8 June 1999


Press Release
GA/9561



GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECIDES TO APPROPRIATE SOME $623.6 MILLION FOR 12 ACTIVE UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS

19990608
Also Approves Texts Related to Development and Support Accounts; Decides 'Millenium Summit' Will Begin on 6 September 2000

The General Assembly decided to appropriate some $623.6 million gross for 12 active United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, as it acted this afternoon on a series of draft texts recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Also this afternoon, the Assembly decided its fifty-fourth session would close on Tuesday morning, 5 September 2000, and that its fifty-fifth session would open that afternoon. The "Millennium Summit" will begin on Wednesday, 6 September 2000, and the general debate of the fifty-fifth session on Tuesday, 12 September. By other action, the Assembly authorized the Commission on Population and Development, as the preparatory committee for the Assembly's twenty-first special session, to resume its session on 24, 25, 28 and 29 June.

The Assembly voted twice this afternoon on a resolution on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). First, it decided to include preambular paragraph 1 and operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10 and 11, by a vote of 74 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 42 abstentions (see Annex I).

[Those paragraphs mention resolutions 51/233 and 52/237, in which the Assembly decided that Israel should pay the costs resulting from the 1996 incident at UNIFIL headquarters in Qana, Lebanon.]

The General Assembly then approved the text as a whole by a vote of 119 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Iran) (see Annex II).

The representatives of Israel, Guyana (for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China) and the United States spoke on the text. The representatives of Lebanon, Syria and Israel spoke in right of reply.


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For the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, the Assembly decided to appropriate the following amounts, in estimated gross terms:

-- United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP): $45.6 million;

-- United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF): $35.4 million;

-- United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL): $148.9 million;

-- United Nations operations in Angola: $7.4 million;

-- United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM): $54 million;

-- United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA): $34.3 million;

-- United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO): $52.1 million;

-- United Nations missions in Haiti: $18.6 million;

-- United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG): $31 million;

-- United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT): $18.7 million;

-- United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH): $178.2 million; and

-- United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP): $183,730.

The above amounts include prorated shares for the support account for peacekeeping operations -- which covers the cost of backstopping activities at Headquarters that support missions in the field -- and for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

For the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, the Assembly approved post and non-post requirements for the support account of almost $34.9 million, as well as 400 temporary posts. For the Brindisi Base, the Assembly allocated close to $7.5 million and authorized a civilian establishment of 10 Professional, 10 Field Service and 83 locally recruited staff.

The representatives of the United States and Canada (also for Australia and New Zealand) spoke on the support account.

The Assembly accepted three projects for using the Development Account dividend: an online network for building capacity in public administration


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and finance; a research network for economic analysis; and capacity-building activities to pursue the objectives of the outcomes of world conferences.

Guyana's representative spoke for the Group of 77 and China.

Also this afternoon, the Assembly adopted texts related to the liquidation of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL); the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES); and the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA).

In other action, Eugeniusz Wyzner (Poland) was appointed Vice-Chairman for the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) until 31 December 2002; and Jose Ramon Sanchis Munoz (Argentina) was appointed a member of the Commission through the same date. The Assembly appointed Marsha Echlos (United States) to the United Nations Administrative Tribunal until 31 December 2001.

By other texts adopted this afternoon, all without a vote, the Secretary-General was asked to:

-- Convene the Phase V working group, regarding procedures for determining reimbursement for contingent-owned equipment;

-- Review missions obligations to return contingent-owned equipment to troop-contributing countries;

-- Report on management irregularities causing financial losses to the United Nations; and

-- Update information on losses of United Nations property in peacekeeping operations.

In other action, the Assembly took note of reports on the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships, Peacekeeping Reserve Fund, and death and disability claims.

It decided to defer its consideration of:

-- The report of the Board of Auditors on United Nations peacekeeping operations;

-- Modalities for operating the Development Account;

-- Procurement reform;

-- Its review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 48/218B and the Joint Inspection Unit; and


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-- Documents on: procurement and outsourcing; common services at Geneva; post structure; pilot projects; facilities at Addis Ababa and Bangkok; and the Office of Internal Oversight Services.

