14/06/2001
Press Release
GA/9879



Resumed Fifty-fifth General Assembly

Plenary

103rd Meeting (PM)


ASSEMBLY, ACTING ON FIFTH COMMITTEE REPORTS, ADOPTS 34 DRAFTS

ON FINANCING OF PEACEKEEPING, HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT


Draft on Financing of UNIFL Is Only Text Put to Recorded Vote


Acting on the reports of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), following the conclusion of its three-week second resumed session, the General Assembly this afternoon adopted 25 draft resolutions and 9 draft decisions, most on the financing of peacekeeping activities and human resources management.


On 18 items on the financing of peacekeeping operations, the Assembly provided nearly $1.8 billion for United Nations missions worldwide, including those in Angola, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Croatia, Central African Republic, East Timor, Western Sahara, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Middle East, Tajikistan, Georgia, Haiti, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia and Eritrea.  All the drafts approved today would have the Assembly express concern about the financial situation of the Organization’s peacekeeping operations, in particular, regarding the reimbursement to troop contributors who bore an additional burden owing to overdue payments by Member Sates of their assessments.


All but one of the drafts –- that on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) -– were approved without a vote.


That text was approved following two recorded votes.  The Assembly first decided to retain preambular paragraphs 4 and operative paragraphs 2, 3 and 15 of the draft by a vote of 70 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with 42 abstentions (Annex I).  [Those paragraphs mention several previous Assembly resolutions, by the terms of which Israel should pay the costs resulting from the 1996 incident at UNIFIL headquarters in Qana, Lebanon.] 


The Assembly then adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with no abstentions (Annex II).  By the text, the Assembly again called on Israel to pay some $1.28 million resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996.  In addition to authorizing the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in the amount of some $99.55 million gross for the maintenance of the Force from 1 July to 31 December 2001, it appropriated some $6.02 million gross for the support account and $629,045 gross for the United Nations Logistics Base for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.


By approving a draft resolution on the reformed procedures for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment and troop costs, the Assembly increased the standard rate of reimbursement for troop-contributing

countries by 2 per cent, effective 1 July 2001.  An additional 2 per cent increase would be effective as of 1 January 2002, bringing the total increase of the current rate of reimbursement for troop costs to 4 per cent.


In other action this afternoon, the Assembly adopted a 15-chapter consensus draft resolution on human resources management.  The text includes sections on recruitment and placement; mobility; proposed amendment to staff rule 104.14; delegation of authority and accountability; composition of the Secretariat; administration of justice; and conditions of service.


The Assembly requested the Secretary-General to ensure the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity in employing staff, with due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution.  Reaffirming that the national competitive examination programme is a useful tool for selecting the best qualified candidates from inadequately represented Member States, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue to hold examinations for posts subject to geographical distribution at the P-2 and -- if necessary -- P-3 levels.


Also, as a one-time exception, the Assembly decided to allow the movement of successful candidates from the General Service to the Professional category.  Noting the Secretary-General's efforts to align the G to P examination with the national competitive examination, it further decided that recruitment of qualified staff from the General Service to the Professional category be limited to the P-1 and P-2 levels, and be permitted for up to 10 per cent of the appointments at those levels.


Recognizing that the requirement for mobility is an essential element of the contractual status of staff, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to develop criteria for mobility to maximize its benefits for the Organization, to ensure equitable treatment of all staff and to avoid its possible abuse as an instrument of coercion against staff, taking into account job security and factors such as an appropriate incentive scheme and assurances of onward assignment.


Taking into account the central role of the Office of Human Resources Management, the Assembly emphasized that any delegation of authority should entail clear lines of authority and accountability, as well as improvements in the administration of justice.  Recalling a previous request to enhance managerial accountability, including sanctions in cases of demonstrated staff mismanagement and willful neglect of established rules, the Assembly urged the Secretary-General to continue to seek improvements in that area.


Among other texts approved this afternoon were the drafts on the outline of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003 for the International Trade Centre United Nations UNCTAD/World Trade Organization (WTO), the support account for peacekeeping operations, and the review of management and administration in the Registry of the International Court of Justice.


Drafts were introduced by the Fifth Committee's Rapporteur, Eduardo Manuel da Fonseca Fernandes Ramos (Portugal).


Speaking in explanation of position on several texts were the representatives of Pakistan, United States, Canada (also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand), Sweden (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Syria, Algeria, Israel, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.


The Assembly will continue its work at a date to be announced.

Drafts before Assembly


This afternoon, the General Assembly was expected to act on the reports of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), following the conclusion of its second resumed session on 25 May.


The first of the Committee’s reports, on audited financial statements and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/55/689.Add.2), contained a relevant draft resolution, by which it would accept the audited financial statements on United Nations peacekeeping operations for 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000 (see document A/55/5, vol. 11, chap. V), and would endorse the recommendations of the Board of Auditors contained in its report. It would further take note of the first report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the recommendations of the Board concerning peacekeeping operations for the period ending 30 June 2000.


Also by the resolution, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure the use of objective-setting by the administrations of peacekeeping missions, and would request that the development and attainment of those objectives be reported to the Assembly through missions' financial performance reports.  It would request the Board of Auditors to monitor the process of objective-setting and report that information in its annual audit report on the missions' financial statements.  The Assembly would note with concern the late issuance of the Board’s report on peacekeeping operation, and would request that body and the Secretary-General to ensure its timely and simultaneous issuance in all six official languages.


Also before the Assembly was the Fifth Committee’s report on the Organization’s administrative functioning and financial efficiency(document A/55/532/Add.3), containing two draft decisions.  By the terms of the first one -- on the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services -- the Assembly would note the Oversight Office report on the inspection of the consolidation of technical services in the Department of General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services.  It would also reiterate that the reports of the Oversight Office should be considered under the relevant agenda items of the agenda of the Assembly, in conformity with its rules and regulations and the relevant provisions of the Charter.


