24/12/2001
Press Release
GA/AB/3492



Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

40th Meeting (AM)


FIFTH COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS $2.63 BILLION 2002-2003 BUDGET,


CONCLUDES MAIN PART OF FIFTY-SIXTH SESSION


Following extensive informal consultations that lasted through Saturday afternoon, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this morning approved without a vote a 2002-2003 United Nations budget of some $2.63 billion and concluded its work for the main part of its fifty-sixth session.  The Committee acted on all outstanding issues today without a vote.


Under the budget’s terms, the estimate for income (other than that from staff assessment) amount to some $51.76 million, bringing the net expenditure for the biennium to an estimated $2.57 billion.  The draft resolution shows a reduction of the resources proposed by the Secretary-General for:  travel of staff (some $2.8 million); contractual services (some $6.4 million); general operating expenses (some $19.7 million); supplies and materials (some

$1.4 million); and furniture and equipment ($7.2 million).


As set out in the medium-term plan for 2002-2005, which constitutes the principal policy directive of the United Nations, the budget has been prepared in accordance with the following priorities:  the maintenance of international peace and security; promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development; development of Africa; promotion of human rights; coordination of humanitarian assistance; promotion of justice and international law; disarmament; drug control activities, crime prevention and combating international terrorism.


For the first time this year, the budget has been prepared on the basis of a results-based format, which was approved by the General Assembly a year ago.  The new approach was meant to shift the budgetary process from a mainly quantitative focus on resources to a more qualitative one, which is based on expected accomplishments, programme delivery and measurement of the effectiveness of the Organization’s activities.


Concerning human resources, by the terms of the budget draft resolution, the Assembly would express regret that the Secretary-General did not undertake a comprehensive review of the post structure of the Secretariat and make proposals to address the top-heavy nature of the Organization.  It would decide not to approve the requested upward reclassification of several posts and note with concern the number of reclassifications and new posts at senior levels contained in the budget proposal, stating that their acceptance would “lead to a further distortion in the pyramid staff structure of the Organization that is already top-heavy”.


Following a recent comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects, the Committee approved a draft resolution by the terms of which the Assembly would appropriate an additional amount of some $1.58 million for the advancement of the United Nations peacekeeping activities.  It would also approve an additional 121 support-account funded posts with related post- and non-post requirements in the amount of some $16.1 million gross for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  The Assembly would also request an evaluation, through the Office of Internal Oversight Services, of the impact of the restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and an audit of policies and procedures of the Organization for recruiting staff for that Department.


The Committee also made recommendations to the General Assembly on safety and security of the United Nations personnel, welcoming the new inter-agency cost-sharing arrangement and requesting that the apportionment of expenses for those purposes be updated in 2003.  Noting with concern the lack of an accountability mechanism in the area of field security, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report on the establishment of such a mechanism, which should include information regarding the scope, depth, common standards and methods of enforcement.  The Secretary-General would be requested to conduct an evaluation of the United Nations security system, including the new security arrangements and the relationship between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator.


By another draft resolution, the Assembly would approve the draft biennial calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for 2002-2003, as submitted by the Committee on Conferences.  The draft also contains provisions on the utilization of conference-servicing resources and facilities, documentation- and publication-related matters, information technology, translation and interpretation.


By the draft on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, the Assembly would note with appreciation the work of that body and take note of its two most recent reports.  In the Oversight Services next report, the Assembly would ask for information about the impact of the reorganization of its work.  In order to achieve better implementation of that oversight body's recommendations, the Assembly would welcome the initiative to include in the Oversight Office reports qualitative assessments of such implementation and request that future reports of the Office include information about the implementation rates.  Also requested would be updates on particular recommendations and particular oversight activities and follow-up on the recommendations. 


In other action this morning, the Committee made recommendations on such matters as the utilization of the provision for special political missions, the contingency fund, the request for subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the budget proposals for 2002-2003 of the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO and the revised estimates of resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive 2001 session.


(page 1b follows)


The drafts and documents before the Committee were introduced by Director of Peacekeeping Financing Division, Bok Yeoh; Chairman of the ACABQ, Conrad S. M. Mselle; Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, Warren Sach; the Chairman of the Fifth Committee, Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), as well as representatives of Austria, Botswana, Pakistan, Argentina, Portugal and Cuba, who conducted informal consultations on the texts.  Statements were also made by the representatives of Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), Iraq, Iran (on behalf of "Group of 77" developing countries and China), Kenya, Algeria, Guatemala, Israel, Syria, India and Croatia.


Background


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to conclude its work, acting on all the remaining issues on its agenda for the main part of the session.