At the outset of the meeting, the Assembly noted that Haiti had brought its arrears to an amount less than the level specified in Article 19 of the Charter.

The Fifth Committee's Rapporteur, Tammam Sulaiman (Syria), introduced the Committee's texts.


General Assembly Programme of Work

The General Assembly met this afternoon to take action on a number of texts, including those recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). In addition to texts presented under agenda items on the United Nations regular budget, review of efficiency and human resources management, among others, the Assembly had before it a number of drafts on financing peacekeeping operations, primarily concerning amounts to be appropriated for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000.

Appointments to Fill Vacancies

The Assembly had before it two reports of the Fifth Committee concerning appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other vacancies. By the first, (document A/53/711/Add.1), the Assembly would appoint Marsha Echols (United States) a member of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, for a term beginning on the date the decision was adopted and ending on 31 December 2001.

The second text (document A/53/712/Add.1) contains the Committee's recommendation that the Assembly appoint Jose Ramon Sanchis Munoz (Argentina) a member of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) for a term of office beginning on the day the decision was adopted and ending on 31 December 2002. Further, the Assembly would designate Eugeniusz Wyzner (Poland) as Vice-Chairman of the ICSC starting on the day of the decision's adoption and ending on 31 December 2002.

By a draft decision in the Fifth Committee's report on financial reports and audited statements (document A/53/738/Add.1), the Assembly would defer consideration of the financial report and audited financial statements for the 12 months ending 30 June 1998, as well as the report of the Board of Auditors, on United Nations peacekeeping, and the related reports of the Secretary- General and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) to the main part of its fifty-fourth session.

Two draft decisions are in the Committee's report on review of the Organization's administrative and financial efficiency (document A/53/521/Add.3). Draft decision I would have the Assembly defer until its fifty-fourth session its consideration of the question of procurement reform, with a view to concluding it. Draft decision II would have the Assembly defer consideration of documents on: procurement and outsourcing; United Nations common services at Geneva; developments in the Secretariat's post structure; the impact of the implementation of pilot projects; construction of conference facilities at Addis Ababa and Bangkok; and the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services.


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A draft resolution in the Committee's report on review of efficiency and human resources management (document A/53/533/Add.2) would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to submit a detailed report at the fifty-fourth session on management irregularities causing financial loss to the Organization.

Financing Peacekeeping Operations

A draft resolution in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/53/979) would have the Assembly appropriate some $35.4 million gross (about $34.6 million net) for maintaining the Force from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000. That amount would include $1.8 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $344,900 for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy.

A draft resolution in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/53/982) would have the Assembly appropriate some $148.9 million gross (about $144.9 million net) for maintaining the Force from 1 July 1999 through 30 June 2000, including some $7.4 million for the support account and almost $1.5 million for the Brindisi Base.

Also, the Assembly would revise the amount of the commitment authority granted in resolution 51/233 in connection with the costs resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996 and, correspondingly, the amount to be borne by Israel -- as decided in paragraph 8 of that resolution -- from almost $1.8 million to some $1.3 million. It would reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure the full implementation of paragraph 8.

By a draft in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) (document A/53/745/Add.1), the Assembly would appropriate some $7.4 million gross (about $7.1 million net) for liquidating the Mission during 1999-2000, including $369,153 for the support account and $73,387 for the Brindisi Base.

The Assembly would express concern that the Secretary-General had not reported before the second part of the resumed fifty-third session on the status of implementation of measures taken or initiated to address the issues, observations and recommendations contained in the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, and request the Secretary-General to submit that report no later than 30 June 1999.

By a draft in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) (document A/53/987), the Assembly would appropriate almost $54 million gross (close to $52 million net) for


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maintaining the Mission during 1999-2000, including almost $2.7 million for the support account and $526,779 for the Brindisi Base. Two thirds of that amount would be funded voluntarily by the Government of Kuwait, subject to the Security Council's decision on whether to continue the Mission.

A draft resolution in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/53/544/Add.1) would have the Assembly appropriate for 1999-2000 roughly $52.1 million gross (some $48.2 million net), including $2.6 million for the peacekeeping support account and $508,530 for the Brindisi Base.