The second draft decision contained in the same document was on action taken on certain documents.  By the terms of this text, the Assembly would decide to defer consideration of the following documents until its fifty-sixth session:  (a) the report of the Secretary-General on progress in the implementation of the field assets control system (document A/55/845); (b) the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) on young professionals in selected organizations of the United Nations system:  recruitment, management and retention (document A/55/798), and the Secretary-General’s comments thereon (document A/55/798/Add.1); and (c) the report of the Secretary-General on the participation of United Nations volunteers in peacekeeping operations (document A/55/697).


Another of the Committee’s reports (document A/55/982) contained a draft resolution on a JIU report concerning the review of management and administration in the Registry of the International Court of Justice.  By that resolution, the Assembly would emphasize the importance of consistent, fair and transparent management of personnel, and the need for the introduction of an effective performance appraisal system for the staff of the Court.  It would invite the Court to review the need to amend its own staff rules in order to enable introduction and implementation of a performance appraisal system.  It would also note recommendations in the JIU report concerning research assistants and the post of a senior Administrative/Personnel Officer in the Registry. It would request the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) to consider the matter and make recommendations in the context of the Secretary-General’s proposed programme budget for 2002-2003, for decision at its fifty-sixth session.


The first of the Fifth Committee's human resources management reports (document A/55/983) contained two draft decisions.  By the terms of the first one -- on the JIU report on the delegation of authority for management of human and financial resources in the United Nations Secretariat -- the Assembly would welcome the relevant JIU report and take note of the Secretary-General’s comments thereon.  The Assembly would endorse the report's recommendations and decide to consider the related report of the ACABQ during the main part of its fifty-sixth session.


By the second draft decision -- on the proposed regulations governing the status, basic rights and duties of officials other than Secretariat officials and experts on mission and regulations governing the status, basic rights and duties of the Secretary-General -- the Assembly would decide to defer consideration of the related report of the Secretary-General to its fifty-sixth session.


In its report on the programme budget (document A/55/713/Add.2), the Fifth Committee recommended to the General Assembly to adopt a draft decision, taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the outline of the proposed programme budget for the next biennium (2002-2003) for the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO and concurring with the observations and recommendations of the ACABQ on the matter.


The Committee’s report on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of expenses of the United Nations (document A/55/521/Add.3) contained a relevant draft decision deferring consideration of the proposal for the re-establishment of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Working Group on the Implementation of the Principle of Capacity to Pay to the main part of its fifty-sixth session.


One of the important results of the Committee's work during its two substantive sessions was a draft resolution on human resources management, contained in its report on the matter (document A/55/890/Add.1).  Deferred from the Committee's first resumed session, the text includes sections on:  principles and role of the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM); human resources planning; contractual arrangements; recruitment and placement; mobility; proposed amendment to staff rule 104.14; delegation of authority and accountability; streamlined rules and procedures; consultants; composition of the Secretariat; administration of justice; conditions of service; competencies, performance management and career development; status of women in the Secretariat; and reports of the Office of Internal Oversight Services.


Regarding contractual arrangements, the Assembly would decide to revert to the issue at its fifty-seventh session.  It would request the Secretary-General to submit definitive proposals spelling out the differences between existing and proposed types of appointments for the Assembly's consideration.

On recruitment and placement, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity in employing staff, with due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution.  It would reiterate that all external vacancy announcements should be submitted to the Member States' Missions, displayed on the notice boards in United Nations premises and posted on the United Nations home page. They should be circulated on the date of issue, and the deadline for submission of applications should be at least two months from that date.  For unplanned vacancies, the Secretary-General may reduce the deadline for applications for external vacancies to 30 days. The Secretary-General would be requested to circulate internal vacancy announcements to permanent missions, and to issue an electronic monthly vacancy bulletin, without prejudice to traditional means of disseminating announcements.  While giving fullest regard to qualified candidates already in the United Nations service, the Assembly would reaffirm that the Secretary-General may consider external candidates for posts at the P-4 level.


Emphasizing the need to increase the number of staff recruited from unrepresented and under-represented Member States, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to develop a programme and set specific targets for achieving equitable geographical representation, bearing in mind the need to increase the number of staff recruited from Member States below the mid-point of their desirable ranges.  While filling vacant posts in language services, the Assembly would request him to ensure the highest performance of translation and interpretation in all six official languages.


Reaffirming that the national competitive examination programme is a useful tool for selecting the best qualified candidates from inadequately represented Member States, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue to hold examinations for posts subject to geographical distribution at the P-2 and -- if necessary -- P-3 levels.  It would further request him to offer probationary appointments to all staff who have passed a competitive recruitment examination.  Such staff members should be considered for conversion to permanent appointment after successful completion of probationary service.  It would regret that some programme managers are still reluctant to recruit candidates selected through national competitive examinations, leaving many P-2 posts vacant, and would request the Secretary-General to take concrete measures to expeditiously fill those posts from the existing roster of successful candidates.


Urging that the Secretary-General comply with the principle that appointment to P-2 posts and to posts requiring special language competence for Conference Services be made exclusively through competitive examinations, the Assembly would request him to include in future reports information justifying non-compliance with that principle.  As P-3 level appointments should be made through competitive examinations, the Secretary-General would be asked to ensure timely placement of the candidates selected through that process.  Effort should be made to recruit candidates from the roster against existing vacancies until rosters are cleared.


By further terms of the draft, while regretting that provisions of General Assembly resolution 53/221 were not fully complied with, which led to candidates from over-represented countries taking the February 2000 G to P examination, the Assembly would decide -- as a one-time exception -- to allow the movement of successful candidates from the General Service to the Professional category.  Noting the Secretary-General's efforts to align the G to P examination with the national competitive examination, it would further decide that recruitment of qualified staff from the General Service to the Professional category be limited to the P-1 and P-2 levels, and be permitted up to 10 per cent of the appointments at those levels.


