18/06/2003
Press Release
GA/10139



Fifty-seventh General Assembly

Plenary

90th Meeting* (PM)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS PEACEKEEPING BUDGET OF $2.17 BILLION,

FINANCING 11 ACTIVE MISSIONS FOR 2003/2004


The General Assembly this afternoon, acting on the recommendations of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), adopted a budget of some $2.17 billion to finance 11 active peacekeeping missions for 2003/2004, including some $70.29 million for the maintenance of peacekeeping support account (plus $33.2 million to be applied from the Reserve Fund), and some $21.51 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy.


The new peacekeeping budget represents a significant reduction, compared with the appropriation of some $2.6 billion for the current period (2002/2003), mostly due to the closing of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and downsizing of the Organization’s operations in Kosovo, East Timor, Sierra Leone and Lebanon.


As the financial year of peacekeeping operations runs from 1 July to 30 June, their budgetary and administrative needs are customarily assessed by the Fifth Committee during its late spring session, which concluded on 4 June.  Thus, most of the 34 draft resolutions and decisions that the Assembly adopted today address various aspects of peacekeeping, including budgets of individual missions, disposition of the assets of missions in liquidation, and strategic deployment stocks.


The Assembly had two votes on the draft resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).  Prior to considering the text as a whole, the Assembly retained the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 14 by a vote of 85 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 45 abstentions (see Annex I).  Those paragraphs refer to several previous resolutions, which call for Israel to pay some $1.12 million for the damage resulting from a 1996 incident at Qana, Lebanon.


The resolution as a whole was then adopted by a vote of 135 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions (see Annex II).


All other drafts were adopted without a vote.  For the 2003/2004 budget cycle, the Assembly approved the following amounts for 10 individual missions:


MISSION

AMOUNT

SUPPORT ACCOUNT

UNLB

TOTAL


(in million  

  dollars)


UNOMIG

30.71

1.06

0.32

32.1

UNMIK

315.52

10.89

3.33

329.74

UNFICYP

43.80

1.51

0.46

45.77

UNDOF

40.01

1.38

0.42

41.81

UNIFIL

90.00

3.11

0.95

94.06

UNMISET

185.00

6.38

1.95

193.34

MINURSO

41.53

1.43

0.44

43.40

UNAMSIL

520.05

17.95

5.49

543.49

MONUC

582.00

20.08

6.14

608.23

UNMEE

188.40

6.50

1.99

196.89


TOTAL

2,037.02

70.29

21.51

2,128,82


In addition, the Secretary-General was authorized to enter into commitments of up to $12 million for the financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) until the end of October.


The active missions are:  United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG); United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK); United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP); United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF); United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL); United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET); United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO); United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL); United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC); United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE); and UNIKOM.


The Assembly also dealt with the disposal of the assets of several closed missions, including those in Angola, Tajikistan, Liberia, Rwanda and the Central African Republic.


Addressing one of the most important aspects of the United Nations peacekeeping budget -- the support account, which allows the Secretariat to plan and deploy peacekeeping operations in a coordinated manner -- the Assembly approved its requirements for 2003/2004 in the amount of some $70.29 million, including 702 continuing posts.  The account is financed through assessments on all active missions, according to their size, as is the Logistics Base.


By the resolution adopted today, the Secretary-General was requested to review the level of the account, on a regular basis, taking into consideration the number, size and complexity of peacekeeping operations.  At the same time, the Board of Auditors was invited to review the implementation of the recommendations of the Special Committee for Peacekeeping Operations and the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, to gauge the effects of the management reform.  Taking into account the ongoing evaluation of recent restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Assembly decided to review the posts approved in its several recent resolutions. 


To achieve effective oversight over peacekeeping operations, the Assembly approved the establishment of eight posts for the Investigations Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), to be divided evenly between regional hubs in Vienna and Nairobi.  A P-4 post in the Monitoring, Evaluation and Consulting Division was established on a trial basis.  It was also decided to transfer to the support account 27 resident auditors, who are currently funded under individual missions’ budgets.


Acting on the concept of strategic deployment stocks, which was introduced last year in order to enhance the Organization’s rapid deployment capacity, the Assembly extended to 30 June 2004 the validity period of the resources in the amount of $141.55 million, which it approved in resolution 56/292. 


Creation of the stocks will allow the Organization to deploy one complex mission per year.  It also involves expansion of the role of the Logistics Base, for which the cost estimate of some $22.21 million for 2003/2004 was approved by a related text.  It is envisioned that as an operational arm for the strategic deployment stocks, the Base would also become a training and conference centre, and a support base for air operations.  The Assembly requested the Secretary-General to consider the merits of relocating all Logistics Division resources to Brindisi, as well as those related to communications and information technology services for peacekeeping.