The first text before the Committee was a draft resolution on the pattern of conferences (document A/C.5/56/L.24), by the terms of which the Assembly would approve the draft biennial calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for 2002-2003, as submitted by the Committee on Conferences.  The Committee on Conferences would be authorized to make any adjustments to that calendar in accordance with possible future decisions of the General Assembly.   When planning events, the Committee would also be requested to avoid simultaneous peak periods at the various duty stations and avoid scheduling meetings of related intergovernmental bodies too closely together. 


The draft also contains provisions on the utilization of conference-servicing resources and facilities, documentation- and publication-related matters, information technology, translation and interpretation.  In particular, the Assembly would look at the mechanisms for addressing the concerns of Member States about the efficiency, quality and delivery of conference services, including information about the way in which the concerns of Member States are recorded and reported.  It would welcome the establishment of a permanent interpretation service at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, note with appreciation the increase in the number of multilingual meetings there and encourage the Secretary-General to intensify efforts to attract more meetings to those facilities. 


The Assembly would also stress the need to ensure availability of documentation in accordance with the six-week rule, in the six official languages of the United Nations.  It would request the Secretary-General to develop an effective accountability and responsibility system within the Secretariat to ensure timely submission of documents for processing and to report thereon to the fifty-seventh session.  Noting with concern the delay in the issuance of verbatim and summary records, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to take appropriate measures to ameliorate the situation.  The Secretary-General would be also requested, among other things, to study the possibility of enhanced cooperation between the production of press releases by the Department of Public Information and the preparation of summary records by the Department of General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services, bearing in mind the different nature of those materials.


For an initial period of one year, the Assembly would approve the training initiative for interpreters who scored higher than 55 per cent on the competitive examination and possess rare language combinations.  It would also decide to conduct a comprehensive review of the current norms and standards of productivity in the language services and the impact of technological innovations on their work.  The Secretary-General would be requested to improve the quality control of language services at all duty stations.  To improve the quality of translation of documents issued in the six official languages, it is also necessary to ensure continuous dialogue between translation and interpretation staff at various duty stations and translation divisions and Member States with regard to standardization of the terminology.


By the terms of the draft resolution on inter-organizational safety and security measures in implementation of resolution 55/238 (document A/C.5/56/L.31), the Assembly would welcome the agreed inter-agency cost-sharing arrangement and request that the apportionment of expenses be updated in 2003.  Noting with concern the lack of an accountability and responsibility mechanism in the area of field security, it would request the Secretary-General to submit to its next session a comprehensive report on the establishment of such a mechanism, including provisions on its scope, depth, common standards and methods of enforcement.  The Secretary-General would be requested to conduct an evaluation of the United Nations security system, including the new security arrangements and the relationship between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator.


Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on the Office of Internal Oversight Services (document A/C.5/56/L.36), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of that body's reports for the periods 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, and 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 and express its appreciation for its work.  The Office would be requested to include in its next report information about the reorganization of its work, and the Secretary-General would be requested to ensure that future Office reports include information about implementation of its recommendations for three preceding reporting periods. 


Welcoming the initiative of including qualitative assessments of implementation, the Assembly would invite the Secretary-General to entrust the Office with refining the criteria for such assessments.  The draft also includes requests for updates regarding the implementation of particular recommendations of the Office contained in its reports, including those on the new mission subsistence allowance, and on mission liquidation activities, in particular with regard to write-offs.  An update would also be requested on the oversight activities referred to in the most recent annual reports.


By the draft decision on the revised estimates of resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive 2001 session (document A/C.5/56/L.37), the Fifth Committee would recommend to the Assembly that it take note of the reports by the Secretary-General and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on the matter, on the understanding that such appropriations as may be necessary (and not exceeding some

$1.4 million), will be requested by the Secretary-General in the context of a consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revised estimates to be submitted to the Assembly.


By another draft decision (document A/C.5/56/L.38), the Fifth Committee would recommend that the Assembly approve the budget proposals for 2002-2003 of the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO in the amount of some $18 million.


Regarding the request for subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the Committee had before it a draft decision (document A/C.5/56/L.39), by the terms of which the Assembly would approve the recommended amount of $213,000 from the regular budget of the United Nations for 2002, on the understanding that no additional appropriation would be required under section 4, Disarmament, of the budget for 2002-2003.


According to the Secretary-General’s note on the utilization of the provision for special political missions (document A/C.5/56/32) under section 3, Political affairs, while some $93.7 million was approved for that purpose by the terms of General Assembly resolution 55/233 last year, after recosting, that amount is equivalent to some $98.34 million.  During the current session, the Assembly will approve several charges against the special mission budget provisions in the context of statements of programme budget implications and estimates pertaining to mandates authorized by the Assembly or the Security Council.  In that connection, the Fifth Committee may wish to recommend that the Assembly approve a charge of some $33.7 million against the provision for special political missions, leaving an unallocated balance of some $64.7 million.


