missions, with the exception of missions in a start-up phase, and other exceptional circumstances, to be filled by staff on assignment from Headquarters, and request the Secretary-General to report on the progress towards reaching this target.  In this connection, the Assembly would affirm that locally recruited staff may be recruited as international staff only through the normal recruitment process in which they compete with other external candidates.  The highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity should serve as the paramount consideration in the employment of staff, with due regard for the principle of equitable geographical distribution.

    The Assembly would further request the Secretary-General to make every effort to fill vacant peacekeeping posts expeditiously and decide that generic international vacancy announcements in missions that are posted on Galaxy should be accompanied by information on the location of current specific vacancies.  It would also note with concern the observations of the ACABQ regarding the practice of hiring individual contractors or individuals on procurement contracts to perform functions of a continuing nature, and request the Secretary-General to revert to the Assembly for its consideration of the creation of a post if the function is ongoing and is so warranted.  Taking note of the report on criteria used for recruitment to support account posts, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to update related information and to submit a report thereon, to be considered in the context of human resources management during the sixty-first session.

    Pending receipt of the information on the staffing of field missions, including the use of 300 and 100 series appointments (as requested in section X of resolution 59/266), the Assembly would decide to continue to suspend the application of the four-year maximum limit for appointments of limited duration under the 300 series in peacekeeping operations until 30 June 2006.  It would also authorize the Secretary-General to reappoint under the 100 series those mission staff whose service under 300-series contracts has reached the four-year limit by 30 June 2006, provided that their functions have been found necessary and their performance has been fully satisfactory.  However, noting that 278 of 346 eligible staff were judged to have performed “fully satisfactorily”, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to apply rigorously the criteria set out in its resolution 59/266.  The Secretary-General would be requested to continue the practice of using 300-series contracts as the primary instrument for the appointment of new mission staff.

    On sexual exploitation and abuse, the Assembly would emphasize the need to develop a comprehensive, well defined and coherent policy to prevent and address allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in all United Nations activities.  It would also affirm that the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy and procedures towards acts of sexual exploitation and abuse should be clearly defined as a core management function, also addressing clear lines of responsibility and accountability relating to non-enforcement of codes of conduct, policies and preventive measures.  Adequate mechanisms should be in place in this regard.

    To improve transparency and efficiency of procurement, the Secretary-General would be requested to ensure compliance with the mechanisms aimed at facilitating assessment of progress and final performance of vendors in all missions and immediate transmission of such evaluations to Headquarters.  The Assembly would also note the progress towards harmonization of Headquarters and mission procurement databases, and welcome the efforts towards improved transparency and accountability of a comprehensive procurement system, including availability of peacekeeping procurement data for Member States, as currently displayed on the Procurement Service website.

    The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to continue to improve procurement reporting to Member States and to consider procurement processes in the government and private sectors.  Noting the efforts to increase procurement opportunities for developing countries and countries with economies in transition, it would request him to continue to simplify vendor registration and take further steps to sensitize the business community to United Nations procurement opportunities.  The Assembly would also address the need to realize the benefits of proper procurement planning, and encourage the Secretary-General to continue to monitor causes of excessive procurement lead times at missions.  All peacekeeping missions should formally identify the training needs of their procurement officers and communicate them to Headquarters in order to ensure proper planning and evaluation of training.

    On asset management, the Assembly would commend the efforts to increase cooperation between missions, particularly those in the same region, and stress that any agreement on the loan or sharing of assets be clearly understood and documented by the missions involved, bearing in mind that individual operations should remain responsible for preparing and overseeing their own budgets.

    Further by the draft, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to take fully into account the return on investment for information and communication technology (ICT) and to report on its impact on the requirements for the Support Account.  It would also encourage full implementation of the ICT strategy adopted by the Assembly to avoid “unnecessary redundancies”.  In order to unify peacekeeping operations inventory, the Secretary-General would be requested to implement the Galileo system in all peacekeeping operations.

    Other sections of the draft address such issues as conditions of service, mission subsistence allowance, participation of United Nations Volunteers, regional investigators, the missions’ military components, global audit of field security management, air operations, ground transportation, ratios of vehicles, and information technology equipment to staff and rations contracts.

    Responding to a request made by the Committee during informal consultations, WARREN SACH, United Nations Controller, then provided clarification on the finalization of the comprehensive training strategy.  By the draft, the Committee was requested to note that various components of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations had already developed strategies for training of three distinct categories of personnel -– military, civilian police and civilian personnel.  Work on a Department-wide comprehensive training strategy was currently in progress and its completion was expected by the end of 2005.  The strategy would be based on the policy principles already set out in the Secretary-General’s report on the training policy and evaluation system of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, as contained in document A/58/735, as well as a needs assessment.