By another text, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General, upon full establishment of the strategic deployment stocks and pre-mandated commitment authority, to review the level of the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund.  It also decided to apply some $33.25 million -- the amount in excess of the Fund’s authorized level of $150 million -- to the support account for 2003/2004.


By the resolution on the processing of reimbursements to troop- and equipment-contributing countries, the Assembly recognized that uncertainty in that respect adversely affected those countries’ ability to participate in peacekeeping.  To streamline processing of claims, the Secretary-General was requested to make suggestions for modifications to the current reporting cycle to the Working Group on Reimbursement of Contingent-owned Equipment at its meeting in February 2004.  Based on the Working Group’s recommendations, he was requested to submit a comprehensive report on issues requiring legislative action by the Assembly.


By a six-part resolution on the administrative and budgetary aspects of peacekeeping financing, the Assembly also acted on such issues as results-based budgeting; communication and information technology; training; recruitment; travel; and procurement. 


In other action today, the Assembly:


-- Accepted the audited financial statements on the United Nations peacekeeping operations for 2001/2002;


-- Requested a follow-up audit to the Oversight Office report on the DPKO policies and procedures for recruiting international civilian staff for field missions;


-- Approved the release of $250,000 set aside in the contingency fund for the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) to continue its core activities in 2003; and


-- Concurred with the proposed reimbursable amounts for write-off of contingent-owned equipment at liquidated missions in order to certify claims by 30 June 2003.


The Assembly also acted on the reports related to the proposed methodology for determining reimbursement to troop-contributing countries; standards of accommodation for air travel; gratis personnel; death and disability benefits; salary and retirement allowance of the Secretary-General and the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); management review of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and the next budget outline for the International Trade Centre (ITC) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)/World Trade Organization (WTO).


Several agenda items, including reports on the implementation of the field assets control system, the audit of the establishment and management of mission subsistence rates, and reform of the field service category of personnel, were deferred to the fifty-eighth session.


Also deferred to the second part of resumed fifty-eighth session was a proposal related to consolidation of peacekeeping financing.  The Secretary-General was requested to provide a comprehensive report on the matter, taking into account the views expressed by Member States, including a simulation of the proposed options.


And finally, adopting a resolution contained in the report of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), the Assembly endorsed the latest proposals of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations -- the only United Nations forum mandated to conduct comprehensive reviews of the whole question of peacekeeping operations –- urging Member States, the Secretariat and relevant organs of the United Nations to take steps to implement the recommendations, which are contained in the report of the Special Committee on its March session.


By the text, the Special Committee was authorized to continue its consideration of all aspects of peacekeeping, including new proposals to enhance the United Nations peacekeeping capacity and review of the implementation of its previous proposals.


The Assembly also took note of a letter from the Secretary-General, in which he informed the plenary that 16 Member States were in arrears in the payment of their financial contributions to the United Nations within the terms of Article 19 of the Charter.  Under that Article, a Member State whose debt to the Organization is equal or exceeds the amount of its contributions for two preceding years, loses its right to vote in the Assembly.


Action on Drafts


The first document before the Assembly was a report by the Secretary-General (document A/57/786) entitled “Strengthening of the United Nations:  an agenda for further change  – Intergovernmental review of the medium-term plan and the programme budget”.


In the report, the Secretary-General recommends that the General Assembly approve, as of 2004, a proposal for a single-stage intergovernmental review of the medium-term plan, the budget outline and the programme budget under the aegis of the Fifth Committee.  It is also proposed that the Assembly review the functions of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) with a view to enhancing its effectiveness in the areas of monitoring and evaluation.


In his explanation of the reasons for the proposed changes, the Secretary-General points out that the current process has become burdensome not only for Member States, who spend a significant amount of time considering those documents, but also for the Secretariat, which provides substantive and technical support for all the formal and informal meetings.  The medium-term plan and revisions thereto are reviewed in detail not only by specialized intergovernmental bodies within their respective sphere of competence, but also by the CPC, the respective Main Committees and the Fifth Committee.  The biennial budget outline and the biennial programme budgets are also reviewed by the CPC and the Fifth Committee.  Member States, therefore, review planning and budgeting documents at least twice.


The Assembly decided to defer consideration of the Secretary-General’s report to its fifty-eighth session.


The Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee, HAILE SELASSIE GETACHEW (Ethiopia), introduced the Committee’s reports in one intervention.


The Assembly first approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on financial reports and audited financial statements and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/57/639/Add.1), accepting the audited financial statements on the United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.


