23/12/2003
Press Release
GA/10225



Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Plenary

79th Meeting (Night)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS $3.16 BILLION 2004-2005 BUDGET, AS IT CONCLUDES


MAIN PART OF FIFTY-EIGHTH SESSION


Assembly President Describes ‘Extraordinary’ Session


Acting on the recommendations of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the United Nations General Assembly this evening capped a substantive session its President called “nothing short of extraordinary” with the adoption of the world body’s 2004-2005 budget of some $3.16 billion.


Presented in a shorter-than-usual results-oriented format, the budget draft envisions a range of measures to realize more efficient utilization of resources, including structural reorganization, redeployment of funds, streamlining and improving project design.  In particular, it includes the first practical steps to implement a long-awaited reform of the budgetary cycle and entrusts the Secretary-General with wider power of redeploying staff on an experimental basis. 


“I believe we have thus earned the right to be highly satisfied with our accomplishments”, said Assembly President Julian Robert Hunte of Saint Lucia, after the Assembly acted on such important issues as the scale of assessments, financing peacekeeping missions, and financing the two International Tribunals.  And while many other important issues had also been addressed -- including HIV/AIDS, financing for development and humanitarian assistance -– he reminded delegations that they had laid out for themselves a demanding agenda for the remainder of the session.


While approving some of the Secretary-General’s proposals on new positions and post conversions, the Assembly also addressed concerns regarding the high percentage of General Service posts within the United Nations, suspending recruitment of new personnel in that category, with the exception of safety and security staff and editorial assistants in language functions. 


Acting on the contingency fund, from which extraordinary and unforeseen expenses are financed, the Assembly approved a consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revised estimates, deciding on a number of individual charges in that respect, which total some $9.86 million.


Also approved were the Fifth Committee’s recommendations on the scales of assessment, under which each country's contributions to the regular and peacekeeping budgets will be determined in 2004-2005.  By the regular scale draft, the Assembly reaffirmed the fundamental principle that the expenses of the United Nations should be apportioned among Member States broadly according to their

capacity to pay and kept in place through 2006 the methodology adopted in 2000. At the same time, however, it noted that the changes introduced by resolution 55/5 B had led to substantial increases in the rate of assessment of some Member States.


To facilitate financing pending receipt of contributions from Member States, the Assembly created a Working Capital Fund for 2004-2005, to which Member States would make advances in accordance with the regular budget scale.  By a related text, the Secretary-General was authorized -– under certain circumstances -– to enter into commitments to meet unforeseen and extraordinary expenses arising either during or subsequent to the biennium.


Also today, the Assembly revised the 2002-2003 appropriations for the regular budget, taking into account currency fluctuations and unforeseen expenditures.  Acting on the Organization’s second performance report for 2002-2003, it increased the overall appropriation for the biennium from $2.89 to   $2.96 billion.


Acting on the 2004-2005 financing of the International Tribunals in the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Assembly approved $298.23 million for the former and $235.32 million for the latter.  It also adjusted the appropriations for the two courts for 2002-2003, bringing the total budget of the Rwanda Tribunal to $208.48 million gross, and the budget of the former Yugoslavia Tribunal to  $288.32 million.


Turning to peacekeeping financing, the Assembly appropriated some     $564.49 million for the new mission in Liberia for the period from 1 August 2003 to 30 June 2004, inclusive of $47.46 million previously authorized for the period ending on 31 December 2003.


For the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, it appropriated some  $23.83 million for the United Nations Support Mission in Timor-Leste, in addition to the amount of $193.34 million already appropriated.  It also approved the donation of the Mission’s assets -– upon completion of its mandate -- to the Government of Timor-Leste. 


An amount of $59.04 million was appropriated for the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in addition to some $582 million appropriated earlier.


Taking note of the reports on financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), the Assembly decided to keep that agenda item under review.  Following a final six-month extension until 6 October, no estimates were submitted for the rest of the period ending on 30 June 2004 as the Mission was unable to fulfil its mandate.


Noting that financing of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI) up to now has been provided in accordance with the provisions for peacekeeping missions, the Assembly, by the terms of the draft resolution adopted today, decided -- as a provisional and exceptional measure -- to finance the Mission from the regular budget until its current mandate expires next February.  The issue of the most appropriate funding for the Mission upon renewal of its mandate would be considered during resumed fifty-eighth session.