By a draft resolution in the Committee's report on financing and liquidating the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (document A/53/988), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide an updated report for calendar years 1996 and 1997 on losses of United Nations property in peacekeeping operations, and to ensure the safety of United Nations assets and the need to have accountability procedures in place to deter and penalize those responsible for losses of United Nations property, and report thereon to the Assembly's fifty-fourth session.

A draft decision on financing the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNPROFOR), the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia (UNCRO), the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) and the United Nations Peace Headquarters; the United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM); the United Nations Mission in Haiti; and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) (document A/53/990) would have the Assembly ask the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to address outstanding issues in connection with the preparation of the related final performance information.

Also, it would approve special arrangements for UNOSOM with regard to the application of article IV of the financial regulations of the United Nations, whereby appropriations required in respect of obligations owed to Governments providing contingents and/or logistic support for the Operation shall be retained beyond the period stipulated under financial regulations 4.3 and 4.4, as set out in an annex to the text.

Through the terms of a draft in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/53/980), the Assembly would appropriate some $45.6 million gross (about $43.9 million net) for maintaining the Force from July 1999 to June 2000, inclusive of $2.3 million for the support account and $445,268 for the Brindisi Base.

A draft in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) (document A/53/983) would have the Assembly appropriate $290,200 gross ($485,200 net) for maintaining the Mission from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998, in addition to the almost $18.6 million


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gross already appropriated. For the 1999-2000 period, the Assembly would appropriate some $31 million gross (about $29.5 million net), including $1.5 million for the support account and $302,320 for the Brindisi Base.

A draft decision in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) (document A/53/984) would have the Assembly decide to apportion an additional amount of some $3.8 million gross (a little over $3.7 million net) for the 1997 to 1998 period, taking into account the amount of $5.1 million gross (some $4.7 million net) already apportioned.

Also by the text, the Assembly would note the Secretary-General's report on the final disposition of assets; reiterate that such reports should contain details on and justification of written-off and lost items; and ask the Board of Auditors to audit the Mission's final disposition, in particular sold and written-off assets, and include its recommendations in its report for 1998-1999.

The Fifth Committee's report on financing of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) (document A/53/545/Add.1) transmits a draft by which the Assembly would appropriate $18.7 million gross (some $17.5 million net) for maintaining the Mission from July 1999 to June 2000, including $930,639 for the support account and $182,487 for the Base.

The Committee's report on financing the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) (document A/53/985) contains a draft by which the Assembly would appropriate some $178.2 million gross (almost $168.2 million net) for maintaining the Mission from 1999 to 2000, including almost $8.9 million for the peacekeeping support account and $1.7 million for the Brindisi Base.

A draft in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES) and the Civilian Police Support Group (document A/53/986) would have the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to use $601,200 gross ($541,500 net) from resources provided for the period ending 30 June 1998 to meet the costs of completing the mission's liquidation and the final audit.

A draft resolution in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) (document A/53/546/Add.1) would have the Assembly appropriate some $183,730 gross ($166,330 net) for liquidating the Force from 1 July 1999 to 15 October 1999, including $9,305 for the support account and $1,825 for the Brindisi Base. For the 1998 to 1999 period, the Assembly would reduce its appropriation to $43.1 million gross ($42 million net) from the earlier amount of close to $50.1 million gross (about $48.8 million net).


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The Fifth Committee's report on financing United Nations Missions in Haiti (document A/53/873/Add.1) contains a draft by which the Assembly would appropriate some $18.6 million gross (about $17.6 million net) for maintaining and liquidating the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH) from July 1999 to June 2000, including $927,537 for the support account and $181,879 for the Brindisi Base.

By other terms, the Assembly would decide that its decision to retain special arrangements for the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) with regard to the application of article IV of the financial regulations, regarding appropriations required in respect of obligations owed to governments providing troops or contingent support, should also apply to the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH) and to MIPONUH.

A text in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) (document A/53/981) would have the Assembly ask the Board of Auditors to audit the final disposition of assets of the Observer Group, in particular that of sold and written-off assets, and include its recommendations in the audit report for July 1998 to June 1999. Also, the Assembly would approve special arrangements regarding financial regulations 4.3 and 4.4.