The Assembly would emphasize the need for systematic rejuvenation of the Secretariat and for retaining younger Professional staff.  It would reaffirm that secondment from government service is consistent with the Charter and is beneficial to both the Organization and Member States.  The Secretary-General would be urged to pursue the practice on a wider scale.  It would also reiterate the need to ensure recruitment, appointment and promotion of staff without distinction to race, sex or religion.  In that connection, the Secretary-General would be requested to conduct an inspection through the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the possible discrimination due to nationality, race, sex, religion and language and report to the Assembly at its next session.


Recognizing that the requirement for mobility is an essential element of the contractual status of staff, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to further develop criteria for mobility to maximize its benefits for the Organization, to ensure equitable treatment of all staff and to avoid its possible abuse as an instrument of coercion against staff, taking into account job security and factors such as an appropriate incentive scheme and assurances of onward assignment.


The Assembly would also request the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) to conduct a comprehensive review of mobility and its implications on career development and to report to it at its fifty-seventh session.  The Assembly would note the difference between mobility within and across duty stations, and would consider mobility across duty stations a more important factor in career development.  It would request the Secretary-General to further develop appropriate mechanisms for promotion, introducing adequate incentives for mobility between duty stations.  He would also be asked to ensure that mobility does not negatively affect continuity and quality of service.  The Assembly would stress that mobility should not lead to the transfer or abolition of posts as a result of vacancy, and request proposals from the Secretary-General to solve problems resulting from increasing staff mobility.  The Assembly would further approve the proposed amendment to staff rule 104.14 regarding the review of the recruitment process for compliance with pre-approved selection criteria and offer recommendations.


Also by the terms of the draft, the Assembly would endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee in its report on accountability and responsibility and on management irregularities.  It would emphasize that the administrative and managerial discretionary powers of the Secretary-General should be in conformity with the Charter and the Assembly's staff, financial and programme planning regulations and mandates.  Taking into account the central role of the OHRM, the Assembly would also emphasize that any delegation of authority should entail clear lines of authority and accountability, as well as improvements in the administration of justice.


Recalling a previous request to enhance managerial accountability, including sanctions in cases of demonstrated staff mismanagement and wilful neglect of established rules, it would urge the Secretary-General to continue to seek improvements in that area.  Moreover, the Secretary-General would be requested to improve accountability, responsibility and monitoring mechanisms in the reform of human resources management.  The Assembly would decide to consider a robust capacity in the OHRM for monitoring all relevant Secretariat activities, regardless of the source of funding, and to ask the Secretary-General to provide the Assembly at its next session with an analytical report thereon.


By the terms of the text, the Assembly would decide to consider the question of the use of consultants and individual contractors at its next session.  It would also request the ACABQ to report to it at the main part of the fifty-sixth session.


Noting that posts subject to geographical distribution had decreased from 3,350 to the current 2,600, and bearing in mind the newly adopted scales of assessment, which will have direct bearing on the desirable ranges currently being followed, the Assembly would reaffirm that no post should be considered the exclusive preserve of any Member State or group of States, including at the highest levels.  It would request the Secretary-General to ensure that, as a general rule, no national of a Member State succeeds a national of that State in a senior post and that there is no monopoly on senior posts.  It would request the Secretary-General to ensure equitable representation of Member States at the senior and policy-making levels, especially those with inadequate representation, in particular, developing countries.  The Secretary-General would be asked to undertake a study on the ramifications of changing the relative weights of the population factor from the current level of 5 per cent, the membership factor (from 40 per cent) and the contribution factor (from 55 per cent).


By further terms of the text, the Assembly would decide to include the administration of justice on the agenda of its next session and note that the present system is both slow and cumbersome.  It would welcome the Secretary-General's proposal to establish a function of Ombudsman.


The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to review the role of the Joint Appeals Board and consider four possible options in that regard, one of which would change the nature of that body from an advisory to a semi-judicial body, with decision-taking power.  Other alternatives include election of staff representatives solely by staff, with prejudice to the right of the Secretary-General to appoint members representing administration; jointly selecting chairpersons and examining the need for a full-time chair; and limiting to three months the time for the Board to produce its recommendations from the receipt of the application.


By further provisions of the text, the Assembly would welcome the Secretary-General's intention to organize basic legal training courses for new members of the Board and the Joint Disciplinary Committees.  It would also take note of the ACABQ's observations that there is a gap between the administration of justice and the system of accountability when the decisions of the Administrative Tribunal result in losses to the Organization due to management irregularities.  The Secretary-General would be asked to take urgent measures to recover financial losses caused to the Organization by wrongful actions or gross negligence of senior United Nations officials. 


The Assembly would endorse the recommendation of the Advisory Committee that a competitive package of conditions of service is a pre-requisite for successful achievement of human resources management reform goals and request the Secretary-General to transmit to the ICSC the recommendations having direct impact on the United Nations common system.  It would also request the Secretary-General to study the implications of fixing the mandatory separation age for staff members appointed prior to 1 January 1990 to the current age of 62.


Also according to the draft, the Assembly would emphasize the necessity for the United Nations to develop a culture of continuous learning, stressing the role of the United Nations Staff College as an institution for system-wide knowledge management and training.  It would agree with the Secretary-General's goal to create a fair and measurable performance management system and underline the importance of creating a comprehensive career development system. 


The next document before the Assembly was the report on the Office of Internal Oversight Services (document A/55/888/Add.1), which contained a draft resolution on the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Office of the Internal Oversight Services.  By that resolution, the Assembly would defer consideration of the Secretary-General’s report on enhancing the internal oversight mechanisms in operational funds and programmes to its fifty-sixth session, and would request the Secretary-General to seek an updated view on that document from the funds and programmes.  It would also decide to defer consideration of the sixth annual report of the Oversight Office covering the activities for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000 to its fifty-sixth session.


Many of the Fifth Committee's reports were devoted to the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations.  The first of those (document A/55/964) contained a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, by the terms of which the Assembly would decide that Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission shall be credited their respective share of the unspent balance of $967,600 gross ($116,200 net) from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 2000.


Another of the Committee’s peacekeeping financial reports (document A/55/971) contained a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM).  By that resolution, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNIKOM some $52.81 million gross (some $50.47 million net) for the maintenance of the Mission for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  Two thirds of this amount, equivalent to some $33.65 million, is to be funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Kuwait, subject to the review by the Security Council with regard to the question of the Mission’s status.


