What is the Committee On Conferences?
The Committee on Conferences is a permanent subsidiary organ of the General Assembly composed of 21 members appointed by the President of the Assembly, after consultations with the chairmen of the regional groups, for a period of three years. One third of the Committees membership retires annually. Retiring members are eligible for reappointment.
The Committee was initially set up in 1966 to monitor the United Nations meetings programme, and it functioned for many years as an ad hoc body whose mandate was renewed every three years. In 1986, the Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts to Review the Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United Nations (Group of 18) recommended that the Committee on Conferences should be strengthened. The Committee subsequently became a permanent subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.
Pursuant to its terms of reference, laid down in General Assembly resolution 43/222 B of 21 December 1988, the Committee on Conferences, inter alia, advises the Assembly on all matters pertaining to the organization of conferences in the United Nations; plans and coordinates conferences and meetings in close consultation with the Secretariat and all relevant bodies in the preparation of the draft calendar; examines the proposals of the Secretary-General on the draft calendar prepared on the basis of his budgetary proposals and recommends to the Assembly a draft calendar of conferences and meetings designed to meet the needs of the United Nations and to ensure the optimum utilization of conference-servicing resources. With respect to the proposed departures from the approved calendar of conferences and meetings that have administrative and financial implications, the Committee acts on behalf of the Assembly in conformity with the budgetary process in force and with full respect for the mandates of other bodies.
In addition, the Committee on Conferences determines the ways and means that might ensure the optimum utilization of conference facilities and services, including documentation, and presents appropriate recommendations to the General Assembly; advises the Assembly on the current and future requirements of the Organization for conference services, facilities and documentation; makes recommendations, as appropriate, to the Assembly on means to ensure improved coordination of conferences with the United Nations system, including conference services and facilities, and conducts the appropriate consultations in that regard; and monitors the implementation of all Assembly resolutions on the organization and servicing of, and documentation for, conferences and meetings.
The annual report of the Committee on Conferences to the General Assembly is issued in the Official Records of the General Assembly, Supplement No. 32.