On the programme budget for the ending biennium, the Committee had before it a draft resolution (document A/C.5/56/L.30), which contains final budget appropriations for 2000-2001 totaling some $2.53 billion appropriated under resolution 55/239a, to be augmented by a commitment authority of some $28.45 million for various sections of the budget.  In addition to those amounts, $250,000 is to be appropriated for each year of the biennium from the accumulated income of the Library Endowment Fund for the purchase of books, periodicals, maps and library equipment. 


Also according to the draft, the $380.82 million estimates of income shall provisionally be decreased by some $1.15 million.  Also by the terms of the draft, the Assembly would decide, in the light of the critical financial situation of the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), to retain in the programme budget for 2000-2001, $650,000 of the original $800,000 provision and request the Secretary-General to disburse the provision in December 2001 as a subvention to be credited to the Trust Fund for the Institute, so as to ensure continuation of its operations in 2002.


By the terms of the draft resolution on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations (document A/C.5/56/L.32) the Assembly would appropriate an additional amount of some $1.58 million for the advancement of the United Nations peacekeeping activities.  It would also approve an additional 121 support-account-funded posts with related post- and non-post requirements in the amount of some $16.1 million gross for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  The Assembly would also request an evaluation, through the Office of Internal Oversight Services, of the impact of the restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and an audit of policies and procedures of the Organization for recruiting staff for that Department.


Among several provisions directed against duplication, the text contains a paragraph, by which the Secretary-General would be requested to prevent duplication of work between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs and to further clarify the relationships and interactions between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and other offices in the Department of Management, particularly those dealing with personnel, financial administration and control management of procurement activities and monitoring of delegated authority.


Expressing concern over the delay in recruitment and staffing of the

93 support-account posts approved on an urgent basis in December 2000, the Assembly would also express concern over the imbalance in the geographical representation of Member States in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and urge the Secretary-General to take immediate measures to improve the representation of under-represented and unrepresented countries in future recruitment.  It would welcome the emphasis on training, planning and establishment of rosters, which would provide the capacity to manage and monitor personnel actions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of Human Resources Management.


Also by the text, the Assembly would regret the inordinate delay in the certification of write-off claims from some liquidated peacekeeping operations and request the Secretary-General to finalize the certification of those claims by

30 June 2002. 


Also before the Committee was a document containing draft decisions concerning programme budget implications of several drafts before the Assembly (document A/C.5/56/L.33).  According to part A of that document, the Fifth Committee would inform the Assembly that should it adopt draft resolution A/C.1/56/L.47, a provision of $499,900 would be required for 2002-2003, which would represent a charge against the Contingency Fund.  Additional requirements that may be required in respect of office accommodation under section 27D, Office of Central Support Services, would be considered by the Assembly in the context of the first performance report for 2002-2003.


(By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would, among other things, decide to convene, not later than 2006, a conference to review progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, the date and venue to be decided at its fifty-eighth session.  The Assembly would also decide to convene a meeting of States on a biennial basis, commencing in 2003, to consider national, regional and global implementation of the Programme of Action.)


A statement of programme budget implications of the draft on the Second World Assembly on Ageing is contained in decision B of the text.  According to the document, by the terms of draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.6/Rev.1, the Assembly would invite the Department of Public Information to continue, in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the host country, the information campaign for that event.  The Fifth Committee would inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, the additional appropriation as may be required under section 26, Public information, would be considered in the context of the first budget performance report for 2002-2003.


Decision C of the text contains a statement of programme budget implications concerning a draft resolution on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  It explains that the Third Committee adopted the draft (document A/C.3/56/L.26), by the terms of which the Assembly would decide to authorize the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to hold, on an exceptional basis, an extraordinary three-week session in 2002 to consider reports of States’ parties, thereby reducing the backlog of reports.


Should the Assembly adopt the draft, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women would hold an additional session in August 2002 for 15 working days.  The additional costs arising from the additional session and the enlargement of its pre-sessional working groups amount to $252,900 under section 9, Economic and social affairs.  The additional requirements would represent a charge against the contingency fund for 2002-2003, which will be adopted by the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session. 


The Fifth Committee would also inform the Assembly that the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women should consider reforming its methods of work, including its reporting procedures, in order to prevent future backlogs.  If additional meeting time proves necessary, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women should consider the option of extending sessions, rather than holding additional sessions, as that would introduce economies; and to hold its meetings in the most cost-efficient manner.


Decision D of the document addresses the programme budget implications of the special session of the General Assembly on children (programme budget implications of draft resolution A/56/L.7).  By its terms, the Fifth Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that should it adopt the draft, an additional appropriation of $539,400 would be required in the proposed programme budget for 2002-2003, which would include $156,200 under section 1, Overall policy-making; $147,000 under section 26, Public information; and $236,200 under section 27D, Office of Central Support Services.  Those provisions would represent a charge against the Contingency Fund.