The Assembly then approved, without a vote, a draft decision on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/57/648/Add.2).  Among the issues to be deferred to the fifty-eighth session are reports related to the implementation of the field assets control system; the audit of the establishment and management of mission subsistence allowance rates; reform of the Field Service category of personnel; status of recommendations on mission liquidation activities; and possible discrimination due to nationality, race, sex, religion and language in recruitment, promotion and placement.


The Assembly then took up a draft resolution on gratis personnel provided by governments and other entities (document A/57/603/Add.1), by the terms of which it would take note of the Secretary-General’s annual report on such personnel, covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2002, as well as the related ACABQ report.  From now on, the Secretary-General was requested to provide information on the use of gratis personnel on a biennial basis, including their nationality, duration of service and department where they perform their functions.


The Assembly approved the draft resolution without a vote.


Programme Budget for Biennium 2002-2003


Under this item, the Assembly had before it a Fifth Committee report (document A/57/649/Add.2), which contained three draft resolutions and one draft decision, all of which were adopted without a vote.


By draft resolution I on the salary and retirement allowance of the Secretary-General and the salary and pensionable remuneration of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Assembly concurred with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on the matter, approving an amendment to paragraph 1 of annex I of the United Nations Staff Regulations, with effect from 1 January 2003.  At the next session, the ACABQ was requested to submit proposals intended to formalize procedures related to the salary and retirement allowance/pensionable remuneration of those officials.


Next before the Assembly was draft resolution II on the financial situation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), by the terms of which the Assembly approved the release of the amount of $250,000 set aside in the contingency fund for the current biennium as the additional provision to the Institute to continue its core activities in 2003.  At the same time, the Assembly stressed that the contingency fund is not to be used as a recurring source of programme funding.  The Secretary-General was requested to report to the fifty-eighth session on the financial situation of the Institute.


Expressing regret that the nomination of the Director for INSTRAW had not yet taken place, impairing the capacity of the Institute to function properly, the Assembly further urged the Secretary-General to appoint immediately a Director at the D-2 level and inform the Working Group on the Future Operations of INSTRAW of the designation of the nominee.  One year after the appointment of the Director, the Institute was requested to report on its work programme and the implementation of the recommendations of the Office of Internal Oversight Services contained in its report on the audit of the Institute. 


Prior to the adoption of the text, the representative of the United States said his delegation wished to disassociate itself from the consensus on the draft.  As INSTRAW was supposed to be funded through voluntary contributions, the United States had opposed funding INSTRAW from the regular budget.  Despite the mandate given to the Institute by the Economic and Social Council, the United States reluctantly allowed INSTRAW to receive funding from the regular budget on two occasions.  In December 2001, the United States had allowed a subvention of $600,000 for INSTRAW with the understanding that it would be the last request for regular budget funds.  Again, in December 2002, the United States accepted an additional regular budget allocation for some $250,000 from the contingency fund to allow INSTRAW to hire a Director and to raise voluntary funds.  While his delegation had been assured that it would be the last request for regular budget funds, today the Assembly was asked to approve an additional $250,000 from the contingency fund.


The United States would strongly oppose any further funding for INSTRAW from the regular budget, he said.  Resources in the contingency fund were to be used for the Organization’s most urgent needs.  The contingency fund had not been established for funding ongoing research and training activities, especially for an institute that was to be voluntarily funded.  Failure to fulfil INSTRAW’s mandate would mean that the Institute might no longer endure.


By draft resolution III, the Assembly took note of the proposed budget outline for 2004/2005 for the International Trade Centre (ITC) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)/World Trade Organization (WTO) and requested the Secretary-General to provide for documentary language service to the Joint Advisory Group of the Centre in Arabic and Chinese within the proposed programme budget to be submitted for the biennium.  Also by the text, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to initiate consultations with the ITC and the WTO for a joint review of the administrative arrangements for the ITC and reaffirm paragraph 30 of its resolution 56/253, which, in turn, reaffirms the Regulations and Rules Governing Programme Planning, the Programme Aspects of the Budget, the Monitoring of Implementation and the Methods of Evaluation.  It also reaffirms that the application of rule 105.6(a) should continue to reflect the understanding that approval of the medium-term plan and the programme budget constitute the reaffirmation of the mandate reflected therein.


By the draft decision on the standards of accommodation for air travel, the Assembly decided to take note of the related reports of the Secretary-General and the ACABQ and requested the Secretary-General to report on the matter on a biennial basis.


Office of Internal Oversight Services


By the terms of a draft resolution contained in document A/57/604/Add.2, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the management review of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and request the Secretary-General to report on the matter at its fifty-eighth session.