    Regarding staff appointed under the 300 series -– appointments of limited duration –- the Committee had requested the implementation of the suspension of the four-year limit until 30 June 2006 and its impact if the General Assembly did not make a decision by that specific date, he continued.  The Assembly, by its resolution 59/266, had authorized the reappointment of staff who had reached four years under the 300 series, provided their functions had been reviewed and found necessary, and their performance had been confirmed as fully satisfactory.  Staff who did not meet those criteria would continue to be employed under the 300 series, as required, but not beyond 30 June 2006.  The Secretariat would also be obliged to report to the Assembly on staff reappointed and those retained on an appointment of limited duration beyond 30 June 2005.  If the Assembly did not make a decision on the suspension until 30 June 2006, the Secretariat would be required to separate those staff who did not meet the criteria for reappointment.

    With respect to the impact of the suspension of the four-year limit, the Committee might wish to note that continued use of 300-series appointments of limited duration for more than four years was inconsistent with the scope and purpose of the contractual arrangement, which had been specifically intended for time-limited service.

    In connection with section VI, on the issue of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, he confirmed that the definitions set out in the Secretary-General’s note, as contained in document A/C.5/59/31, was the framework in which disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities were undertaken and that no funds for reintegration were included in the mission budgets.  Reintegration activities would continue to be financed from voluntary contributions.

    On the implications of paragraph 6, section VIII, of the draft, he said that the 5 per cent limitation of General Service staff from Headquarters on assignment to a peacekeeping mission would not apply to missions in a start-up or expansion phase, including the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), and the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).  Regarding section V, on the shared funding of posts of Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, he said that there was now a generic job profile, and a draft memorandum of understanding had been prepared.  Those were currently being reviewed by the senior management in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations before being transmitted to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for review and concurrence.  It was planned to conclude the process by the end of June.  By then, the final arrangements for cost-sharing of the posts and its effective date of implementation would be determined.

    He then proceeded to introduce the Secretary-General’s statement on programme budget implications of draft resolution A/C.5/59/L.53 (document A/C.5/59/32), saying that the OIOS had reprioritized its work plan and related resources to carry out the comprehensive management audit, as requested in the draft.  The statement of programme budget implications before the Committee outlined the budgetary implications for the OIOS in the amount of $466,600, inclusive of $235,000 for consultants and $231,600 for official travel.  Those resources had been reflected in the draft resolution on the Support Account (document A/C.5/59/L.77).

    Prior to action on the text, the representative of Egypt referred to section XIV, on sexual exploitation and abuse, on page 10 of the English text, saying that in paragraph 4 there was reference to the comprehensive report to be prepared by the Secretary-General, which would take into consideration the aspects referred to in paragraph 3 of the same section.  However, in informals, it had been agreed, that, should those elements need to be specified, the text should refer to both paragraph 2 and 3 of section XIV.  Thus, the text should read:  “requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session a comprehensive report based on a thorough analysis of the aspects referred to in section XIV, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the present resolution”.

    Cuba’s representative introduced a correction to the Spanish version of the text.

    The draft was approved without a vote, as orally amended.

    Following action on the text, the representative of the United States welcomed the approval of the draft and stressed the importance of such a broad resolution for the management of peacekeeping.  The text would serve as a tool to provide direction to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, without micromanagement from Member States.  While supporting the text, however, she noted that in its consideration of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and reintegration in particular, the Committee had not specified which elements should or should not be included in the budgets.  Reintegration should be financed from voluntary contributions, and she encouraged the Secretary-General to secure donor support for those activities as early as possible.

    The representative of Japan said that the draft represented the first major effort by the Fifth Committee to provide policy guidance for a more efficient and effective management of peacekeeping at Headquarters and in the field.  His delegation would like to see expeditious implementation of the provisions of the resolution, as well as relevant recommendations of the Board of Auditors and the ACABQ.  He looked forward to seeing a report on actions taken and progress achieved next year.

    Turning to the financing of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, he said that it was the understanding of his delegation that the resolution did not intend to make a comprehensive and final policy decision on future peacekeeping financing.  It did not constitute a precedent to the budgets of relevant operations in the future.  To put it more simply, there was no such thing as automatic provisions of assessed budgets to pay for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities.  His delegation supported the concept of integrated and complex peacekeeping missions.  It also attached great importance to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities, as his Government’s contributions in several countries clearly attested to.  However, integrated missions should not be used as an easy mechanism for financing activities that should be undertaken by other United Nations entities.