Decision E of the text deals with the programme budget implications of draft resolution B contained in document A/56/21/Add.1 on the development of an international radio broadcasting capacity for the United Nations.  The adoption of that text would lead to the need for an additional appropriation of some

$2.7 million for the biennium 2002-2003, as follows:  $2.4 million under section 26, Public information; and $308,000 under section 32, Staff assessment (to be offset by an equivalent amount under income from staff assessment).  Those provisions would represent a charge against the Contingency Fund. 


The Fifth Committee would also recommend to the Assembly to request the Secretary-General to explore opportunities for cooperation and cost-sharing with specialized agencies and funds and programmes of the system and report on that matter at its fifty-seventh session.


Decision F concerns a draft resolution on the use of mercenaries document A/C.3/56/L.31), by the terms of which the Assembly would request the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene, before the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on Human Rights, a second expert meeting to update international legislation and make recommendations for a clearer legal definition of mercenaries, thereby making the prevention and punishment of mercenary activities more efficient.  According to the statement, should the Assembly adopt the draft, that decision would give rise to additional requirements of some $64,100 for 2002-2003 under section 22 of the budget, Human Rights.  The provision would require a charge against the contingency fund.


Decision G is a statement of programme budget implications for draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.69/Rev.1 on the subregional centre for human rights and democracy in Central Africa.  By the terms of the draft resolution, the General Assembly would invite the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, under the direction of the Secretary-General, to provide assistance to the Centre to ensure its efficiency and smooth running.  The activities to be implemented include training for political leaders and media practitioners and activities related to democracy, including provision of assistance to governments for the preparation of elections.


Should the Assembly approve the draft resolution, that would give rise to additional requirements of some $1 million under section 22, Human Rights, of the proposed programme budget.  The provision would constitute a charge against the Contingency Fund.


Decision H is another statement of budget implications concerning the Office of the President of the Economic and Social Council.  By the terms of draft decision A/C.2/56/L.6, the General Assembly would decide that the Office of the President of the Economic and Social Council be provided with the means to carry out its functions, taking into account the different arrangements made for the principal organs of the United Nations listed in Article 7 of the Charter.  In view of the nature of and functions of the Office of the President of ECOSOC, only the arrangements for the Presidents of the Assembly and the Security Council could be used as models. 


The Fifth Committee would decide to recommend to the Assembly that the adoption of the draft would not require any additional appropriation in the proposed budget for 2002-2003, as arrangements for the President of the Security Council would be adopted as a model for the President of the Economic and Social Council.


Decision I is another budget implication concerning the situation of human rights in Myanmar.  By the terms of draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.55, the General Assembly would welcome the report of the Secretary-General on the visit of his Special Envoy for Myanmar to that country and strongly endorse his efforts to facilitate the national reconstruction process among all the interested parties in Myanmar.  The Assembly would also encourage the Government of Myanmar to establish a constructive and regular dialogue with the Secretary-General to make better use of his good offices. 


Should the Assembly adopt draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.55, provision of some $277,900 would be required for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2002 for the good offices of the Secretary-General to facilitate the process of dialogue and national reconciliation in Myanmar.  These requirements would be charged against the provision for special political missions under section 3, Political affairs, of the 2002-2003 proposed programme budget.


Decision J of the document addresses the programme budget implications of the draft resolution on the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (document A/56/L.42).  Should the Assembly adopt the draft, an amount of some $14.75 million would be charged against the provision for special political missions in the 2002-2003 programme budget.


Decision K contains information about draft resolution A/56/L.45 on the situation in Central America (document A.56/L.45).  The Fifth Committee would inform the Assembly that the adoption of the draft would necessitate appropriation of $188,500 against the provision for special political missions in the programme budget for 2002-2003.


Programme budget implications of the draft resolution on the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (document A/C.2/56/L.78) are contained in decision L of the draft.  Should the Assembly adopt the draft, net appropriation of up to $1.22 million for the biennium 2002-2003 would be required, subject to the procedures for the use and operations of the contingency fund.

Decision M deals with the World Summit on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/56/L.71).  According to the text, should the Assembly adopt the draft, an additional appropriation as may be required under section 26, Public information, would be considered by the Assembly in the context of the first budget performance report for 2002-2003.


Draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.29 concerns questions relating to the proposed programme budget for 2002-2003, determines the priorities for the budget, provides justification for decisions and describes the main budget sections.


The budget has been prepared in accordance with the priorities set out in the medium-term plan for 2002-2005, which constitutes the principal policy directive of the United Nations:  the maintenance of international peace and security; promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development; development of Africa; promotion of human rights; coordination of humanitarian assistance; promotion of justice and international law; disarmament; drug control activities, crime prevention and combating international terrorism.


For the first time this year, the budget has been prepared on the basis of a results-oriented format, which was approved by the General Assembly a year ago.  The new approach was meant to shift the budgetary process from a mainly quantitative focus on resources to a more qualitative one, which is based on expected accomplishments, programme delivery and measurement of the effectiveness of the Organization’s activities.