It would also decide to revert to the issue of administration and management of the Office of the High Commissioner in the context of its consideration of the proposed programme budget for 2004/2005, as well as the issues relevant to the functioning of the Office addressed in its resolution 57/300, in the context of the procedures it established for consideration of the progress report on the implementation of the reform measures considered in that resolution.


The text was approved without a vote.


Administrative and Budgetary Aspects of Peacekeeping Finance


Eleven draft resolutions and one draft decision on this agenda item were contained in document A/57/656/Add.1.


The Assembly first took up draft resolution I on the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations, which addresses such issues as results-based budgeting; communication and information technology; training; recruitment; travel; and procurement.


By the terms of the text, the Assembly would welcome the Secretary-General’s efforts to implement the results-based budgeting format and timely presentation of the proposed peacekeeping budgets for 2003/2004.  When applying the results-based budgeting to peacekeeping financing, it would request the Secretary-General to take into account specific characteristics and mandates of each mission.  It would also reiterate that the format of budget presentation should be in accordance with the mandates of the General Assembly and reaffirm that the budget documentation should contain all information needed for Member States to reach well-informed decisions, including full justification of required resources.


The Secretary-General would also be requested to develop further the link between mission objectives and resources required for 2004/2005.  At the sixtieth resumed session, the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) would be requested to present an evaluation of the implementation of results-based budgeting in peacekeeping operations.


The Assembly would note with concern the observations of the ACABQ on the expansion of communication and information technology programmes in some peacekeeping missions undergoing downsizing and its caution against an apparent tendency to acquire the most up-to-date communications and data processing equipment, which might not be appropriate to the practical needs of the missions.  It would request the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report on the functional requirements of field missions in that respect and to ensure its consistency with the direction of the Organization’s broader information and communications technology strategy.


The Secretary-General would be requested to ensure that investments in training are need-based, aimed at improving efficiency and performance and congruent with the career development of staff.  Another request would be to refine the management policy of training and related Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and missions’ travel costs.


Noting with concern continuing delays in the recruitment of personnel in the DPKO, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to encourage greater use of national staff, whenever possible and cost-effective, and urge him to expedite recruitment for field missions.  It would also stress that any reclassification of posts should be consistent with relevant resolutions and United Nations rules and regulations.  Regarding travel, the Assembly would reiterate that future resource requests should be adequately justified, including how such travel will help achieve a measurable result in fulfilling stated objectives.


On procurement and contract management, the Secretary-General would be requested to submit a comprehensive report to the fifty-eighth resumed session, containing specific proposals addressing any possible conflict of interest that might arise in that area concerning United Nations staff members associated with the procurement cycle.  According to the text, such proposals should address the feasibility of establishing a code of ethics, a declaration of independence and provisions to ensure confidentiality of information associated with staff members’ functions.

The text was approved without a vote.


Also before the Assembly was draft resolution II on the management of contingent-owned equipment arrangements by the terms of which it would take note of the Secretary-General’s report and the ACABQ’s recommendations on the matter.  It would affirm the importance of conducting peacekeeping operations with maximum efficiency and the need to minimize delays in processing reimbursements to troop- and equipment-contributing countries.


Recognizing that delay and uncertainty in reimbursements to troop-contributing countries of troop and contingent-owned-equipment costs adversely affected the ability of troop-contributing countries to participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report taking into account the ACABQ’s observations, and make suggestions for any modification to the current reporting cycle to the Working Group on Reimbursement of Contingent-owned Equipment at its forthcoming meeting in February 2004.  Based on the Working Group’s recommendations, the Secretary-General would be requested to submit a comprehensive report on issues requiring legislative action by the Assembly.


The draft was approved without a vote.


Draft resolution III on the status of implementation of the strategic deployment stocks would have the Assembly take note of the Secretary-General’s report and endorse the ACABQ’s recommendations, requesting the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.


[In its report (document A/57/772/Add.9), the ACABQ notes that, as of February 2003, obligations, disbursements and “pre-encumbrances” -- requisitions that are being processed prior to raising obligations -- related to strategic deployment stocks amounted to some $115.8 million.  Of that amount, only relatively small amounts reflect actual disbursements and obligations.  In that regard, it expresses concern that the low level of disbursements and obligations is indicative of slow progress in the implementation of the strategic deployment stocks.]


Also by the draft, the Assembly would decide to extend the validity period in respect of the resources approved in its resolution 56/292 to 30 June 2004.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to submit separate reports on the implementation of strategic deployment stocks and on the budget and performance of the United Nations Logistics Base (UNLB).