The report on financing of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) (document A/55/664/add.1) contained a draft resolution, by the terms of which the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in the amount of $275 million gross ($273.37million net) for the maintenance of the Mission from 1 July to 31 December 2001.  It would also decide, on an exceptional basis, to approve the special arrangements of the Mission, regarding goods supplied or services rendered by governments for the financial period in question.

The Assembly would also consider a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/55/663/Add.1), by which it would appropriate some $413.36 million gross (some $385.25 million net) for the maintenance of the Mission for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  Further by the text, the Assembly would decide to set off against apportionment the respective share of the unencumbered balance of some $65.27 million gross (some $57 million net) for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission in respect of the period ending 30 June 2000.  For Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, the share of the unencumbered balance would be set off against their outstanding obligations.


By the resolution contained in the Committee’s report on financing of the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) (document A/55/664/Add.1), the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in the amount of $282 million gross (some $273.02 million net) for the maintenance of the mission from 1 July to 31 December 2001.  It would further decide to apportion among Member States $282 million gross ($273.02 million net) for 1 July to 31 December 2001 in accordance with levels previously set out and taking into account the 2001 scale of assessments.


Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/55/966).  By that text, the Assembly would decide to appropriate some $50.48 million gross ($46.71 million net) for the maintenance of the Mission for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Mission beyond 30 June 2001.


Further by the draft, the Assembly would decide, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, to set off against the apportionment their respective share of the unencumbered balance of some $2.91 million gross (some $2.31 million net) in respect of the period ending 30 June 2000.  For Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations, their share of the unencumbered balance shall be set off against their outstanding obligations.


The Assembly also had before it the Committee’s report on the financing of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) (document A/55/972) which contained a relevant draft resolution.  By that draft, the Assembly would decide to reduce the appropriation approved in General Assembly resolution 53/19 B of 8 June 1999 to some $16.37 million gross ($15.29 million net).  It would also decide to set off against the apportionment of Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission their respective share of the unencumbered balance of some $2.41 million (some $2.18 million net) for the period ending 30 June 2000.


The Committee also had before it a draft decision on the financing of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) (document A/55/967), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General on the final disposition of the Force's assets and the related report of the Advisory Committee.  The Assembly would also approve the donation of observation towers and non-expendable equipment within the observation posts of the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 

The Assembly also had before it a report of the Fifth Committee containing a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/55/681/Add.1).  By its terms, the Assembly -- concerned that surplus balances in the Special Account for the Force have been used to meet expenses to compensate for lack of income resulting from Member States' non-payment and late payment, and bearing in mind reported hardships incurred by local staff upon relocation of the Force's headquarters from Damascus to Camp Faouar, and welcoming efforts made to address them -- would note that some of the concerns regarding the improvement of local staff working conditions in the Force have been addressed.


The Assembly would reaffirm its request that the Secretary-General continue to improve the working conditions of the local staff, including by making allowance for difficulties resulting from the relocation of the headquarters of the Force from Damascus to Camp Faouar, through mutual and fruitful dialogue. According to the draft, the Assembly would endorse the recommendations contained in paragraphs 8 and 26 of the ACABQ's report, and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.


It would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Force some $35.68 million gross (some $34.79 million net) for the maintenance of the Force for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force.


The Committee had before it a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/55/681/Add.1).  By the terms of that text, the Assembly, expressing its deep concern that Israel had not complied with its resolutions 51/233, 52/237, 53/227, 54/267 and 55/180, would once again stress that Israel should strictly abide by them.  It would also reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to ensure full implementation of relevant resolutions, stressing once again that Israel must pay some $1.28 million resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996, and request the Secretary-General to report on the matter to the Assembly at the main part of its fifty-sixth session.


The Assembly would also decide to reduce the appropriation provided by its resolutions 54/267 and 55/180 from some $233.6 million gross (about $228.2 million net) -- inclusive of some $6.97 million gross ($5.9 million net) for the support account for peacekeeping operations and the amount of about $1.1 million gross ($969,161 net) for the Logistics Base -- for the maintenance and expansion of the Force for 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001, to some $207.15 million gross ($201.98 million net), inclusive of the amount of $6.97 million gross ($5.89 million net) for the support account and the amount of $1.1 million gross ($969,161 net) for the Logistics Base.


Further according to the text, the Assembly would decide to reduce the apportionment provided for the period 1 February to 30 June 2001 from some $97.3 million gross (about $95.1 million net) to $70.89 million gross ($68.87 million net), taking into account some $194.66 million gross ($190.16 million net) already apportioned for the period 1 July 2000 to 30 April 2001.  The Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in the amount of $99.55 million gross ($97.56 net) for the maintenance of the Force for 1 July to 31 December 2001.  It would also decide to appropriate the amount of some $6.02 million gross (some $5.28 million net) for the support account and $629,045 gross ($564,879 net) for the Logistics Base, representing the prorated share of the Force in the support account and the Base requirements for  1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.


The Assembly would also take note of additional requirements in the amount of $571,000 gross ($1.27 million net) for the operation of the Force for the period ending 30 June 2000.  It would authorize the Secretary-General to utilize credits in an equal amount arising from the cancellation of obligations pertaining to the same period to meet the additional requirements.


Another draft resolution recommended for adoption by the Fifth Committee is contained in its report on the financing of the United Nations Protection Force, the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia, the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force and the United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters (UNPROFOR) (document A/55/961).  In the light of the cash shortage of the combined Forces, the Assembly would decide to suspend -- for the immediate future -- the provisions of regulations 4.3, 4.4 and 5.2 (d) of the United Nations financial regulations regarding the remaining surplus of some $174.74 million gross (about $175.52 million net) to allow for reimbursements to troop contributors.  It would also request the Secretary-General to provide an updated report in one year.