As for the human resources aspects of the budget, by the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly would express regret that the Secretary-General did not undertake a comprehensive review of the post structure of the Secretariat and make proposals to address the top-heavy nature of the Organization.  It would decide not to approve the requested upward reclassification of several posts and note with concern the number of reclassifications and new posts at senior levels contained in the budget proposal, stating that their acceptance would “lead to a further distortion in the pyramid staff structure of the Organization that is already top-heavy”.


The estimate for income (other than that from staff assessment) amounts to some $51.76 million, brining the net expenditure for the biennium to an estimated $2.57 billion.  The draft resolution on the budget shows a reduction of the resources proposed by the Secretary-General for travel of staff (some

$2.8 million); contractual services (some $6.4 million); general operating expenses (some $19.7 million); supplies and materials (some $1.4 million); and furniture and equipment ($7.2 million).


Draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.28 (Parts I and II) contains the proposed programme budget of the United Nations for 2002-2003, in the amount of some

$2.63 billion gross. 


Secretary-General's Proposed Budget by Budget Part


Part

Title


Approved

2002-2003

$ million


1.


Overall policy-making, direction and coordination


 499.14


2.


Political affairs


 248.09


3.


International justice and law


  59.10


4.


International cooperation for development


 273.14


5.


Regional cooperation for development


 335.18


6.


Human rights and humanitarian affairs


 132.46


7.


Public information


 144.72


8.


Common support services


 428.53


9.


Internal oversight


  20.30


10.


Jointly financed administrative expenses and special activities


  77.78


11.


Capital expenditures


  45.42


12.


Staff assessment


 348.25


13.


Development account


  13.06


TOTAL


2,625.18


Draft resolution II contains budget appropriations for 2002-2003.  It also provides estimates of income other than assessments on Member States totalling some $51.76 million and covers issues of financing of appropriations for 2002.


Draft resolution III relates to special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget.  By its terms, the Assembly would:

I. Approve the recommendation of a subvention of $213,000 from the regular budget of the United Nations for 2002, on the understanding that no additional appropriation would be required under section 4, Disarmament, of the proposed programme budget for 2002-2003;


II. Approve the gross budget for the Joint Inspection Unit in the amount of some $7.55 million;


III. Approve the gross budget for the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) in the amount of some $12.81 million.


IV. Take note of the reports by the Secretary-General and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on the revised estimates of resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive 2001 session, on the understanding that such appropriations as may be necessary (and not exceeding some $1.44 million, will be requested by the Secretary-General in the context of a consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revised estimates to be submitted to the Assembly.


V. Approve expenses, chargeable directly to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, totalling some $74.32 million net for 2002-2003, and a decrease of some $3.1 million net for 2002-2001.  The Joint Staff Pension Board would be authorized to supplement voluntary contributions to the Emergency Fund for 2002-2003 by an amount not exceeding $200,000.


VI. Note that a balance of some $2.19 million remains in the contingency fund.


VII. Note that an unallocated balance of some $64.65 million remains against the provision of $98.45 million for special political missions.


VIII. Welcome the agreed inter-agency cost-sharing arrangement concerning safety and security of United Nations personnel, and request that the apportionment of expenses be updated in 2003.  It would also request the Secretary-General to submit to its next session a comprehensive report on the establishment of an accountability mechanism.


IX. Approve the budget proposals for 2002-2003 of the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO in the amount of some $18.02 million.


X. Take note of the revised estimates arising from the recosting of the effects of changes in the rates of exchange and inflation.


XI. Appropriate an additional amount of some $1.56 million for the implementation of the recommendations flowing out of the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects under the following sections of the proposed budget:  $376,000 under section 3, Political affairs; $888,800 under section 22, Human rights; $127,900 under section 27, Management and central support services; and $182,000 under section 32, Staff assessment, to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1, Income from staff assessment.


Draft resolution IV deals with unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium and contains information about estimates of income other than assessments on Member States totalling some $51.76 million.  By the terms of this text, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments to meet such expenses arising either during or subsequent to the biennium.  An amount not exceeding a total of $8 million would be designated for the maintenance of peace and security.


For the International Court of Justice, such expenses would include an amount not exceeding $330,000 for ad hoc judges; $50,000 for the calling of witnesses and the appointment of witnesses; $40,000 for the completion of cases of judges who have not been re-elected.  Commitments not exceeding a total of $500,000 would be authorized, should they be required for inter-organizational security measures.  If a decision of the Security Council results in the need for the Secretary-General to enter into commitments relating to the maintenance of peace and security in an amount exceeding $10 million in respect of the decision, that matter would be brought before the Assembly.