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


The Assembly then adopted, also without a vote, draft resolution IV on death and disability benefits.  By its terms, it took note of the Secretary-General’s report and decided that, in the future, information on death and disability benefits would be included in the overview of the general report on peacekeeping operations.


Acting without a vote on draft resolution V on the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund, the Assembly took note of the status of contributions to the Fund as of 31 December 2002 and decided to apply some $33.25 million -– an amount in excess of the Fund’s authorized level of $150 million -- to the requirements of the peacekeeping support account for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004.  The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General, consequent upon the full establishment of the strategic deployment stocks and the pre-mandate commitment authority, to review the level of the Fund and to report thereon at the second part of its fifty-eighth session.


The Assembly then turned to draft resolution VI on the peacekeeping support account, by which it would approve its requirements for 2003/2004 in the amount of $70.29 million, including 702 continuing posts.  It would decide to maintain for another budget period the current funding mechanism for the account and take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the support account for 2001/2002.


Recognizing the importance of the United Nations ability to deploy peacekeeping operations within 30 to 90 days upon adoption of relevant Security Council resolutions, the Assembly would also acknowledge that adequate support should be provided for all phases of peacekeeping, including liquidation and termination of missions.


The Secretary-General would be requested to review the level of the support account, on a regular basis, taking into consideration the number, size and complexity of peacekeeping operations.  The Board of Auditors would be requested to review the implementation of the recommendations of the Special Committee for Peacekeeping Operations and the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, to gauge the effects of management reform measures.  The Assembly would also urge the Secretary-General to continue to identify measures to increase the productivity and efficiency of the support account and affirm the need for both adequate funding for backstopping of peacekeeping operations and full justification for such funding in budget submissions.


Further, the Assembly would reaffirm the need to ensure delegation of authority to the DPKO and field missions in strict compliance with relevant decisions, resolutions, rules and procedures, and reaffirm that any delegation of authority requires full accountability of programme managers.  It would request the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report on measures in this regard and the criteria used for the recruitment of support account posts, bearing in mind that the system of desirable ranges does not currently apply to them.


Turning to staff requirements, the Assembly would regret that the D-2 post for Change Management is still vacant and urge the Secretary-General to fill it as soon as possible.  It would also decide to review at its resumed fifty-eighth session the existing posts approved in several resolutions, including 55/238, 56/231 and 56/293, in order to consider their justification, taking into account the evaluation by the OIOS of recent restructuring of the Peacekeeping Department.


Among the OIOS posts to be funded through the support account, the Assembly would approve the establishment of eight posts for the Investigations Division, to be divided evenly between the regional hubs in Vienna and Nairobi, and decide to review them in the next support account budget.  Instead of approving the amount covering six months of consultancy services for three experts, the Assembly would establish, on a trial basis, a P-4 post in the Monitoring, Evaluation and Consulting Division to undertake oversight of military aspects of peacekeeping.  It would also approve the transfer to the support account of 27 resident auditors currently funded under individual missions’ budgets, to be deployed as necessary.  Whenever a mission’s mandate is adjusted or terminated, the number of audit posts should be adjusted or terminated accordingly.


Another human resources decision would involve the need to rejustify in subsequent budget submissions any support account posts that remain vacant and new posts that are not filled for 12 months from the date of their establishment.  The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to include in the next support account report details on reclassification of posts, as well as the breakdown of appointments to reclassified posts in the previous two years and annual data thereafter.


On gender mainstreaming, the DPKO would be requested to establish an effective coordinating mechanism with the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women -- the competent capacity for gender mainstreaming of the United Nations as a whole -- ensuring that all plans of action on gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations are consistent with existing mandates.  Stressing that creation of a gender adviser in the Best Practices Unit should not in itself lead to the establishment of a gender unit in the DPKO, the Assembly would also emphasize the importance of not duplicating capacities that already exist elsewhere in the Secretariat.  It would decide to review the establishment and the level of the gender adviser post in the context of the above-mentioned review of recently authorized posts within the Peacekeeping Department.


The Assembly approved the text without a vote.


The Assembly next adopted without a vote draft resolution VII on the feasibility of consolidating the accounts of various peacekeeping operations, by which it decided to defer consideration of that question to the second part of its resumed fifty-eighth session, and requested the Secretary-General to provide a comprehensive report, taking into account the views expressed, questions raised and information requested by Member States, including a simulation of the options proposed.


Approving, without a vote, draft resolution VIII, on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base (UNLB) at Brindisi, Italy, the Assembly took note of its financial performance for 2001/2002 and approved the cost estimate of some $22.21 million for 2003/2004.  It also decided to apply $702,800 in unencumbered balance and other income to the resources required for the upcoming financial period.