On human resource issues, the Assembly took note with appreciation of the efforts of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) to secure staff with the highest standards of competence and integrity, including its continued review of the pay and benefits system and work to develop a general framework for contractual arrangements within the common system.   While approving many of the Commission’s recommendations and initiatives, for the second year in a row the Assembly did not support its decision to increase the level of hazard pay to locally recruited staff to 30 per cent of the midpoint of the local salary scale.  The ICSC was asked to reconsider and decide on a smaller increase in the level of hazard pay. 


In other action, the Assembly accepted the 2002 financial report and audit opinion of the Board of Auditors regarding voluntary funds administered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  It noted with concern the shortcomings identified by the Auditors in the management of financial and human resources of the UNHCR and urged the High Commissioner to continue his efforts to implement the Board’s recommendations.


Acting on four reports of the Joint Inspection Unit, the Assembly addressed the results of the management audit review of outsourcing in the United Nations funds and programmes and its recommendations on reforming the Field Service category of peacekeeping personnel; took up measures to improve profitability of revenue-producing activities of the United Nations system; and asked for clarifications in connection with the document on extrabudgetary activities’ support costs. 


Also today, the Assembly noted with concern the findings of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on problem areas in the functioning, administration and accountability mechanisms of the Investment Management Service of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, requesting the Secretary-General to ensure that all the recommendations of the Oversight Office are fully and expeditiously implemented. 


Acting on information and communication technologies strategy, which is being developed by the Secretary-General, the Assembly welcomed the steps to address all requests contained in its resolution 57/304 and reiterated the need to indicate the return on investment for proposed major projects in terms that are as quantitative as possible.


In other action, the Assembly:


-- Approved a grant of $227,600 to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research for the year 2004;


-- Approved a transfer of five buildings from the Government of Italy to the United Nations Logistics Base, which is situated in that country;


-- Admitted the International Criminal Court to membership in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, with effect from 1 January 2004;


-- Decided that formal authority in matters of personnel of the United Nations Population Fund be delegated by the Secretary-General to the Executive Director of the Fund;


-- Approved the draft biennial calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for the next biennium;


-- Authorized the use of resources for the modernization of conference facilities in Nairobi; and


-- Addressed the conditions of service of “other-than-Secretariat” United Nations officials.


The Assembly also took note of various documents examined by its Fifth Committee, including the Oversight Office report on the review of duplication and bureaucracy in the United Nations; the documents on the construction of additional office facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa; on the implementation of projects financed from the Development Account; the proportion of General Service staff in the regional commissions; the comprehensive review of the post structure of the United Nations Secretariat; the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships; and on strengthening the United Nations Web site in all official languages.


The Assembly decided to continue its consideration of the Joint Inspection Unit report on common and joint services of United Nations organizations at Vienna, upon the issuance of a related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) at its fifty-ninth session.


And finally, the Assembly approved the Fifth Committee’s  programme of work for 2004-2005 and decided to defer to its resumed session consideration of several items and related documents, including those on human resources management, administration of justice within the United Nations, and activities of the OIOS.


Concluding its work for the main part of the fifty-eighth session, the Assembly also acted on 11 drafts recommended by its other Main Committees, which had been awaiting statement of programme budget implications by the Fifth Committee.  Among those texts were the drafts related to the financing of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW); financing the Office of the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict; a conference in 2006 to review implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects; and drafting of an international convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.


Background


The General Assembly met this evening to conclude its fifty-eighth session.  It had before it the reports from its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), as well as a number of texts on which action was postponed until an assessment was made of budgetary implications.


Before the Assembly were two draft resolutions on the situation in Central America:  progress in fashioning a region of peace, freedom, democracy and development.  The budget implications of the drafts are included in Reports of the Fifth Committee (documents A/58/653 and 654).


The first text, on the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) (document A/58/L.30), would have the Assembly stress that the Mission has played a key role in promoting the consolidation of peace and the observance of human rights, and decide to authorize a final renewal of its mandate from

1 January to 31 December 2004.


The second draft, on the situation in Central America (document A/58/L.38), would have the Assembly commend the efforts of the peoples and governments of the region to consolidate peace and democracy, and urge the Central American governments to continue to strengthen institutions responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights.  It would also appeal to the governments to continue their efforts to combat the illicit trade in small arms, promote arms limitation, and control and combat transnational organized crime.


Also before the Assembly was a 17-part draft resolution on oceans and the law of the sea (document A/58/L.19).  The budget implications are in the Report of the Fifth Committee (document A/58/648).


The text would have the Assembly underline the essential need for capacity-building to ensure that all States, especially developing countries, in particular least developed countries and small island developing States, are able to participate fully global and regional forums and process in dealing with oceans and law of the sea issues.  The wide-ranging text also covers issues such as regional cooperation, protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems and the settlement of disputes.