Draft resolution V concerns the Working Capital Fund for 2002-2003, which, according to the text, should be established in the amount of $100 million.  Should those provisions prove inadequate, the Secretary-General would be authorized to utilize cash from special funds and accounts in his custody, or the proceeds of loans authorized by the Assembly.


By draft decision A/C.5/56/L.34, the Committee would approve its biennial programme of work for 2002-2003.


Draft decision A/C.5/56/L.35 contains a list of the Fifth Committee's agenda items, the consideration of which the Committee should continue at its resumed fifty-sixth session.


Statements


Pattern of Conferences


THOMAS SCHLESINGER (Austria) introduced the draft resolution on pattern of conferences (A/C.5/56/L.24).  He noted a few oral amendments in the text.


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


Office of Internal Oversight Services


COLLEN VIXEN KELAPILE (Botswana) introduced the draft resolution on the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (A/C.5/56/L.36).


The representative of Iraq said that he had followed the violations committed by the Office of the Iraq Programme.  The information in the Secretary-General’s report in that regard was of grave concern.  As the topic was relevant to the work of the Committee, following it up was vital to guarantee that the accounting and financial work was done according to United Nations regulations and resolutions.  The violations constituted a waste of Iraqi money dedicated for humanitarian purposes.  Those violations should have been referred to the Security Council, so that it could review them and take the necessary measures.  However, he was keen on achieving consensus in the Committee and had shown the necessary flexibility in that regard.  Nevertheless, he would inform the Council of the contents of the Secretary-General’s report (A/56/436)


The Committee then approved the text without a vote.


Peacekeeping Operations


AIZAZ CHAUDHRY (Pakistan) introduced the draft resolution on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects (A/C.5/56/L.32). 


The representative of Algeria reiterated his full commitment to the full implementation of the recommendations in the Brahimi report and those of the Peacekeeping Committee.  He was resolved to strengthening the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to provide effective support to peacekeeping operations.  He attached special importance to the prerogatives of the Fifth Committee in the area of peacekeeping being preserved and expressed concern at attempts to shift the Committee’s powers to another Committee.  He trusted that such attempts to shift authority would not occur in the future.  He would be closely following the matter in discussions during the resumed session.  


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the text.


The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the Union had previously had an opportunity to express its reservations on some recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), such as those relating to humanitarian affairs and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants.  Also, a considerable number of developed and developing countries had shared their views, particularly troop-contributing countries and those benefiting from peacekeeping operations.  The Secretariat would have to come up with adequate proposals to address such concerns at the resumed session.  The Department of Peacekeeping Operations was now able to proceed to restructuring and ensure recruitment to enable it to have appropriate support for work in the field.


The representative of Cuba said that her delegation had joined consensus on the recommendations of ACABQ to facilitate the decision-making process.  However, while it was important to strengthen the capacity of the Department, ways must be found which would be more conservative within existing resources to meet all of the Organization’s responsibilities.


BOK YEOH, Director, Peacekeeping Financing Division, introduced the note by the Secretary-General on the support account for peacekeeping operations contained in document A/C.5/56/34.   


The Committee took note of the amounts to be appropriated in respect of the five peacekeeping missions referred to in that document.


Programme Budget for Biennium 2000-2001


The Committee approved, without a vote, the draft resolution on the second performance report for the biennium 2000-2001 including unforeseen and extraordinary expenses (A/C.5/56/L.30), submitted by Guillermo Kendall (Argentina).

Programme Budget for Biennium 2002-2003


The Committee then turned to the document A/C.5/56/L.33, which contained

13 draft decisions on statements of programme budget implications submitted by the Secretary-General.  The document was submitted by Mr. Kendall (Argentina).


The draft decisions contained in A/C.5/56/L.33 were approved by the Committee without a vote.


The representative of Guatemala expressed gratitude for the support provided to her country.


The representative of Israel regretted that, although the World Summit on Sustainable Development was not a secret, the Department of Public Information (DPI) did not include any proposals for its budget and the Committee had to approve an additional $355,000 for that.


The representative of Cuba said that, in the future, a more integral solution to the question of financing could be done on a periodic basis for financing some aspects of international conferences.  The Committee could be given more time within the framework of the budget to deal with those issues and to consider the recommendations of the ACABQ.


Economic and Social Council


Next, the Committee took up the draft resolution on the revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 2001 (A/C.5/56/L.37), submitted by

Mr. Kendall (Argentina).


That text was approved without a vote by the Committee.


United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research


Following that, the Committee turned its attention to the draft decision on the request for subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research resulting from the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Institute contained in the report to the Board (A/C.5/56/L.39), also submitted by Mr. Kendall (Argentina).


The Committee approved the text without a vote.


International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO


The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (A/C.5/56/L.38), which was submitted by Eduardo Ramos (Portugal).


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the text.