By the text, consideration of the Base financing would continue during the fifty-eighth session.  When conducting a comprehensive examination of the merits of establishing in Brindisi a global procurement hub for all peacekeeping missions, the Secretary-General was requested to address the merits of relocating to Brindisi all support account posts and non-post resources pertaining to the Logistics Division at Headquarters, as well as those related to communications and information technology services for peacekeeping.


In connection with the review of the rates of reimbursement to the governments of troop-contributing States, the Assembly had before it draft resolution IX, by which it would request the Working Group on reform procedures for determining such reimbursement to consider the proposed methodology contained in the report of the Secretary-General on the matter and to report on the results of its review during the fifty-ninth session.


The Assembly adopted the text without a vote.


Also adopted without a vote was draft resolution X on the OIOS report on the audit of the policies and procedures of the DPKO for recruiting international civilian staff for field missions.  By the terms of this text, the Assembly took note of the report and requested the Secretary-General to conduct, through the OIOS, a follow-up audit on such policies and procedures.  A report on the matter would be submitted to the Assembly at its resumed fifty-eighth session.


The Assembly also had before it draft resolution XI on closed peacekeeping missions, by which it would take note of the Secretary-General’s reports on the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as at 30 June 2002 (document A/57/789), and on the financing of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) (A/57/793), the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM) and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (A/57/796), the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) (A/57/792), the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) (A/57/794), the United Nations Mission in Uganda-Rwanda and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) (A/57/791) and the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA) (A/57/795), and the related report of the Advisory Committee.


The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to return 50 per cent of the net cash available for credit to Member States as of 30 June 2002, $84.45 million, by 30 June 2003, based on the scale applicable to the missions’ last assessment.  It would postpone the return of the remaining 50 per cent, $84.45 million, until  31 March 2004 in light of the overall financial situation of the Organization and the fact that assessed contributions to peacekeeping in the amount of $1.4 billion remained unpaid as at 31 March 2003.


Also by the text, the Assembly would approve the donation of assets of UNAMIR, with a total inventory value of $12.58 million and corresponding residual value of $2.4 million, to the Government of Rwanda.  The Assembly would also approve the donation of assets of UNAMIR, with a total inventory value of $79,200 and corresponding residual value of $53,400, to the medical unit of a Member State.


The draft was adopted without a vote.


The Assembly next took up the last text contained in document A/57/656/Add.1 -- a draft decision on the write-off of contingent-owned equipment at liquidated missions, adopting it again without a vote.  By the terms of the decision, the Assembly, having considered the note by the Secretary-General and the related report of the ACABQ, concurred with the reimbursable amounts proposed by the Secretariat in order to certify claims by 30 June 2003.


On the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the Assembly had before it a draft resolution contained in document A/57/837, by the terms of which it would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Force in 2001/2002 and decide to appropriate some $41.81 million for the 2003/2004 financial period, inclusive of some

$40.01 million for the maintenance of the Force, $1.38 million for the support account, and $422,400 for the Logistics Base.  Taking note of the status of contributions to the Force as at 31 March, including the outstanding amount of $25.7 million, it would also note with concern that only 33 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full and urge all others to ensure their payment.


The Assembly would further endorse the recommendations of the Advisory Committee and request the Secretary-General to ensure full compliance with them, without prejudice to a future discussion and decision on the proposal, to create the post of Deputy Force Commander.  In connection with the request for three General Service staff posts, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to fill them for a period not to exceed one year and invite him to resubmit the request, with full justification, with the budget proposal for 2004/2005.  Full justification would also be requested for the proposed upgrade of the Chief Administration Officer for the mission.  The Assembly would eliminate the vacant Field Service driver position in the Office of the Force Commander.


The draft also addresses the difficulties resulting from the relocation of the Force’s headquarters from Damascus to Camp Faouar, welcoming the fact that all outstanding issues have been satisfactorily resolved.  In this regard, the Assembly would emphasize the need for continuing the dialogue between staff and management, consistent with the existent mechanisms in all peacekeeping missions.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the draft resolution.


The Assembly then took up the draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/57/829) By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the financial performance report for the Force for the 2001-2003 period and would decide to appropriate the amount of $94.06 million for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, inclusive of

$90 million for the maintenance of the Force, $3.11 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, and $950,200 for the Logistics Base.


As for the unencumbered balance and other income of some $20.86 million for the period ended on 30 June 2002, the respective shares of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force would be set off against their apportionment for 2003/2004.  The shares of those States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force would be set off against their outstanding obligations.  The increase of $398,800 in estimated staff assessment income in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2002 shall be added to the credit from the unencumbered balance and other income.