A draft in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA) (document A/53/989) would have the Assembly appropriate a bit over $34.3 million gross (close to $33.9 million net) for 1998-1999, in addition to the amount of $29.1 million gross (almost $28.4 million net) appropriated already. For the Mission's operation and liquidation during 1999-2000, it would appropriate almost $33.4 million gross ($32.6 million net), including close to $1.7 million for the support account and $325,435 for the Brindisi Base. The Assembly would also approve special arrangements regarding application of article IV of the financial regulations.

An annex to the draft contains special arrangements with regard to the application of article IV of the financial regulations of the United Nations regarding extension of periods during which claims for unliquidated obligations shall remain valid.

Office of Internal Oversight Services and Joint Inspection Unit

A draft decision on review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 48/218B (document A/53/891/Add.1) would have the General Assembly defer consideration of the item to the main part of its next session.

By a draft decision on the Joint Inspection Unit (document A/53/993), the General Assembly would defer consideration of the item to the main part of its fifty-fourth session.


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Texts on Upcoming General Assembly Dates

The Assembly also had before it a draft resolution on United Nations reform and strengthening the United Nations system (document A/53/L.77) submitted by its Acting President. Recalling its earlier decision to open its fifty-fourth session on Tuesday, 14 September 1999, it would decide that the session shall close on Tuesday, 5 September 2000 in the morning, with the fifty-fifth session opening on the same day, in the afternoon. The Millennium Summit would begin on Wednesday, 6 September 2000, by the text.

In a letter addressed to the President of the General Assembly (document A/53/902), the Chairman of the Commission on Population and Development, acting as the Preparatory Committee for the General Assembly's twenty-first special session, states that the Commission had met at the United Nations Headquarters from 24 to 31 March 1999. In view of the complexity of the subject and the diversity of views on some contentious issues, the Preparatory Committee had not been able to finalize its work on the main substantive document for the special session, and had decided to recommend that the General Assembly authorize the Commission on Population and Development to hold a resumed session for four days in May or June 1999 to complete its work.

In another letter addressed to the Assembly's President (document A/53/902/Add.1), the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, who is also the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the twenty-first special session, proposes holding the resumed Preparatory Committee session on 24, 25, 28 and 29 June 1999.

Action on Texts and Recommendations before Assembly

TAMMAM SULAIMAN (Syria), the Fifth Committee's Rapporteur, introduced that body's reports.

The General Assembly first took up the Fifth Committee's recommendations on appointments to fill vacancies. First, it adopted without a vote the Committee's recommendation regarding the United Nations Administrative Tribunal. It acted in the same manner on the Committee's two recommendations regarding the International Civil Service Commission.

It then took up the Committee's report on financial reports and reports of the Board of Auditors, adopting the decision contained therein, without a vote.

The Assembly then acted on two decisions in the Committee's report on review of efficiency. First it adopted decision I, by which it would defer considering procurement reform. It then adopted on decision II to defer consideration of certain documents.


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It then took up the Committee's report on human resources management and review of efficiency, adopting the resolution on management irregularities causing financial losses to the Organization contained therein.

The Assembly then took up the report on programme budget for 1998-1999 (document A/53/485/Add.4).

GARFIELD BARNWELL (Guyana), speaking for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, welcomed the conclusion of deliberations on the use of the dividend for some $13 million, allowing the Secretariat to implement seven projects. Recognizing the ad hoc nature of the exercise, he emphasized that all projects should be formulated and submitted for approval according to existing budgetary procedures.

He then said that for full implementation of the projects, the Assembly would have to agree on a multi-year mechanism for the Development Account. The operation of the Account should be in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations of the Organization, since it was a part of the regular budget. Further, it must be neither a budget nor a staff reduction exercise. Consideration of modalities and the Account's sustainability must be concluded before deliberations on the budget began at the fifty-fourth session.

The General Assembly then acted on the three drafts in the Committee's report.