The Assembly also had before it a draft resolution on the financing of

the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/55/969),

by which it would appropriate to the Special Account for the UNFICYP some

$42.38 million gross (some $40.69 million net) for its maintenance for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  That amount would include some $1.24 million gross (some

$1.08 million net) for the support account and $129,599 gross ($116,379 net) for the Logistics Base, a one-third share of this amount, equivalent to some

$13.56 million, funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus, and $6.5 million from the Government of Greece, subject to the review by the Security Council with regard to the status of the Force.


By the terms of another draft resolution, the Fifth Committee recommends to the Assembly to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) (document A/55/968) some $27.89 million gross (some $26.17 million net) for its maintenance for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002. 


Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH)(document A/55/965), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 30 April 2001, including outstanding contributions of some

$78.1 million, representing 9 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the Mission's inception to 21 June 2001.  It would decide to appropriate some $144.67 million gross (about $135.73 million net) for the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the Mission's mandate beyond 30 June 2001.


Also before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (document A/55/963).  By the terms of the text, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti, the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti and the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti as of 30 April 2001, including outstanding contributions of some $19.9 million, representing 22 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Support Mission to 30 June 2000. It would note that the commitment authority of some $2.20 million gross (about $1.98 million net) authorized by the Advisory Committee under the terms of section IV of General Assembly resolution 49/233 A of 23 December 1994 was not utilized and authorize the Secretary-General to utilize an amount of $164.2 million gross ($142.9 million net) from the resources provided for the period ending 30 June 2000 to meet the cost of completing the liquidation tasks at Headquarters.  The share of the remaining unencumbered balance for Member States that have not fulfilled their obligations to the Civilian Police Mission shall be set off against their outstanding obligations. 


Another of the Committee’s reports on peacekeeping financing (document A/55/960) contained a draft resolution on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA).  By that resolution, the Assembly takes note of the status of contributions to MINURCA as at 30 April 2001, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $36.7 million, representing 32 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  It would also note that some 44 per cent

of Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urge all other Member States concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions in full.  The Assembly would also decide that Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission shall be credited their respective share of the unspent balance of some $1.19 million gross ($1.15 million net) for the period ending 30 June 2000.  The share of the balance for those States that had not fulfilled their obligations to the Mission would be set off against their outstanding obligations. 


On administrative and budgetary aspects of peacekeeping financing, the Assembly had before it a report of the Fifth Committee (document A/55/534/Add.2), which contains four draft resolutions and two draft decisions on various aspects of the matter.


By the draft resolution on the support account for peacekeeping operations, the Assembly would decide to maintain for 1 July to 30 June 2002 the funding mechanism for the support account as the one used from 1 July to 30 June 2001.  It would also decide to continue the 562 support account-funded temporary posts.  It would reaffirm the need for the Secretary-General to ensure that the delegation of authority to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and field missions is in strict compliance with relevant resolutions and decisions, as well as relevant rules and procedures of the Assembly. 


According to the text, the Assembly would also decide to apply the unspent balance of some $1.3 million from 1 July 1999 to 30 June, inclusive of $1.27 million in miscellaneous and interest income.  It would also prorate the balance of some $75.84 million gross (some $66.56 million net) among the individual active peacekeeping operations budgets, to meet the resources required for the support account from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  


The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure a more consistent and balanced presentation of proposals for all the departments.  It would further request him, as a matter of urgency, to address the need for streamlining the contingent-owned equipment procedures, including processing claims and Memoranda of Understanding, and to strengthen the Finance Management and Support Service in the area of claims processing.  It would request the Secretary-General to submit to its fifty-sixth session concrete remedial proposals to adequately address the concerns raised in paragraph 15 of the ACABQ report. 


Regarding the financing the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, the Fifth Committee recommends that the Assembly adopt a draft resolution, taking note of the reports of the Secretary-General on the financing of the Base, and endorsing the observations and recommendations in the report of the ACABQ.  Further by the text, the Assembly would approve the cost estimate of the Base, some $8.98 million gross (some $8.17 million net) for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.


Also by the text, the Assembly would decide to apply the unencumbered balance of $430,500 in respect of the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, the interest of the income of $289,000 and miscellaneous income of $340,000 (some $1.05 million in total) to the resources requires for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002. It would further decide to prorate the balance of some $7.92 million gross (some $7.11 million net) among the individual active peace operation budgets to meet

the financing requirements of the Base for the same period.  It would authorize the Secretary-General to provide for a civilian establishment consisting of

10 Professional, 13 Field Service and 83 locally recruited staff.


The third draft resolution contained in the report concerns  experiences learned from the use of resident auditors at peacekeeping missions.  By this text, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General (document A/55/735) and would endorse the observations and the recommendations of the ACABQ thereon (document A/55/828).


By the terms of the fourth draft resolution before the Assembly -- on reformed procedures for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment and troop costs -- the Assembly would decide, on an interim and ad hoc basis, to increase the standard rate of reimbursement for troop-contributing countries by 2 per cent, effective 1 July 2001.  An ad hoc increase of 2 per cent would be effective as of 1 January 2002, bringing the total increase of the current rate of reimbursement for troop costs to 4 per cent.  The Assembly would further decide that a future standard rate of reimbursement should be based on new survey data which was representative of the costs incurred by around 60 per cent of countries which have contributed troops to peace operations.


Recognizing the need to provide specific guidance on the methodology of reimbursement for troop costs, the Assembly would further request the Secretary-General to present at the next session a methodology for reimbursement for troop costs, covering troops and formed police units and a questionnaire to be submitted to troop-contributing countries.  Also by the text, the Assembly would recognize that the delay and uncertainty in reimbursements of troop and contingent-owned equipment costs adversely impacts on the ability of current and potential troop contributors to effectively participate in United Nations peace operations.  It would, therefore, emphasize the need for all Member States to pay their assessed contributions to all peace operations in full, on time and without preconditions.


The Assembly also had before it a draft decision on the Oversight Office reports on the investigation into the award of a fresh rations contract in a United Nations mission; on the audit of the management of service and ration contracts in peacekeeping missions; on the audit of the liquidation of peacekeeping missions; and on the management audit of United Nations civilian police operations.  By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would reiterate that reports of the Office should be considered under the relevant items of the agenda of the Assembly in conformity with its rules of procedure and the provisions of the Charter.