Inter-organizational Security Measures


EVA SILOT BRAVO (Cuba) introduced the draft resolution on the safety and security of the United Nations personnel (A/C.5/56/L.31). 


The Committee approved the text without a vote.


The representative of Syria said that in the future, the Secretariat, in submitting its proposals to the Committee, should take into account resolution 55/498.


The representative of Algeria welcomed the adoption of the text and Cuba’s efforts in that regard.


Contingency Fund


WARREN SACH, Director of Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the contingency fund:  consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revisedestimates, contained in document A/C.5/56/33.  The consolidated amount of $16,707,900 was within the available balance of the Contingency Fund.  The uncommitted balance amounted to $2,192,100.


CONRAD S. M. MSELLE, Chairman of the ACABQ, orally presented the observation of the Advisory Committee on the question.  He recommended that the Committee proceed as indicated in paragraph 2 and 3 of the report.    


The Committee recommended that the Assembly note that a balance of $2,192,100 remains in the contingency fund.


The representative of Cuba said that communications should be sent to all relevant organs to inform them that funds were available, so that they could make use of those resources in future sessions.


Special Political Missions


Mr. SACH introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the utilization of the provision for special political missions under section 3, political affairs, contained in document A/C.5/56/32.  The approved charges would amount to $33,690,300, leaving an unallocated balanced of some $64 million.


Mr. MSELLE, presenting the observation of the ACABQ, said that in the report of the ACABQ with regard to matters on which the Security Council was seized, the Advisory Committee recommended a partial charge, pending the Committee submitting a comprehensive report to the resumed session of the Assembly.  Thus, it was appropriate to, in paragraph 4, indicate to the Assembly that it approve a potential charge of $33,690,300 against the provision for special political missions.  The Fifth Committee should proceed as indicated in paragraph 4.


The Committee recommended to the Assembly to approve a charge of

$33,690,300 against the provision for special political missions.


Programme Budget for Biennium 2002-2003


The representatives of Belgium, Iran, Austria, Cameroon, Botswana and Syria made comments, corrections and inquiries regarding the draft resolution on questions relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003 (document A/C.5/56/L.29). 

Responding to the concern of Botswana over the use of “therefore”,

Mr. MSELLE noted that the correct term in paragraph 113 should be “therefor”.


Mr. SACH noted that, in paragraph 108, Section 16, the reference to the vacancy rate of 5 per cent represented an adjustment relating to the regional commissions liaison office at Headquarters.  No other adjustment had been made for vacancies for the Economic Commission for Africa, based in Addis Ababa. 


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


The representative of Belgium, on behalf of the European Union and associated States, congratulated the Chairman and the Secretariat on successfully completing the work of the Committee.  In approving the programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003, the Committee agreed to grant some $92 million more than for the previous biennium.  He expressed great satisfaction at the results achieved.  He also congratulated Eduardo Ramos for the coordinating work done to enable the Committee to conclude its negotiations on the budget, as well as Warren Sach for his efforts.


The representative of Iran, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed gratitude to Mr. Ramos for his great efforts.  He was positively surprised with the peaceful manner in which the negotiations on the budget were conducted.  He also expressed thanks to various delegations for their efforts.  Delegations had been careful to avoid duplication and to ensure that the work was streamlined and done in an effective manner.  Also, he was concerned with the redeployment of resources of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  At the same time, he supported the establishment of the Office of the High Representative for least developed countries.  He praised the Chairman for his constructive involvement in the negotiations, as well as the efforts of the Secretariat.  


The representative of Kenya expressed gratitude to the Chairman and to

Mr. Ramos for his efforts with regard to the programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003.  He congratulated the Secretary-General for his efforts to strengthen the United Nations Office in Nairobi.  The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Habitat were still reliant on extra-budgetary resources for 90 per cent of their budget.  He strongly appealed to the Secretary-General to ensure stability and predictability in funding for those two bodies by increasing their regular budget allocations.


The representative of Cuba thanked Mr. Ramos for concluding the work on the budget, as well as the Secretariat for their efforts to ensure a positive outcome.  She understood that the approved budget represented a restricted level as compared to previous budgets.  That level of resources would be sufficient to fulfil the Organization’s mandate and responsibilities.  It was up to the Fifth Committee to take measures, without prejudice, to ensure that all resources were made available to the Organization for it to comply with its given mandate.


The representative of Belgium expressed gratitude to the representative of Iran for the kind words addressed to him.  With regard to the establishment of the Office of the High Representative for least developed countries, he said that that was a priority for all States.  He hoped that Secretary-General could appoint the High Representative as soon as possible and provide for the needs of that Office.  The recommendation of the ACABQ must not be an obstacle to the implementation of all the components for that new structure.  Its success would depend on the provision of the necessary staff and resources. 