First, it adopted a resolution by which it accepted three projects for using the dividend: an online network of institutions for building capacity in public administration and finance; a research network for economic analysis; and activities for building capacity in pursuing the objectives of Agenda 21, the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action. Also by that text, the Assembly decided that the expected timing for projects should not be used as a precedent for setting time limits for the programmes of the regular budget.

By draft decision I, the Assembly took note of the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships. Next, adopting draft decision II, it deferred the question of the Account's modalities to the main part of its fifty-fourth session with a view to finalizing it prior to its consideration of the proposed programme budget for 2000-2001.

Next, the Assembly turned to the Fifth Committee's report containing a draft on financing the United Nations Disengagement Force (UNDOF), approving the text without a vote.


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It then turned to a draft resolution in the Committee's report on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Speaking before the vote, DORE GOLD (Israel) reiterated that his country supported the continued funding and strengthening of United Nations peacekeeping forces in general. He pointed to certain examples like the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) as models of the good work peacekeeping forces could accomplish when the parties concerned shared responsibility for making them successful. Therefore, it should be clearly understood that his delegation's stance regarding those who would wilfully exploit those peacekeepers as a shield for bloodshed and hatred did not detract from its positive stance toward the mission of the peace-keeping operations themselves.

He went on to say that the terrorist group of Hizballah had enjoyed a safe haven in Lebanon to launch incessant attacks on Northern Israel through the 1980s and 1990s. Those attacks had declaredly been aimed against Israel's very existence and against the lives of its civilians, notwithstanding the Hizballah's misuse of the term "resistance" to describe its terrorism. Israel had been left with no choice but to respond in self-defence to those attacks. It was particularly regrettable that the Hizballah not only engaged in terrorism, but attempted to hide behind civilians and United Nations areas while doing so. That amounted to a cruel and cynical exploitation of the neutral and innocent in the service of terrorism. All terrorist tactics led only to disastrous consequences and excess human suffering.

It had been in an effort to avoid those consequences, on 14 April 1996, that Israel had issued a warning after days of relentless rocket attacks by Hizballah on its northern villages, he continued. The Israel Defence Forces had informed UNIFIL that it had detected Hizballah trying to fire rockets from the vicinity of UNIFIL positions, in an attempt to escape a defensive response. The Defence Forces had requested that UNIFIL prevent Hizballah from doing so. On 15 April, Fijian UNIFIL officers had spotted Hizballah attempting to fire rockets from the Fijian battalion. They had ordered Hizballah terrorists to desist. Instead, the Hizballah gunmen had opened fire.

At noontime on 17 April, UNIFIL soldiers had again tried to prevent Hizballah terrorists from using a UNIFIL base to launch rocket attacks, and the Hizballah had responded with a hand grenade attack, he said. Later on that day, a UNIFIL spokesman had confirmed that rockets had been launched from a site near the Fijian headquarters. Israel had once again warned that it would have to defend itself. On 18 April 1996, Israel had informed UNIFIL that the Defence Forces would have to respond to a rocket attack launched from a base just 350 meters from the Kana compound. Only after all that had Israel finally responded in self-defence.


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Israel had announced its continued willingness to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) in its entirety, he said. That resolution did not just call for a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon, but for the restoration of international peace and security and for the return of effective Lebanese authority to the area. Israel had repeatedly invited Lebanon to negotiate the implementation of the resolution. Lebanon, however, continued to refuse to negotiate.

Clearly, the responsibility for the consequences of exercising the right to self-defence must rest entirely with the perpetrators of an attack and with those who supported them, he continued. Israel bore no responsibility or blame for taking necessary measures in legitimate exercise of that right. Israel could, however, negotiate a resolution to the conflict that would restore peace and security to its border and ultimately prevent those incidents. Unfortunately, the Government of Lebanon refused to consider that option.

The draft resolution moved decidedly further away from reconciliation and resolution, he continued, not least because it distracted the Member States from the true culprits. Even worse, it rewarded terrorists and their insidious exploitation of the innocent and the neutral. His delegation urged Member States to oppose that confrontational initiative and instead show good faith in opening a new era of working together to peacefully resolve conflicts. In that light, Israel called upon the Government of Lebanon to return to the negotiating table and implement resolution 425 (1978) to restore peace to the common borders.