    Also before the Committee was a draft decision on the programme budget implications of draft resolution A/C.5/59/L.53 on the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations:  cross-cutting issues (document A/C.5/59/L.72), in which the Fifth Committee decides to inform the Assembly that should it adopt that draft resolution, an additional appropriation of $466,600 would be required for the peacekeeping Support Account for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006 for the Office of Internal Oversight Services.

    The draft was approved without a vote.

    The Committee then turned to a draft decision on programme budget implications of draft resolution A/C.4/59/L.20 (document A/C.5/59/L.73) on a comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

    [By the draft resolution recommended by the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), the Assembly would welcome the report submitted by the adviser to the Secretary-General on the matter and endorse the proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations contained in section II of the report on its 2005 resumed session (document A/59/19/Add.1).  Those include enforcement of uniform standards of conduct, as well as training in those standards for both military and civilian personnel.  The report emphasizes that managers and commanders must lead by example and ensure that all those under their supervision are aware of the Secretary-General’s policy of zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse.  Those found culpable must be punished by their respective supervisors.]

    Pending consideration of the comprehensive report on the matter and preparation of fully justified proposals, and bearing in mind the urgent need for a policy and management strategy pertaining to personnel conduct in the area of sexual exploitation and abuse, the Fifth Committee would decide to inform the General Assembly that, should it adopt the Fourth Committee draft, an additional appropriation, under general temporary assistance, would be required for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations for the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006 in the amount of $206,600 for the Office of Human Resources Management, and some $4.29 million for the Office of Internal Oversight Services.

    Also required during the 2005/2006 financial period would be additional financing for Personnel Conduct Units in several missions:  $379,600 for the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL); some $1.35 million for MONUC; and some $1.21 million for UNMIS.

    A total amount of $3.46 million would be required for similar Units at the UNOCI ($806,900); United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) ($916,100); United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) ($850,700), and MINUSTAH ($883,900).  That would not entail additional appropriation over and above the currently proposed resources in the respective missions’ budgets for the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

    The representative of Egypt said that the text contained several references to personnel conduct units.  As he recalled, the Committee had not actually agreed to the establishment of such units.  The agreement was that funding would be provided, according to the ACABQ recommendation, and that the Secretariat would use that funding to provide for immediate needs.  Thus, the version to be presented to the Assembly should be corrected.

    The Secretary of the Committee, MOVSES ABELIAN, said that should the Committee wish to do so, the document could be reissued in the report to be submitted to the Assembly.  Reference to personnel conduct units would be deleted.

    The Committee then approved the text without a vote, as orally amended.

    Also approved without a vote was a draft resolution on the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund (document A/C.5/59/L.75), by the terms of which the Assembly would decide that the excess balance of $13.79 million in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2004 would be applied to meet the financing of the Support Account for peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

    The Committee then approved, also without a vote, a draft decision on the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions (document A/C.5/59/L.69), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of several reports on the matter and decide to revert to the financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as at 30 June 2005 in the main part of its sixtieth session.

    Upon approval of the draft, the representative of Venezuela said that his delegation regretted that, on this occasion, there would be no reintegration of Venezuela’s share, bearing in mind that his country owed nothing for closed missions.  In the future, the situation should improve.

    The Committee then turned to a draft resolution on reformed procedures for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment (document A/C.5/59/L.76).  By this text, the Assembly would regret that the 2004 Working Group on Contingent-Owned Equipment was unable to reach consensus on several issues, including a review of the rates of reimbursement for contingent-owned equipment and self-sustainment and components for inclusion in the troop-cost reimbursement methodology, and approve the Secretary-General’s proposal that the next Working Group, scheduled to meet in 2008, should carry out a comprehensive review of the contingent-owned equipment system.  In fact, the Secretary-General would be urged to explore the possibility of holding the Working Group meeting earlier than 2008, if feasible.

    The Assembly would further decide that the next Working Group on Contingent-Owned Equipment should consider, without prejudice to the comprehensive review of the contingent-owned equipment system, the fact that there was no revision of reimbursement rates for the period 2004 to 2008, owing to the lack of consensus on an increase in the rates and on the methodology of the 2004 Working Group.  It would also note that, in addition to maintaining all existing components of the current methodology, the Secretary-General had proposed the inclusion of peacekeeping-related training costs and post-deployment medical costs in the troop-reimbursement methodology.