The representative of Syria said that many kind words had been addressed to the Chairman, and he supported a comprehensive statement by the representative of Iran on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.  Regarding the budget, he welcomed the approval of all the additional posts that were not part of the Secretary-General’s proposals.  An additional five posts for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reflected an increased understanding of the difficult circumstances of Palestinian refugees.  Turning to paragraph 124 of the draft, he said that all publications of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) should be published in Arabic.  In that connection, he noted an inclination of that organization to prepare only summary documents in Arabic -- that was unacceptable.


The representative of India said that he was delighted that the budget appropriations for the next biennium had been approved by consensus.  He commended the clarity of the documents containing the budget sections.  As noted by the representative of the Group of 77, the delegations had approached the budget negotiations with the clarity of purpose, taking into account the need to carry out all the mandated activities. 


Commenting on paragraph 30 of the draft, he said that he was happy to see the request to implement the rules and regulations governing programme planning, the programme aspects of the budget, the monitoring of the implementation and methods of evaluation.  He also commended the role played by the delegation of Japan in the negotiations on the budget.  He would like to see a higher budget appropriation for the Organization, as opposed to “the savage cut” to the Secretary-General’s proposals.  He hoped that would not hinder the implementation of the mandated activities.  He was also saddened that a few well-deserved reclassifications could not be approved by the Committee.  That decision was taken in an arbitrary manner due to considerations that were not entirely objective.  He hoped that such a decision would not have negative consequences.


The representative of Botswana thanked the Chairman for his work and commended the consensus decision on the budget.  He also expressed appreciation for the contribution of the Bureau of the Committee and the coordinators of the negotiations on the drafts. 


The Committee then turned to its draft report contained in document A/C.5/56/L.28 (Part I and Part II), submitted by the Rapporteur, Santiago Wins (Uruguay), which contains draft resolutions II-V. 


Mr. SACH noted some corrections to the draft report.


The representative of Cuba asked where the reclassifications not approved were indicated in the report.


Mr. SACH replied that in Part I, where changes specified, the reference was to reclassifications rejected.  All rejected reclassifications were shown.   


The representative of Cuba said that in section 28, where the ACABQ rejected the reclassification request, and in section 22, where was the reference to the Fifth Committee’s decision?

Mr. SACH said that, in both those sections, the decision of the Fifth Committee conformed to those of the ACABQ.


The representative of Syria asked whether there was any coordination between the ACABQ and the Budget Division to ensure that the proposals on rejected reclassifications were taken into account?


Mr. MSELLE replied that whatever action was taken by the Fifth Committee was reflected in its report to the plenary.  In the implementation of the budget, the Secretary-General would be guided by the actions of the Fifth, both on the recommendations of the ACABQ and the additional decisions taken by the Fifth.  At the end of today’s meeting and following the decisions by the Assembly, the Secretariat would analyze the reports to ensure compatibility.


Mr. SACH confirmed that he would go through the figures and check them.  As for transparency, all changes recommended by the ACABQ appeared in document A/56/659 and its annex.


The representative of Syria said that he wanted to speak on the earlier draft resolution.  Some reclassifications had been rejected, and that was part of the consensus.  Nothing prevented the Secretariat from reflecting such an understanding.  


The Committee approved, without a vote, draft resolution II entitled “programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003”. 


Next, the Committee turned to draft resolution III on special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003. 


That text was approved without a vote.


Following that, the Committee approved, without a vote, draft resolution IV on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium 2002-2003. 


The Committee then approved, without a vote, draft resolution V on Working Capital Fund for the biennium 2002-2003. 


Next, the Committee turned to the draft decisions on the biennial programme of work of the Fifth Committee for 2002-2003 (A/C.5/56/L.34), which it approved without a vote.


The Committee turned to the draft decision on action taken on certain items (A/C.5/56/L.35).


The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee that the first part of the resumed session would be held from 4 to 15 March 2002 and the second part would be held from 6 to 31 May 2002.


The representative of Syria noted that the resumed session had been shortened.  He hoped that there would be flexibility on the issue and it was not “written in stone”.  He hoped the Committee would adopt the resolution on the understanding that either the first or second resumed session may be extended.


The draft decision was approved without a vote.

In his closing remarks, Chairman NANA EFFAH-APENTENG (Ghana) thanked the coordinators for their hard work, particularly Mr. Ramos.  He also expressed gratitude to the Secretariat as well as the representative of Iran, who would be leaving after the session.


The representative of Mexico, on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, thanked the Chairman for his efforts as well as everyone on the Secretariat staff.


The representative of Latvia, on behalf of the Eastern European Group, thanked the Chairman and the Bureau for their leadership and efforts, as well as the coordinators.  Thanks were also expressed to the Secretariat. 


The representative of Croatia informed the Committee that her Government had made a payment of $1.5 million to the peacekeeping budget to pay off arrears of the last 10 years.


The representative of Iran expressed his best wishes to the Chairman in his future work.


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