The Assembly voted on whether to include the first preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10 and 11. It decided to do so by a vote of 74 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 42 abstentions (see Annex I).

The entire text was then adopted by a vote of 119 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Iran) (see Annex II).

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Mr. BARNWELL (Guyana) expressed support to the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and thanked the delegations which had supported the resolution submitted by the Group.

SUSAN SHEAROUSE (United States) said her delegation strongly supported UNIFIL, which was implementing a difficult mandate. However, the use of a General Assembly funding resolution to pursue claims against a Member State was procedurally incorrect. For that reason, the United States had opposed resolutions 52/237 and 51/233, which had decided that the costs stemming from the Qana incident should be borne by Israel alone. Those resolutions had not been consensus texts.


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Since shortly after the United Nations inception, the procedure had been that the Secretary-General presented and pursued the settlement of the Organization's claims against a State, she said. Using a funding resolution to legislate a settlement was inappropriate, politicized the work of the Fifth Committee and should be avoided in the future.

HASSAN KASSEM NAJEM (Lebanon) said every time the Fifth Committee dealt with the resolution on UNIFIL the representative of the Israeli occupying forces made inaccurate accusations, which were not based on any legislation or law. He had listened to the representative of the occupying forces attacking the honourable people of southern Lebanon, qualifying them as terrorists because they refused to be under the control of the Israeli occupying forces. Those persons upheld freedom and the liberation of Lebanon from the shameful scourge.

Was it possible the representative believed that the occupying forces were not attacking Lebanon and violating its integrity and sovereignty in brazen disregard of United Nations resolutions? he asked. What would history record about a Member State that scorned General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, and considered itself above international law and legitimacy? Was not the occupation of others' territory terrorism? Was not the bombardment by Israeli occupation forces of United Nations headquarters in Qana, and the murder of 106 innocent civilians -- was not that terrorism? he asked.

The statement made by the representatives of the occupying forces was unreal, he said. The report written based on the Secretary-General's representative's investigation of the incident condemned the occupying forces and accused them of bombarding the headquarters, although they knew innocent civilians were hiding behind the flag of the United Nations.

The so-called terrorism was valiant resistance against alien occupation, he said. That valiant resistance would continue against the forces of occupation, side by side with all political endeavours until implementation of resolution 425 (1978) calling for the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from internationally recognized borders. The claims of the Israeli occupying forces that they desired to implement that text were lies aimed at misguiding international public opinion.

He said that if Israel wished to implement that text, the only way was for unconditional and immediate withdrawal to international boundaries, as provided for by the resolution, not as interpreted by Israeli forces. The Israeli conditions for withdrawal were attempts to avoid responsibility. Occupying Israeli forces in southern Lebanon were attacking innocent and populous villages. They hampered access to schools and the right to life. The occupying forces had not succeeded and they would not succeed. Lebanon believed in peace based on the principle of peace for land.


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TAMMAM SULAIMAN (Syria) said his delegation wanted to respond to what had been said by the representative of the occupying force. Everyone knew that the history of Israel was based on war and aggression, as well as on settling on others' land. State terrorism was practised by Israel against Arab countries and even against the United Nations peacekeeping force. What could the international community expect from a State that had committed aggression against the peacekeeping mission, which symbolized peace. The pretext cited by Israel had been condemned by the United Nations. The resolution under discussion contained minimal response to the attack in Qana. It called on Israel to shoulder the costs of the attack on the United Nations Headquarters, but Israel did not want to do that, so it flouted the relevant resolutions.

Israel must implement those resolutions unconditionally, he said. The resistance of the Lebanese people against the oppression was heroic. If Israel was serious about peace, it must first implement the resolutions. Peace was not just words -- it was made. How could the international community represented by the Assembly believe in the Israeli desire for peace if it did not want to implement the resolution on Qana? he asked. The attack on Qana was not the first one committed by Israel. That country must withdraw from the occupied territories and implement the relevant resolutions.