    Also, noting that the report on the rates of reimbursement to the Governments of troop-contributing countries (document A/57/774) did not address all the elements in paragraph 8 of resolution 55/274, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report on the matter during its next session.  In preparing the above report, the Secretary-General would be able to utilize external expertise, as appropriate.  Also in context of that report, the Assembly would decide to review the daily allowance for troops at its sixtieth session.

    And finally, by the terms of the draft, the Assembly would decide to set up a channel of communication between the Secretariat and the Member States on the contingent-owned equipment system, strictly for the exchange of information and for seeking clarification and not for reaching decisions that are within the mandate of the Working Group on Contingent-Owned Equipment and relevant intergovernmental bodies.

    The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

    Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy (document A/C.5/59/L.70), by the terms of which the Assembly would approve the cost estimates for functioning of the Base for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006 in the amount of $31.51 millionand notethe proposal of the Secretary-General to expand the Logistics Base, and request him to include detailed information on the financial and legal implications, as well as on the expected benefits that may arise from the expansion in his budget submission for 2006/2007.  It would also ask the Secretary-General to undertake further analysis of how the Base could best be utilized to provide efficient and economical services, including those in the field of information technology, for peacekeeping and Headquarters clients.

    Further by the draft, the Assembly would reiterate, as a matter of priority, the need to implement an effective inventory-management standard, especially in respect of peacekeeping operations involving high inventory value.  A request to the Secretary-General to ensure the fulfilment of existing policies and procedures relating to stock control and inventory and replenishment would also be made in connection with the management of strategic deployment stocks, which were introduced in resolution 56/292 to improve the Organization’s rapid deployment capacity.  Among other decisions in that respect would be the approval ofthe use of savings derived from the liquidation of prior period obligations and the unspent balance of the strategic deployment stocks to cover losses on currency exchange and replenishment of the stocks.  The Assembly would also approve the inclusion of strategic deployment stocks replenishment within the commitment authority described in section IV, paragraph 1, of its resolution 49/233 A of 23 December 1994.

    Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the text.

    By the terms of a draft resolution on the support account for peacekeeping operations (document A/C.5/59/L.77), the Assembly would approve the Support Account requirements in the amount of some $141.98 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including 761 continuing and 70 new temporary posts and their related post- and non-post requirements.

    Those requirements would be financed through applying to the 2005-2006 period the unencumbered balance of $874,800 for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004 and other income of some $1.87 million related to the period ended 30 June 2004, to be applied to the resources required for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, in addition to the amount of $13.79 million in excess of the authorized level of the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund in respect of the period ended 30 June 2004.

    By other terms of the text, the Assembly would stress the importance of adequate funding for the backstopping of peacekeeping operations and reaffirm the need for full justification for that funding in Support Account budget submissions, as well as effective and efficient administration and management of peacekeeping operations.  In that connection, the Secretary-General would be urged to continue to identify measures to increase the productivity and efficiency of the Support Account.

    While approving several proposed posts, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to rejustify several other positions and ensure that delegation of authority to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the Secretariat and field missions is in strict compliance with relevant resolutions and rules and procedure.  He would also be asked to entrust the OIOS with conducting an audit of standard costs applied to Headquarters overheads such as furniture and rental of premises, providing comparative costs on current market prices for these items, and to submit its findings during the second part of the Assembly’s resumed sixtieth session.

    The Assembly would also decide that all future requests for additional Headquarters capacity linked to new or expanded missions must be accompanied by an analysis of spare capacity created by any downsizing or liquidation of other missions.  Following the end of mandate of missions, mission-specific posts in the Office of Operations of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations should be disestablished or redeployed and reflected accordingly in the next Support Account proposal.

    Further by the draft, the Assembly would decide not to provide $350,000 requested by the Secretary-General for the independent review of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, as well as funds for Enterprise Content Management and Customer Relationship Management pilot projects, with the exception of the resources of $149,000 sought for the Archives and Records Management Section.

    Noting that, as a result of the expanded range of activities in the Situation Centre there is a need for a broader and balanced range of skills and qualifications among the Situation Centre officers, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that the 11 Operations Officer (P-3) posts are available for incumbency to all qualified candidates, including those seconded from Member States, keeping in mind the importance of representation of major troop-contributing countries.

    The Committee approved that draft, also without a vote.