By the draft decision on disability and death benefits, the Assembly would note the Secretary-General's note on the matter (documents A/C.5/55/40 and Corr.1) and the report of the ACABQ thereon (document A/55/883).


By the terms of a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document A/55/962), the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the MONUC as of 30 April 2001, including outstanding contributions of some $32.7 million, representing some 16 per cent of the total assessed contributions. It would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission some

$58.68 million gross ($58.44 million net) as previously authorized and apportioned by the Assembly for the Mission's operation from 6 August 1999 to 30 June 2000. 


It would further decide to appropriate some $232.12 million gross

($229.1 million net) for the maintenance of the Mission for 1 July 2000 to

30 June 2001.  It would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into additional commitments for the Mission for the same period in an amount not exceeding

$41 million gross and net.


The Assembly would further decide, taking into account some $141.32 million gross ($140.83 million net) already apportioned, to apportion an additional $83.23 million gross ($80.9 million net) for 1 July 2000 to 15 June 2001 among Member States.  It would decide also to apportion some $7.56 million gross ($7.35 million net) for 15 to 30 June 2001, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the Mission beyond 15 June 2001.  It would decide to offset some $3.41 million of the unspent balance ($3.61 million net) for the period ending 30 June 2000 against Member State obligations.  It would decide to appropriate for 1 July to 31 December 2001 some $200 million gross (about $194.82 million net) to be apportioned at the monthly rate of $33.3 million gross ($32.5 million net), subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the Mission beyond 30 June 2001.


On the peacekeeping scale of assessments, the Assembly had before it a report of the Fifth Committee (document A/55/712/Add.1), according to which Committee agreed that no action be taken on the report of the Secretary-General, containing information on implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236.


By the terms of the draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) (document A/55/711/Add.2), the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 30 April 2001, including outstanding contributions of some $127.8 million, representing some 81 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  The Assembly would authorize  the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of some $90 million gross (

$88.93 million net) for the Mission for 1 July to 31 December 2001.  It would decide to appropriate the amount of some $5.44 million gross (some $4.77 million net) for the support account and $568,706 gross ($510,695 net) for the Logistics Base, representing the share of the Mission in the support account and Logistics Base requirements for 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.


Action on Fifth Committee Reports


When the Assembly met this afternoon, Eduardo Manuel da Fonseca Fernandes Ramos (Portugal), Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), introduced the Committee’s reports. 


The Assembly first took up the Committee’s report on audited financial statements and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/55/689/Add.2) and adopted the relevant draft resolution contained therein without a vote.


Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of Pakistan said this resolution, as well as others under consideration today, contained the phrase “taking note of”, which was a neutral phrase and should not connote approval or disapproval.  He believed that this should be the understanding of all delegations, and the legal opinion that had been provided to the Committee might lead delegations astray.


Next, the Assembly turned to another of the Committee’s reports on the Organization’s administrative functioning and financial efficiency (document A/55/532/Add.3) and adopted the two draft decisions, one on the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, and another on action taken on certain documents, without a vote.


The Assembly next took up another of the Committee’s programme budget reports (document A/55/982) and adopted without a vote the draft resolution contained therein on the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) report on the review of management and administration in the Registry of the International Court of Justice.


Next, it turned to the report on human resources management (document A/55/983) which contained two draft decisions.  It adopted both -- one on the JIU on the delegation of authority for management of human and financial resources in the United Nations Secretariat, and the other on the proposed regulations governing the status, basic rights and duties of officials other than Secretariat officials and experts on mission and regulations governing the status, basic rights and duties of the Secretary-General -- without a vote.


The Assembly then turned to the Committee’s report containing a draft decision on the outline of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003 for the International Trade Centre United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)/World Trade Organization (WTO) (document A/55/713/Add.2).  It adopted that decision without a vote.


Turning to the Committee’s report on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of expenses of the United Nations (document A/55/521/Add.3), the Assembly next adoptedthe relevant draft decision contained therein without a vote.


The Assembly then took up the draft resolution on human resource management contained in document A/55/890/Add.1.  It adopted that resolution without a vote.

Explanation of Position


Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of the United States said that the ongoing reform of the United Nations human resources management was robust with today’s milestone consensus, which enabled the Secretary-General to implement the results-based management programme under way for a more effective, efficient and accountable Organization.  The most valuable asset for any organization was its staff implementing its goals and objectives.  At the United Nations, the staff each day faced compelling yet daunting mandates.  Member States were aware that United Nations human resources management activities figured into about two thirds of budgetary outlays.  The Secretary-General’s ambitious human resources management proposals had ripened during the past eight months of Assembly consideration to bear fruit today for implementing the future’s compelling yet daunting mandates.


The OHRM could now devote greater attention to human resources policy development and the monitoring of departmental human resources management plans, he continued.  The United States looked forward to the enhancement of human resources planning processes; further simplification of rules; and the development of guidelines and task tools for inclusion in the electronic version of the human resources handbook; implementation of a new system of recruitment, placement and promotion; introduction of mechanisms to stimulate mobility of staff; further improvements in the internal justice system, including the appointment of an ombudsman; integration of core and managerial competencies into recruitment, staff development and performance appraisal; strengthening of the components of a career development system for all staff; and further implementation of work/life policies.


His delegation understood that the reform programme was slated to be fully operational by early 2002, he said.  Several issues would continue to be included on the agenda, such as contractual mechanisms, the under-representation of some nationalities, Administrative Tribunal matters, and reviewing the ICSC and the Joint Appeals Board.  He looked forward to the Secretary-General’s progress report to the fifty-seventh session of the Assembly. 