Mr. GOLD (Israel) said that the creation of a new world order based on peace and security required agreement on certain basic definitions. Syria's representative had spoken about State terrorism. Yet, that country was on the list of countries engaged in State support for terrorism, according to the United States Department of State. Terrorism was a form of warfare aimed at innocent civilians. That was the type of warfare being engaged in by Hizballah, which aimed its activities at innocent villages by intention. How could the representative of Lebanon speak of them as honourable, or as valiant resistance, when they took aim at Israeli towns and villages by intention? he asked.

The voices being heard today coming from Lebanon were resisting the peace process and scorning United Nations resolutions, he continued. In January 1999, a Hizballah leader had stated clearly that only resistance would ensure the return of the land. The leaders of Hizballah had then been praised. The policy of scorning Council resolution 425 (1978) had been continued by the Lebanese Prime Minister, when he stated in March that he was not ready at all to discuss with Israel any security arrangements or any guarantees.

To create peace and security, common definitions must be agreed upon, and terrorism must be rebuked, he said. To make peace and security work in the Middle East, United Nations resolutions must be implemented, such as resolution 425 (1978). Terrorism and peace were incompatible. Dialogue and the implementation of resolutions would create peace.


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Mr. NAJEM (Lebanon) said he could not listen to lessons on how to carry out a political dialogue from a representative of the occupying forces. He knew more than they did on that score. The representative of the occupying Power spoke of terrorism, yet, that was what the occupying Power did. The facts were straightforward: Israel had been occupying southern Lebanon since 1967. What law endorsed a State's occupation of the territory of another State? he asked. And then that State imposed conditions for withdrawing? Did not the terrorist have nuclear weapons threatening all its neighbours?

In Qana, the United Nations headquarters had not been respected, he continued. Israel must withdraw from Lebanon today, not tomorrow. All sectors in Lebanon supported the resistance, not just one segment of the population. The country's 17 religious communities all supported the martyrs acting in defence of Lebanon. The occupying Power must comply with the resolutions and withdraw from Lebanon. The representative of the occupying Power said he supported UNIFIL, but that was not true. Recently in January, the Force had been bombed once again and a soldier from Ireland killed.

Mr. SULAIMAN (Syria) said Israel and peace were an oxymoron. It was a vain endeavour to try to hide Israel's crimes. Israel must withdraw from the occupied territories and stop its State terrorism. The representative of the occupying forces had mentioned a new world order. That new order was one based on peace, yet, Israel had never recognized that or worked in that direction. That new world order could not be established without Israel implementing the resolutions of the international community -- that would be the only way the new world order could provide stability.

The representative of the occupying forces should remember that he was in a forum representing 185 Member States, not a forum representing just one State, he said. It was only in his imagination that such things existed. A State on the periphery of international law would remain so until it implemented the resolutions, and ended its daily terrorism. Only then could peace return to the Middle East.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote and in the following order, texts on financing the United Nations missions in Angola; the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM); the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO); the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC); a consolidated decision concerning missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Somalia and Rwanda; the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL), the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT), the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP), in Haiti, and the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA).


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The Assembly next acted on five drafts in the Committee's report on administrative and budgetary aspects of financing United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/53/522/Add.3). By resolution I, for the 1999-2000 period, the Assembly gave the support account for peacekeeping operations $34.9 million, 400 temporary posts, and decided that six posts for the rapidly deployable mission headquarters will be accommodated through redeployment. By resolution II, it approved cost estimates for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy in the amount of almost $7.5 million for the 1999-2000 period, and authorized the Secretary-General to provide for a civilian establishment consisting of 10 Professional, 10 Field Service and 83 locally recruited staff.

By resolution III, the Assembly endorsed the observations and recommendations expressed in the report of the ACABQ and requested the Secretary-General to conduct the review recommended in paragraph 41 of that report.

Acting then on draft decision I, the Assembly adopted the text, by which it noted the report of the Secretary-General on the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund, as well as that of the ACABQ, and concurred with the latter's recommendations.

Next it adopted draft decision II, by which it took note of the Secretary-General's note on clearing the backlog of death and disability claims.