    Mr. SACH, United Nations Controller, introduced the note by the Secretary-General contained in document A/C.5/59/33, which reflected the final approved resources for peacekeeping operations and their prorated shares in the financing of the Support Account and the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy.  The financing of the Support Account included the application of the excess balance of the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund in the amount of $13.79 million.

    The Committee then took note of the information provided by the Secretariat in that document.

    The Committee then approved a draft decision related to the financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (document A/C.5/59/L.68).  By this draft decision, the Assembly would decide that updated information on the financial position of those closed missions should be included in the report to be considered by the Assembly at its sixtieth session on the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions.  It would also decide to eliminate from its agenda the item entitled “Financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola”.

    Next before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/C.5/59/L.57), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as at 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $14.1 million, representing some 6 per cent of the total assessed contributions, noting with concern that only 55 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.

    By further terms, the Assembly would take note of the financial performance of the Force for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, and decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNFICYP the amount of $1.66 million for the Force’s maintenance for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, in addition to the amount of $45.77 million already appropriated for the Force for the same period under the terms of its resolution 57/332 of 18 June 2003.

    The Assembly would note with appreciation that one third of the net additional appropriation, equivalent to $500,800, will be funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus.  It would decide also, taking into account its voluntary contribution for the financial period ending 30 June 2004, that one third of other income in the amount of $451,300 in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2004 shall be returned to the Government of Cyprus.  Taking into account its voluntary contribution for the financial period ended 30 June 2004, the Assembly would decide that the prorated share of other income in the amount of $201,369 in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2004 shall be returned to the Government of Greece.

    By further provisions of the text, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Force the amount of $46.51 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $44.2 million for the maintenance of the Force, $1.9 million for the Support Account, and $424,500 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    Regarding the appropriation for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, the Assembly would note with appreciation that a one-third share of the net appropriation, equivalent to $14.7 million, would be funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus, and the amount of $6.5 million from Greece’s Government.  It would decide further to continue 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 seeking voluntary contributions.  The Assembly would invite voluntary contributions to the Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with established procedures and practices.

    The Committee approved the draft, acting without a vote.

    The Committee then approved, again without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document A/C.5/59/L.54), by the terms of which the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in the amount not exceeding $383.2 million for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July to 31 October 2005.  An amount of $20.22 million would be appropriated for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, comprising $16.53 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations and $3.7 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    Taking note of the status of contributions to the Mission as at 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $52.7 million (some 2 per cent of all assessments), the Assembly would note with concern that only 52 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urge all other Member States to ensure payment of their outstanding contributions.  The Assembly would also invite voluntary contributions to the Mission.

    The Committee next took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) (document A/C.5/59/L.58), which it approved without a vote.

    By the terms of the text, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and UNMISET as of 15 April 2005, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $66.4 million, representing some 4 per cent of the total assessed contributions, noting with concern that only 51 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  Endorsing the Advisory Committee’s recommendations, it would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004.

    By further terms, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Support Mission the amount of $1.76 million, including $1.66 million for the administrative liquidation of the Mission for the period from 1 July to 31 October 2005, $78,200 for the peacekeeping Support Account and $17,400 for the Logistics Base for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.  The Assembly would decide to apportion that amount among Member States for the period from 1 July to 31 October 2005.  It would also decide to apportion among Member States the amount of some $78,200 for the Support Account and $17,400 for the Logistics Base for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

    The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) (document A/C.5/59/L.64).  By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to UNMEE as of 15 April 2005, including contributions outstanding in the amount of $18.9 million, representing some 2 per cent of the total assessed contributions, and note with concern that only 31 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would also endorsethe conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the ACABQ and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.

    By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004.  It would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission the amount of $185.99 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $176.66 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $7.63 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations, and $1.70 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    It would also invitevoluntary contributions to the Mission in cash and in form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly.

    The draft resolution was approved without a vote.

    By the terms of the next draft resolution before the Committee, on the financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) (document A/C.5/59/L.61), the Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General on the financial performance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004 and decideto appropriate the amount of $36.4 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, inclusive of $34.56 million for the maintenance of the Observer Mission, $1.5 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations, and $331,400 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    The Assembly would also take note of the status of contributions to UNOMIG as at 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $11 million, and express concern over the fact that only 34 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would urge all other Member States, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    That text was also approved without a vote.

    Next up was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/C.5/59/L.63), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $82.7 million, representing some 4 per cent of the total assessed contributions, noting with concern that only 74 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  The Assembly would also take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004. 