Today’s consensus showed how the Secretariat and membership shared responsibilities for programme planning and resource stewardship were designed to work hand in hand so as to give body and soul to the principles of the United Nations Charter.  It was what the head of the OHRM, Rafiah Salim, had hailed as “a historic decision in the annals of human resources management in this Organization”.  That had been accomplished due to a common desire to move forward; enhanced cooperation within the Fifth Committee; and a growing trust between Member States and the OHRM.


Also speaking in explanation of position, the representative of Canada (also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand), said that the resolution just adopted was lengthy, but very clear in its endorsement of the Secretary-General’s reform package.  It was also clear with respect to the next steps that could be taken in reform and the information that was necessary for the General Assembly to further pursue the modernization of the process.  The resolution was being adopted almost six months after the close of the main part of the fifty-fifth session and within a few short months of the beginning of the next regular session.  Therefore, it would be extremely difficult for the Secretary-General to meet some of the reporting deadlines outlined in the draft resolution.


The delegations he represented were particularly pleased that the resolution would result in major changes to the recruitment process, which would lead to shorter recruitment times (especially for unplanned vacancies), a more objective selection process and clear lines of authority and responsibility.  The section on mobility of staff was a clear recognition by the Secretary-General and Member States that the United Nations was no longer simply a Headquarters-based organization.  Movement of staff within and between duty stations would not only enhance their career prospects, but would also enhance the effectiveness and cooperation within divisions, departments, regional commissions and field duty stations.


The representatives of Member States had now completed their work on the issue, he said in conclusion.  However, the task of implementing the reforms was just beginning.  He wished the Secretariat every success in that crucial phase.


Speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, the representative of Sweden expressed satisfaction at the adoption of the resolution on human resources management.  The negotiations had been both lengthy and difficult, but thanks to the willingness to compromise and flexibility shown by all delegations, a consensus resolution had been arrived at.


Echoing the words of the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, Rafiah Salim, he said that the final outcome was, indeed, “a vote of confidence in the Secretary-General’s vision”.  The human resources management reform was a determining factor in the continued improvement of the United Nations programmes and would improve the Organization’s ability to attract and retain highly qualified staff.  The resolution would, inter alia, increase mobility, shorten the time of recruitment, provide the real delegation of authority to programme managers and ensure the development of a culture of continuous learning, in which the United Nations staff college would play a key role.


With respect to the G-to-P exam, he fully endorsed the understanding shared by all delegations and clearly expressed by the coordinator on the item prior to the adoption of the resolution.  The delicate balance now achieved enabled the countries to limit the effects of over-representation, while, at the same time, preserving career development opportunities for a proportion of the most qualified General Service staff. 


In conclusion, he said that to the long list of important resolutions adopted in the Fifth Committee during the Assembly -- including such important texts as those on the application of Article 19 of the Charter and the scales of assessment -- the Committee could now add important resolutions on reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment and troop costs, as well as the omnibus resolution on human resources management.


The representative of Syria said he agreed with previous speakers that the just-adopted resolution was of great value, particularly because of the sensitive nature of its subject:  the United Nations staff.  Indeed, through them, the identity of the Organization was defined.  Adoption of the resolution highlighted his delegation’s belief in the Assembly’s consistent practice of reaffirming the notion that staff were an invaluable resource.  In that regard, consulting staff  -- independently of the views and suggestions of the Secretary-General -- on all proposals before the Committee should be a consistent practice, so they could be given full consideration.


He went on to say that the resolution had been formulated clearly and unambiguously and that there was no need to consult any department in the future, particularly Legal Affairs, as to its provisions.  No single body had the authority to reinterpret the document, and the strict application of the mandates of the Assembly should be respected throughout the Organization.  His delegation supported the statement of Pakistan on the interpretation of the phrase “takes note”.  He further agreed with the European Union that flexibility had been the hallmark of the negotiations on this issue.


The representative of Algeria welcomed the adoption of the resolution.  He said, however, that his delegation wished to draw the attention of the Assembly to inconsistencies in the French translation of the resolution.  He requested that the French text be corrected.


Further Action on Drafts


Turning to the Committee’s report on the Office of Internal Oversight Services (document A/55/888/Add.1), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution on the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Oversight Office without a vote.


Next, taking up the first of the Committee’s peacekeeping finance reports (document A/55/964), the Assembly adopted without a vote the draft resolution contained therein on financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola. 


The Assembly also adopted without a vote the resolution contained in another peacekeeping financial report (document A/55/971) on the financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM).


Turning next to the report on financing of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) (document A/55/891/Add.1), the Assembly adopted without a vote the relevant resolution contained therein.


The Assembly also adopted without a vote the Committee’s resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) contained in document A/55/663/Add.1.


It next took up the report on financing of the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) (document A/55/664/Add.1), and adopted without a vote the relevant draft resolution contained therein.


The Assembly then took up another report on financing peacekeeping operations in Western Sahara (document A/55/966) and adopted without a vote the draft resolution contained therein on the financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).


On peacekeeping operations in Tajikistan, the Assembly adopted without a vote the draft resolution contained in document A/55/972.


The Assembly then adopted without a vote the draft decision on the financing of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) contained in document A/55/967.


It next took up two of the Committee’s reports on financing the Organization’s peace operations in the Middle East.  Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the resolution contained in the first report, document A/55/975, on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).


Next, it took up the report (document A/55/681/Add.1) on the resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).


That draft was adopted following two recorded votes.  The Committee decided to retain preambular paragraphs 4 and operative paragraphs 2, 3 and 15 of the draft by a vote of 70 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with 42 abstentions (Annex I).  It then adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with no abstentions (Annex II).


In explanation of vote, the representative of Israel said that in April 1996, Hezbollah had used the safety of the United Nations base at Qana to launch bombs at his country.  He reminded delegations that there was no precedent for holding a single State responsible for actions in the manner the present resolution proposed.  Indeed, the general principle of the Organization had been one of collective responsibility.  He added that Israel had warned the United Nations of the dangerous actions taking place at Qana.  His nation, like any other sovereign State, could not stand idle while its towns and cities were bombed for days at a time.