Further, the Assembly, expressing deep concern that Israel did not comply with several previous resolutions on the matter, the latest of which was resolution 56/214 of 21 December 2001, would stress that that country should strictly abide by them and would stress once again that Israel shall pay $1.12 million for damages resulting from an incident at Qana, Lebanon, on 18 April 1996.


Acting on a request from the United States, the Assembly held a separate vote on whether to retain in the text the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 14, which refer to several previous resolutions calling for Israel to pay for the damage resulting from the Qana incident.


By a vote of 85 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 45 abstentions, the paragraphs were retained (see Annex I).


The Assembly adopted the text as a whole by a vote of 135 to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions (Annex II).


The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/57/827) would have the Assembly take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 31 March 2003, including an outstanding amount of some $105.2 million, representing about 7 per cent of total assessed contributions.  Noting with concern that only 33 Member States have paid their contributions in full, it would urge all Member States, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their contributions.


By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s financial performance report for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  It would decide to appropriate to the special account for the Mission the amount of $329.74 million for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, inclusive of $315.52 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $10.89 million for the peacekeeping support account, and $3.33 million for the UNLB. 


Acting without a vote, the Assembly approved the text.


By the draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) (document A/57/832), the Assembly would appropriate $193.34 million for the period 2003-2004, inclusive of $185 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $6.38 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, and $1.95 million for the Logistics Base.


As for the unencumbered balance of $21.62 million at 30 June 2002, for those Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission their respective shares of those amounts would be set off against the apportionment for 2003/2004.  Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to UNTAET and the Support Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income.  The Assembly would request that additional resources referred to in the report of the Advisory Committee (document A/57/772/Add.11) would be used to strengthen national judicial capacity consistent with the needs of the Timorese people and the mandate of the Support Mission.


The resolution was adopted without a vote.


The Assembly then approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) (document A/57/828), appropriating $196.89 million for the 2003/2004 period, inclusive of $188.4 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $6.5 million for the support account, and $1.99 million for the Logistics Base.


The respective shares of the unencumbered balance of $23.94 million at 30 June 2002 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment.  Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income.


The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (document A/57/830) was also approved without a vote.  By the text, the Assembly authorized the Secretary-General to retain amount of $12.46 million from the balance of an appropriation of $72.83 million to meet the cost of outstanding government claims.


The next text before the Assembly was a draft resolution on financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 687 (1991):  United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) (document A/57/833), by the terms of which it would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 31 March 2003, including outstanding contributions amounting to some $10.2 million, or about 3 per cent of the total assessed contributions, and note with concern that only 36 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would express its continued appreciation to the Government of Kuwait for defraying two thirds of the cost of the Observation Mission, effective 1 November 1993.


By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would decide to continue its consideration -– at the main part of the fifty-eighth session -- of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, and of the treatment of the unspent balance of some $6.44 million in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2002.


The Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in an amount not exceeding $12 million for the period from 1 July to 31 October 2003, to be financed from the accumulated fund balance in the Special Account for UNIKOM.


The Assembly adopted the draft without a vote.


By the terms of a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) (document A/57/657/Add.1), the Assembly would decide to appropriate $543.49 million for the 2003/2004 period, inclusive of $520.05 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $17.95 million for the support account, and $5.49 million for the Logistics Base.


The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of $56.56 million at 30 June 2002 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment.  Obligations of Member States that had not paid their dues for the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the balance.  The Assembly would further decide to reduce the appropriation authorized for the Mission for 2001/2002 from $717.6 million to $676.6 million and approve the decrease in the estimated staff assessment income for the 2001/2002 period from $8.32 million to $7.99 million.


The text was approved, without a vote.


By a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/57/834), the Assembly would appropriate for 2003/2004 the amount of $43.4 million, inclusive of $41.53 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $1.43 million for the support account, and $438,400 for the Logistics Base.


The respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of  $12.29 million as of 30 June 2002 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment.  Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income.


The Assembly adopted that resolution, also without a vote.


The Assembly then turned to a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/57/838), by which it would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as of 31 March 2003, including outstanding contributions of some $20.2 million, representing about 9 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  Only 31 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would also take note of the Secretary-General’s financial performance report for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.


Regarding budget estimates for 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, the Assembly would, by further terms of the text, decide to appropriate some $45.77 million, including $43.8 million for the maintenance of the Force, $1.51 million for the support account, and $462,400 for the Logistics Base.  The Assembly would note with appreciation that one third of the net appropriation will be funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus and some $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.