    The Assembly would also decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNMIK the amount of $252.55 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $239.88 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $10.4 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations, and $2.31 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    It would also invite voluntary contributions to the Mission in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly.

    Mr. SACH, United Nations Controller, said the purpose of the training programme for national staff was to enhance their ability to perform job-related functions in the Mission and contribute to national capacity-building.  The training of national staff was intended to improve the efficient functioning of the Mission.

    Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft text.

    In a statement after action, the representative of Egypt said he hoped the request for the training as contained in the Secretary-General’s report and by the adoption of resolution should be taken into account in the context of the implementation.

    The representative of Venezuela also thanked the Controller for the clarification.  His delegation had expressed concern about the training in English for national staff to be transferred to other missions.  He was gratified to hear the Controller’s explanation.  He hoped what the Controller said would apply not only to Kosovo, but to all missions, and that training for national staff would be to perfect their work within the national dimension.  It should never be part of an effort to transfer staff to international status.

    The Committee then approved, acting without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/C.5/59/L.59).  By the terms of the text, the Assembly would take noteof the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $96 million, and note with concern that only 63 Member States have paid their assessments in full.  It would urge all other Member States, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

    By further terms, the Secretary-General would be requested to entrust the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to intensify his/her coordination and collaboration efforts with the agencies, funds and programmes in Liberia and to develop a work plan containing an integrated list of priorities, and report to it on actions taken, as well as progress made in the context of the Mission budget for 2006/2007.

    Taking note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Mission for the period from 1 August 2003 to 30 June 2004, the Assembly would, by further terms, decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNMIL the amount of $760.6 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $722.42 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $31.2 million for the Support Account, and $6.95 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.  It would also decide to apportion among Member States the amount of $166.9 million for the period from 1 July to 19 September 2005, and to apportion among Member States the amount of $593.66 million for the period from 20 September 2005 to 30 June 2006 at a monthly rate of $63.4 million

    The Committee then approved the text acting without a vote.

    The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/C.5/59/L.65).  By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as of 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $16.2 million, representing some 1 per cent of the total assessed contributions, and note with concern that only 49 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would also endorsethe conclusions and recommendations contained of the ACABQ in its related report and requests the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.

    By further terms, the Assembly would take noteof the report of the Secretary-General on the financial performance of the Force for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004.  It would also decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Force the amount of $43.71 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $41.52 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $1.78 million for the Support Account, and $398,300 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    The Committee approved that text without a vote.

    The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/59/L.52), which was introduced on 20 May 2005 by the representative of Jamaica on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China.

    By the terms of the text, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as of 15 April 2005, including outstanding contributions in the amount of some $60.9 million, noting with concern that only 73 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  Expressing deep concern that Israel did not comply with General Assembly resolutions, the Assembly would stress once again that Israel should strictly abide by those resolutions.  Endorsing relevant conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ on the matter, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with maximum efficiency and economy.

    Also by the text, requesting the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure full implementation of prior resolutions –- the latest being resolution 58/307 –- the Assembly would stress once again that Israel shall pay the amount of some $1.12 million resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996.

    Taking note of the financial performance of the Force for 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNIFIL some $99.23 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $94.25 million for the Force’s maintenance, $4.1 million for the Support Account, and $907,000 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    The representative of the United States requested that a single recorded vote be taken on preambular paragraph 4, and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13.  She further requested that a recorded vote be taken on the draft as a whole.

    The representative of Panama said his delegation was in favour of the resolution as it met the need to continue funding the operation.  His delegation would have to abstain on the text, however, as the Committee’s mandate was exclusively budgetary and administrative questions, and not political issues.  It was inappropriate to include in a funding resolution any claims about a specific country.  Such a demand could be expressed more appropriately in another setting.  At a time when Member States were seeking to revitalize the Assembly, it was important to ensure that any effort in that regard should be directed in a concrete manner consistent with United Nations practice.  It was not the first time such a text had been introduced.  The funding of peacekeeping operations should be handled in a non-discriminatory manner.  Such political elements in the draft would not make the Force more efficient.

    The Committee adopted preambular paragraph 4, and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 by a recorded vote of 79 in favour to 3 against (Australia, Israel, United States), and 50 abstentions (Annex I).

    The Committee then adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), and 3 abstentions (Australia, Panama, Honduras) (Annex II).

    The representative of Australia said that, while her delegation supported the continuation of UNIFIL, it had abstained on the basis of unwarranted political content in the resolution.  Introducing inappropriate political issues only distracted the Committee from funding issues.  Singling out of Israel also did nothing to contribute to the situation in the Middle East.