Also before the Assembly was a draft included in paragraph 82 of the Report of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) on complete and general disarmament (document A/58/462).  The budgetary implications of the text are included in the Fifth Committee report A/58/646.


By the text, on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the Assembly would decide to convene a United Nations conference to review progress made in implementing the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, in 2006 in New York, for a period of two weeks between June and July.  It would also decide to establish an open-ended working group to negotiate an international instrument that would enable States to identify and trace small arms and light weapons in a timely and reliable manner.


On the environment and sustainable development, the Assembly had before it two draft resolutions contained in reports of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial).


On implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly Africa, the Assembly had before it a report of the Second Committee (document A/58/484/Add.2), which contained a draft resolution on the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, 2004.


By that text, the Assembly would decide to declare 2006 the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.  Further, it would designate the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, as focal point of the Year, in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other relevant United Nations bodies.


On protection of the global climate for present and future generations of mankind, the Assembly has before it a Second Committee report (document A/58/484/Add.6), which contains a relevant draft, which would call on States to work cooperatively in achieving the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Also by the text, the Assembly would encourage cooperation among the liaison group of secretariats and officers of relevant subsidiary bodies of the Framework Convention, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.


Also before the Assembly will be a draft on outstanding matters related to the advancement of women contained in a report of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) (document A/58/501).  The budgetary implications of that text are included in the Fifth Committee’s report A/58/649).


The resolution on the future operation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) would have the Assembly urge Member States to make voluntary financial contributions to the INSTRAW Trust Fund, particularly during this critical transitional period.  It would also have the Assembly continue to provide its full support to the current efforts to revitalize the Institute and to provide funds complementary to the existing ones, if needed, to ensure that the Institute would have adequate resources to function for a period of one year and to present its report requested in resolution 57/311.


Another Third Committee item, a text on the protection and promotion of children’s rights, was also before the Assembly (document A/58/504). The budgetary implications of that text are included in the Fifth Committee’s report (A/58/652).


The text on the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, addressing concerns about the financial instability of this Office and its adverse impact on the implementation of its mandate, would have the Assembly decide to support, through regular budgetary funding, the activities under the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.


The Assembly also had before it two drafts related to human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights, and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (documents A/508/Add.2 and Add.3).  The budgetary requirements of those draft resolutions are included in Fifth Committee reports A/58/650 and 651.


The draft on the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, would have the Assembly welcome the report of the Ad Hoc Committee and endorses its decision to establish a working group with the aim of preparing and presenting a draft text, which would be the basis for negotiations on the draft convention by Member States and observers in the Committee.  The Assembly would decide that the Committee start the negotiations on a draft convention at its third session and urge that further efforts be made to ensure the active participation of non-governmental organizations in the Committee.


The text on the situation of human rights in Myanmar would have the Assembly welcome efforts by the international community, including support from countries in the region, to encourage the Government of Myanmar to resume efforts towards national reconciliation and dialogue.  The Assembly would also call on the Government to initiate an independent inquiry, with international cooperation, into the Depayin incident of 30 May 2003.  It would call on the Government to secure the safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar of the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance.


The Assembly will also consider a draft resolution contained in the Sixth Committee’s (Legal) report of the Special committee on the United Nations Charter and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (document A/58/517).  The recommendations of the Fifth Committee are included in document A/58/6476.


By the terms of a relevant draft resolution, the Assembly would ask the Special Committee at its next session, from 29 March to 8 April 2004, to continue its consideration of all proposals on the maintenance of international peace and security.  The Special Committee would also be requested to consider, on a priority basis, the question of the implementation of Charter provisions on assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions under   Chapter VII of the Charter.


Two draft decisions are contained in document A/58/588.


By the terms of draft decision I on the delegation of authority in matters of personnel of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (draft decision I in document A/58/588), the Assembly would decide that formal authority in matters of personnel of the UNFPA shall be delegated by the Secretary-General to the Executive Director of the Fund.


Turning to the report of the Economic and Social Council (Chapters I, VII, Sections B and C, and IX), the Assembly would decide to take note of the chapters of that report allocated to the Fifth Committee.  That action is contained in draft decision II, also in document A/58/588.


The Fifth Committee report on the Board of Auditors’ reports presents a draft resolution (document A/58/570), by the terms of which the Assembly would accept the financial report and audited financial statements, as well as the audit opinion of the Board regarding the voluntary funds administered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the period from     1 January to 31 December 2002.