Taking into account the unspent balance and other income totalling some $5.38 million for the financial period ending 30 June 2002, the Assembly would decide that the apportionment for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force would be set off against their respective share of the unspent balance in the amount of $2.74 million.  The respective share of those Member States that have not fulfilled their obligations would be set off against their outstanding obligations.  The decrease of $38,000 in estimated staff assessment income for the period ending 30 June 2002 will be set off against the credits from the amount of some $2.74 million. 


Taking into account their voluntary contributions for the period ending 30 June 2002, the Assembly would decide that one third of the net unspent balance in the amount of $1.78 million would be returned to the Government of Cyprus; and the prorated share of the balance in the amount of $853,400 would be returned to the Government of Greece.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the resolution.


On the financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), the Assembly had before it draft resolution A/57/835, by which it would take note of the status of contributions to UNOMIG as of 31 March 2003, including outstanding contributions of some $16.4 million, representing about 9 per cent of the total.  Noting with concern that only 22 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full, it would urge all others to ensure payment.


By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.  It would decide to appropriate some $32.09 million for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, including $30.71 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $10.89 million for the support account, and $324,200 for the Logistics Base.  Respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of $2.69 million of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment.  Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their obligations would be set off against their respective share of the balance.


The draft was approved without a vote.


The draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) (document A/57/643/Add.1) was approved without a vote.  By the text, respective shares of the unencumbered balance and other income of  $15.02 million for the period ending on 30 June 2002 of Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their apportionment.  Outstanding obligations of Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be set off against their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income.


The Assembly then turned to the draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document A/57/831), by which it would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 31 March 2003, including outstanding contributions amounting to about $211.9 million, representing some 17 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  Only 26 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.  Taking note of the Secretary-General’s progress report on the status of the airfield services contract for the Mission, the Assembly would look forward to further review of the subject by the Board of Auditors.


Also by the draft, the Assembly would appropriate some $608.23 million for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, including $582 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $20.08 million for the support account, and $6.14 million for the Logistics Base, pending the submission of the proposed revised budget to the Assembly.  At the same time, it would note the Secretary-General’s intention to submit a revised budget for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004 to the Assembly at the main part of its fifty-eighth session, reflecting the developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and further decisions of the Security Council. 


On the Mission’s financial performance for 2001/2002, the Assembly would decide to offset some $41 million, which had been appropriated but not apportioned during the financial period ending 30 June 2001 against the unspent balance of $61.2 million for the period ending 30 June 2002.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly approved the draft.


And finally, by the terms of a draft resolution approved by the Assembly’s Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) on 28 May (document A/57/522/Add.1), the Assembly would endorse the latest proposals and recommendations of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations -- the only United Nations forum mandated to comprehensively review the whole question of peacekeeping operations –- urging Member States, the Secretariat and relevant organs of the United Nations to implement them in order to improve the United Nations peacekeeping capacity.


The Special Committee’s report of its March 2003 session contains proposals, recommendations and conclusions relating to all spheres of the United Nations peacekeeping, including:  guiding principles, definitions and implementation of mandates; cooperation with troop contributors; enhancing the United Nations capacity in peacekeeping; lessons learned; system-wide information and analysis; operational planning and Integrated Mission Task Forces; rapid deployment; recruitment; training; civilian police; gender and peacekeeping; children and peacekeeping; public information; comprehensive strategies for complex peacekeeping operations; quick-impact projects; mine action; safety and security of United Nations and associated personnel; cooperation with regional arrangements; financial issues; and conduct and disciplinary issues.


Also by the draft, the Assembly would decide that the Special Committee, in accordance with its mandate, should continue its comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations.  It would also continue its review the implementation of its previous proposals and consider new proposals to enhance the United Nations capacity in the field of peacekeeping operations.


The Assembly would further reiterate that those Member States that become personnel contributors to United Nations peacekeeping operations in years to come or participate in the future in the Special Committee for three consecutive years as observers would, upon request in writing to the Special Committee’s Chairman, become members at its following session.


The Fourth Committee Rapporteur, ANDREJ DROBA (Slovakia), introduced the draft resolution, which the Assembly adopted without a vote.


(annexes follow)


__________


*     Press Release GA/10138 dated 6 June 2003 should be the 88th and

89th Meetings.


ANNEX I


Vote on Preambular, Operative Paragraphs of Lebanon Force Financing


The fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4, and 14 of the draft resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which make reference to Israel’s financial responsibility for damages from an incident at Qana, Lebanon (document A/57/829), were retained by a recorded vote of 85 in favour to 2 against, with 45 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Angola, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.


(END OF ANNEX I)


ANNEX II


Vote on Financing for Lebanon Force


The draft resolution on financing for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/57/829) was adopted by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 2 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, United States.


Abstain:  None


Absent:  Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.


* *** *