    The representative of the United States said her delegation strongly supported UNIFIL, which was implementing an important mandate.  The use of General Assembly funding resolutions to pursue claims against a MemberState procedurally was not correct.  That was why the United States had opposed the resolutions on the item in previous years as they contained sections which required Israel to pay for costs stemming from the 1996 Qana incident.  Since shortly after the United Nations inception, the procedure followed was that the Secretary-General presented and pursued the settlement of the Organization’s claims against a State or States.  Using a funding resolution to legislate a settlement was inappropriate.  It also politicized the Committee’s work and should be avoided both now and in the future.

    The representative of Belgium, on behalf of the European Union, said the Union’s position was well known, and he would not repeat it.

    The representative of Israel said he was honoured to express his country’s strong support for the personnel of the UNIFIL and for the important peacekeeping mission they were undertaking.  To that end, he noted that Israel, as in the past, had paid its full regular UNIFIL assessments on time and without condition -- in contrast to some of the sponsors of the divisive resolution that had been consistently delinquent in paying their full UNIFIL assessment -- and would continue to do so.

    He said his delegation must once again express its dismay, however, at the deliberate and inappropriate politicization of the agenda item.  The issue before the Committee was a financing resolution and the inclusion of one-sided politically motivated paragraphs compromised its intended nature.  The language had no place in a financing resolution, and the paragraphs were in direct contradiction to the principles of collective responsibility for the expenses of the United Nations as set out in the Charter.  The resolution also aimed to take unprecedented action against a single country.  At no other time had a single State been held solely financially responsible for the expenses incurred by United Nations peacekeeping forces endangered by the tactics of armed groups.  The attempt to treat UNIFIL differently was politically motivated, unwarranted and singled out Israel in an unfair manner. The principle of collective responsibility should continue to prevail.

    He noted that, while Israel had no reservations regarding the technical aspects of the financing of the mission, because of the contentious language included in it, his delegation had voted against preambular paragraph 4, paragraphs 3, 4 and 13, and the draft as a whole.  The practice of incorporating divisive paragraphs was antithetical to the practices of the Committee.  He hoped that one-sided political agendas would no longer mar issues brought before the Committee and that it would be able to return to productive working methods.

    Canada’s representative, also speaking on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, expressed regret that the Committee had been unable to reach consensus on the draft and that a separate vote had been requested on several paragraphs.  That was a continuation of a regrettable precedent of including political elements inappropriate to a financial text.  For that reason, the delegations she represented had had abstained.

    The representative of Costa Rica said that his delegation’s intention had been to vote in favour of the resolution as a whole, and he wanted it to be properly reflected.

    The representative of Panama said that he had intended to vote in favour of the text as a whole and abstain in the separate vote on several paragraphs.

    The representative of Lebanon said that the principle of collective responsibility for peacekeeping financing did not contradict with the principle of international law of State responsibility for wrongful acts and resulting material damage.  That principle was recognized in the Charter and in relevant Assembly resolutions.  It was on the basis of the principle of State responsibility that nine previous resolutions had asked for compensation to be paid to the United Nations for the damages resulting from an attack in Qana.  That was once again reiterated in today’s resolution.  Those damages should be paid to the United Nations –- not to Lebanon.

    The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (document A/C.5/59/L.67), by the terms of which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Mission some $113.22 million, including $89.61 million for the Mission’s maintenance for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2005, $17.92 million for the Mission’s liquidation for the period from 1 January to 30 June 2006, $4.64 million for the Support Account, and $1.04 million for the Logistics Base.

    By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2005, including outstanding contributions in the amount of some $94.5 million, representing about 3 per cent of the total assessed contributions, noting with concern that only 43 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.

    The Assembly would, by further provisions, approve the donation of the Mission’s assets with a total inventory value of $8.41 million and corresponding residual value of $3.83 million, to Sierra Leone’s Government.

    The Secretary of the Committee introduced a correction to the text, and the draft resolution was approved, as orally corrected, without a vote.

    Next before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/C.5/59/L.66).  By the terms of the text, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $43.1 million, representing some 7 per cent of the total assessed contributions, noting with concern that only 60 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  The Assembly would also endorse the ACABQ’s recommendations contained in its report and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.

    By further terms of the text, the Assembly would decide that the posts of Chief of Staff, Legal Officer, Information Officer, Assistant in Facilities Management Services and Information Technology Assistant, which are filled, respectively, at the levels of D-1, P-4, P-3, G-7 and FS-5, shall be budgeted at those levels, pending the management review.