Even today, Lebanon and others continued to flout international law, up to and including the holding of Israeli prisoners.  Still, Israel sought a quiet and peaceful border and would act to bring about the return of international peace and security within the region and beyond.  Israel called upon the Governments of Lebanon and Syria to heed the call of the international community and obey the provisions of the relevant Security Council resolutions in this regard.  Those Governments should act quickly to restore order at the “Blue Line”, and particularly ensure that organizations not under their control ceased their activities.  That would go a long way to restoring peace in the Middle East. 


He was distressed by the political manipulation of the Committee by certain States.  He hoped that the four paragraphs voted on today -- and every year -- would be dropped next year so the resolution could be adopted by consensus.  Indeed, the principle of adopting resolutions by consensus was generally reaffirmed by every member of the Committee on most other occasions.


Rights of Reply


The representative of Syria drew the Assembly’s attention to the fact that Israel had spoken on this issue during the Fifth Committee’s consideration of this resolution.  Commenting on a number of allegations in the statement made by Israel, he said that his delegation found the use of the phrase “political manipulation of the Committee” quite “bizarre”.  He also found it strange that the representative would call on the international community to express its political will.  The will of the international community had, indeed, been expressed with the vote and subsequent adoption of the resolution today, as well as the adoption of the relevant Security Council resolutions.  The international community further agreed that a criminal act had been carried out against the international symbol of peace within the region. 


He recalled that the Secretary-General, as well as reporters in the mass media, had agreed that the bombing of the base had been deliberate. His delegation shared that view.  Israel’s actions should not be considered to fall under the Organization's standard of “collective responsibility”.  Israel must, indeed, pay for its deliberate violation of international law.  He added that the most audacious statement was Israel’s call to Syria and Lebanon to control or stop what he considered heroic acts of resistance by those fighting for liberation in the region.


Also in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Lebanon said that the representative of Israel had accused his country of politicizing the matter, while deeply delving into political matters himself.  He was trying to escape by running forward.  He wanted to stress that all the paragraphs of the resolution in question that the “Group of 77” developing countries had called for, were purely financial and administrative, with no political content whatsoever. 


Instead of going into the political issues, Israel should pay for the damage caused to the United Nations peacekeeping force, he continued.  If Lebanon had wanted to politicize the matter, it would have demanded payment for the deaths of 102 Lebanese civilians, including women and children, who had perished in the attack that Israel had launched at Qana.  Instead, his country was insisting on the payment of the amount assessed by the United Nations.  The figure should not be paid to Lebanon, but to the United Nations.  The General Assembly should not be accused of politicizing the matter when it called for payment for the damage caused to a United Nations peacekeeping mission.


His country was one of the first to have signed the Charter, which called for the principle of collective responsibility for payment of the budget of the Organization, he said.  Did that mean that the international community should conclude that a certain State -- be it Israel or any other -- could deliberately bomb the United Nations premises and then demand that others should pay for it?  That was not what the principle of collective responsibility implied.  The country that carried out an attack against another State or an international organization should pay for the damages it inflicted.


As for the use of the camp by Hezbollah, he referred the representative of Israel to the Secretary-General’s 1996 report on the matter, according to which, during the bombing, there had been a marked shift of fire from the artillery position to the United Nations camp.  That implied a deliberate attack.  Turning to the statement about three Israeli soldiers held in southern Lebanon, he said that it was true.  But did the representative of Israel know why the Lebanese resistance held them?  There were 13 Lebanese prisoners of war held without trial -- some of them for almost a quarter of a century -- in Israel. 


Also in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Saudi Arabia said he had been amazed to hear a representative of the Zionist entity say

the cause of the bombing was the presence of an ammunition depot of Hezbollah

300 metres away from the United Nations camp.  He had heard the same Israeli representative say in the Fifth Committee that the reason for the bombing had been the occupation of the camp in Qana by Hezbollah for three days prior to the attack.  He had said that the attacks had come from inside the camp.  Which of the two statements was he supposed to believe?  Resorting to lies was a role the Israeli representative excelled in.  If it respected international legality, instead of lying, the Zionist entity must recognize the damage it had inflicted and pay for that damages.


The Assembly next took up the draft resolution contained in the Committee’s report on the financing of the United Nations Protection Force, the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia, the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force and the United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters (UNPROFOR) (document A/55/961).  The resolution was adopted without a vote.


Turning next to the Committee’s report on the financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/55/969), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution without a vote.


The Assembly next took up the report on the financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) (document A/55/968) and adopted without a vote the draft resolution.


Another of the Fifth Committee’s reports on financing the Organization’s peace operations was then examined.  That report (document A/55/965) contained a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), which the Assembly adopted without a vote.


The Assembly next turned to a report on financing peace operations in Haiti (document A/55/963) and adopted without a vote the resolution contained therein on the financing of the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti.


On the Organization’s peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, the Assembly adopted without a vote a draft resolution (document A/55/960) on financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA).


The Assembly then turned to a Committee report on the overall peacekeeping activities of the Organization (document A/55/534/Add.2).  That report contained four resolutions and two draft decisions.  The draft resolutions included one on the support account for peacekeeping operations, one on financing the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, another on experiences learned from the use of resident auditors at peacekeeping missions, and one on reformed procedures for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment and troop costs.  All the resolutions were adopted without a vote.


The two draft decisions in the report -- on the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services and disability and death benefits, respectively -- were also adopted without a vote.

Next, the Assembly adopted without a vote a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) contained in document A/55/962).


The Assembly next took note of the Committee’s report on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/55/712/Add.1).


Finally, the Assembly adopted without a vote a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) contained in document A/55/711/Add.2.


(annexes follow)

ANNEX I


Vote on financing of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)


Preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 2, 3 and 15 of the draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/55/681/Add.1) were adopted by a recorded vote of 70 in favour to 3 against, with 42 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia.


Against:  Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.


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


Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Costa Rica, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe.


(END OF ANNEX I)


ANNEX II


Vote on financing of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)


The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/55/681/Add.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 3 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia.


Against:  Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.


Abstaining:  None.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Costa Rica, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe.


* *** *