It then adopted draft decision III, by which it asked the Secretary- General to convene a Phase V working group, and also decided to continue considering the question of reform procedures for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment at its fifty-fourth session.

Speaking after the vote, JAMES BOND (United States) said his delegation attached great importance to paragraph 21 of resolution I, which requested the Secretary-General to ensure that the necessary military and civilian police expertise in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was maintained. The functions the active duty military and police officers performed were critical to the Organization's ability to mount and sustain its peacekeeping operations. The United States would watch closely to ensure that that expertise was maintained.

While his delegation had joined consensus on the resolution, it was sceptical of paragraph 26, in which the Assembly decided to delete a paragraph of the Secretary-General's report on the support account, he said. The notion that such action might set a precedent was chilling. The General Assembly could not rewrite paragraphs. Further, it could act only on reports of the Secretary-General when those reports contained his honest views. The portion of the report in question had to do with the Secretary-General's view on the nature of threats to peace. It was not for the General Assembly to tell him


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how to think. If Member States disagreed with elements of the report, their delegations could make a formal statement on that. Censorship was not an appropriate recourse. The action could not establish precedent, and the United States would remain vigilant in making sure the Secretary-General's ability to produce reports carrying his views was unimpeded.

ROSS HYNES (Canada), speaking also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, said that his delegation had joined the consensus on the draft, because it believed that during the period of transition, the level of posts and the funding specified in the resolution were appropriate to meet the needs of the Organization in backstopping peacekeeping activities. However, his delegation was concerned about the fact that increasingly extraneous requests for information were appearing in the Fifth Committee resolutions. The resolution in question was a case in point, for it included paragraphs that pertained to non-financial matters and went beyond the scope of the mandate of the Committee. For example, paragraph 26 of the resolution decided to delete a paragraph in a report of the Secretary-General on the support account. That was an inappropriate measure, for it was not a responsibility of the Fifth Committee to edit the reports of the Secretary-General, who must enjoy independence to perform effectively his role as chief administrative officer of the United Nations.

He said that he was confident that, in reacting to the elements of the resolution, the Secretary-General would ensure that his jurisdictional imperative was upheld. Also, he believed that the inclusion of that particular element in the resolution had given rise to unnecessary and protracted negotiations focused on non-financial matters, in which the consensus for funding and level of posts was withheld as a bargaining chip in the negotiations. General Assembly resolution 45/248B had determined that the Fifth Committee was an appropriate main committee of the General Assembly entrusted with responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters. It would seem incumbent on the Committee, in turn, to refrain from addressing items that fell more properly within the purview of other main committees.

Next, the Assembly adopted the decision in the report on implementation of resolution 48/218B.

The Assembly then adopted without a vote the text on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA).

The Assembly then acted on the Committee's proposal regarding the Joint Inspection Unit.

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution on United Nations reform and strengthening the United Nations system regarding upcoming dates.


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It then turned to the item on implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.

VADIM PERFILIEV, Director, General Assembly Affairs and Economic and Social Council Affairs Division, Department of General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services, said the estimated cost for the four working days in June, with full conference services and documents, was $174,300. Provisions were made under Section 1B of the programme budget for 1998-1999: General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services. Therefore, should the Assembly approve the reconvening of the Preparatory Committee, no additional appropriations would be required.

The Assembly then authorized the Commission, acting as the preparatory committee for the twenty-first special session, to hold a resumed session on 24, 25, 28 and 29 June.

(annexes follow)

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General Assembly Plenary Press Release GA/9561 101st Meeting (PM) 8 June 1999

ANNEX I

Vote on Preambular and Operative Paragraphs of UNIFIL Text

The first preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10 and 11 of the draft text on the financing of UNIFIL (document A/53/982) were approved by a recorded vote of 74 in favour to 2 against, with 42 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

Absent: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea- Bissau, Honduras, Latvia, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia.

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(END OF ANNEX I)

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General Assembly Plenary Press Release GA/9561 101st Meeting (PM) 8 June 1999

ANNEX II

Vote on UNIFIL Text

The draft text on the financing of UNIFIL (document A/53/982) as a whole was approved by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 2 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Iran.

Absent: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Latvia, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia.

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