    Also according to the text, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004 and decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission the amount of $47.95 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $45.54 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $1.97 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations, and $439,000 for the Logistics Base.

    The draft was also approved without a vote.

    The Committee next took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) (document A/C.5/59/L.55), approving the text without a vote.  By its terms, the Assembly would appropriate some $49.71 million previously authorized and apportioned for the establishment of the Operation for the period from 21 April to 30 June 2004 in resolution 58/312.  It would also appropriate the amount of $307.7 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, inclusive of $292.3 million for the maintenance of the Operation, $12.61 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations, and $2.81 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

    Also by the text, the Assembly would invite voluntary contributions to the Operation in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered in accordance with established practices.  The Assembly would also take note of the status of ONUB’s contributions as at 15 April 2005, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $88.7 million (some 25 per cent of the total), note with concern that only 43 Member States have paid their assessments in full, and urge all other Member States to ensure payment of their outstanding assessments.

    The Committee next took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/C.5/59/L.56), by which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Operation as of 15 April 2005, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $43.8 million, representing some 11 per cent of the assessed contributions, and would note with concern that only 53 Member States have paid their assessments in full and urge all others to ensure payment of their outstanding assessments. 

    By other terms of the text, the Assembly would take note of the expenditure report for the period from 4 April to 30 June 2004.  It would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNOCI the amount of $386.89 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $367.51 million for the Operation’s maintenance, $15.86 million for the peacekeeping Support Account and $3.53 million for the Logistic Base.  It would decide to apportion among Member States the amount of $386.89 million at a monthly rate of $32.24 million.

    Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (document A/C.5/59/L.60), by which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 15 April 2005, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $80.8 million, representing some 35 per cent of the total, and note with concern that only 48 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.

    Noting paragraph 20 of the ACABQ’s report, the Assembly would, by other terms, request the Secretary-General to address as a matter of urgency structural and management problems that remain to be thoroughly resolved.  It would also decide that the protocol functions shall be absorbed within the Mission’s existing staff strength.  The Secretary-General would be requested to use existing expertise within the United Nations system that could support the Mission in carrying out substantive activities mandated by the Security Council.

    The Assembly would take note of the expenditure for the period from 1 May to 30 June 2004, and decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission the amount of $494.88 million for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, including $470.1 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $20.3 million for the Support Account, and $4.52 million for the Logistics Base.  The Assembly would also decide to apportion among Member States the amount of $494.88 million at a monthly rate of $41.24 million.

    The draft was approved without a vote.

    Mexico’s representative, noting paragraph 14 of the draft, said MINUSTAH would be contacting the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) to ensure that it had the necessary gender advice.  As that paragraph clarified, it was important that peacekeeping operations, in general, make use of existing capacity within the United Nations system, including regarding gender issues.

    The representative of Venezuela said it was his understanding that the Secretariat, in general, would make every effort to avail itself of in-house capacity in areas pertaining to gender, especially INSTRAW, as it was the only United Nations institute responsible for the promotion and development of women.  He hoped the spirit established would continue to prevail and that all institutions that needed funding would be handled on an equal footing without creating any discrimination among them.

    And finally, the Committee approved a draft decision contained in document A/C.5/59/L.78, by which the Assembly would defer to its sixtieth session several issues and related documents, including those on the outstanding assessed contributions of the former Yugoslavia; the use of gratis personnel; and possible changes in the number of posts subject to the system of geographical distribution.

    Before concluding the meeting, the representatives of Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), Jamaica (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China), Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Iran and Cuba expressed appreciation for the good spirit that had prevailed throughout the session, which had allowed the Committee to conclude its work.  They also expressed appreciation to Secretariat staff for their work, and paid tribute to Nora Benary for her years of service to the Committee.

    ANNEX I

    Vote on Separate Paragraphs/Financing UNIFIL

    The fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 of the draft resolution on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/59/L.52) were retained by a recorded vote of 79 in favour to
    3 against, with 50 abstentions, as follows:

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

    Against:  Australia, Israel, United States.

    Abstain:  Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

    Absent:  Albania, Angola, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

    ANNEX II

    Vote on Financing UNIFIL

    The draft resolution on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/59/L.52) was approved by a recorded vote of
    128 in favour to 2 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, 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:  Australia, Honduras, Panama.

    Absent:  Albania, Angola, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

    * *** *