Noting with concern the shortcomings identified by the auditors in the management of financial and human resources of the UNHCR, it would urge the High Commissioner to continue his efforts to implement the Board’s recommendations.  [Without qualifying its opinion, the Board modified it to draw attention to its findings on the inadequacy of assurance obtained by the UNHCR that funds had been properly used for the purpose intended, and on the understatement of $70 million in the disclosure of non-expendable property.  Among its other findings was the fact that, while the official staffing table of the Office included 4,553 posts as of 1 July 2002, the actual staff roster was over 6,600.]


In connection with further depletion of UNHCR’s reserves, the Assembly would request the Commissioner to examine the causes of continued operating deficits in order to ensure the Office’s functioning within its income.  The Secretary-General would be requested to report on the full extent of unfunded staff termination and post-service liabilities within the United Nations system and to propose measures to fully fund such liabilities. 


The Assembly also had before it a draft resolution on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of expenses of the United Nations (document A/58/432/Add.1), by the terms of which it would reaffirm its earlier decision in its resolution 55/5B that the methodology for calculating the scale of assessments would remain fixed until 2006.


By further terms of the text, the Assembly would resolve that notwithstanding the terms of financial regulation 3.9, the Secretary-General shall be empowered to accept, at his discretion and after consultations with the Chairman of the Committee on Contributions, a portion of the contributions of Member States for the calendar years 2004, 2005, 2006 in currencies other than United States dollars. 


In accordance with financial regulation 3.8, it would decide that the Holy See, which participates in the Organization’s activities as an observer, shall be called upon to contribute to its expenses for the period 2004-2006 on the basis of a notional assessment rate of 0.001 per cent, in accordance with resolution 44/197B of December 1989.


Also according to the text, the Assembly would note that the application of the current methodology leads to substantial increases in the rate of assessment of some Member States, including developing countries, and emphasized the need for future scales to reflect the principle that the Organization’s expenses should be apportioned according to the capacity to pay.  The Assembly would also request the Committee on Contributions to continue its consideration of possible systematic criteria for deciding when market exchange rates should be replaced with price-adjusted or other appropriate conversion rates for the purposes of preparing the scale.  The Committee on Contributions would also be requested to continue to make a thorough analysis of the revised method of calculating price-adjusted rates of exchange.


By the terms of the draft resolution on the pattern of conferences (document A/58/575), the Assembly would approve the draft biennial calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for 2004-2005, as submitted by the Committee on Conferences, which would be authorized to make adjustments to that calendar in accordance with possible future decisions of the General Assembly.  The draft also contains provisions on the utilization of conference-servicing resources and facilities, documentation- and publication-related matters, information technology, translation and interpretation.


Also before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the United Nations common system (document A/58/576), by the terms of which, it would take note with appreciation of the progress in the review of the pay and benefits system and note the decisions of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) in that respect, including those on the pilot study on performance pay and related salary structures.  It would also express appreciation for the efforts to develop a general framework for contractual arrangements within the common system and take note of the Commission’s decision in this regard. 


Another core element of human resources management reform is mobility, and by today’s resolution, the Assembly would take note of several decisions taken by the ICSC in that regard.  In particular, the Commission identified four key areas where programmes should be developed to enhance mobility, including:  strategies to change organizational culture with regard to mobility; a clear definition of various types of mobility; terms of contracts; and spouse employment. 


Recalling that hazard pay is a payment of symbolic nature, the Assembly would also ask the Commission to reconsider its intention to uphold its previous decision to increase the level of hazard pay to locally recruited staff to 30 per cent of the midpoint of the local salary scale.  The Commission would be asked to decide on a smaller increase in the level of hazard pay for local staff and report on the matter at the fifty-ninth session.


The text goes on to approve the recommendation of the Commission to maintain the base/floor scale at its current level for the time being, reverting to the procedure used when the base/floor salary scale had been established.  It would also endorse the decisions of the Commission related to the methodology for determining the conditions of service of the General Service and other locally recruited staff.  The Assembly would look forward to receiving at its next session the reports of the Commission with regard to its review of the mobility and hardship scheme and the linkage between the mobility and hardship allowance and the base/floor salary scale. 


By four other draft resolutions, the Assembly addressed the second performance reports for the current biennium of the two International Tribunals and their budgets for 2004-2005.  Draft resolutions I and II on the Rwanda Tribunal are contained in document A/58/579, and draft resolutions I and II for the former Yugoslavia court –- in document A/58/580. 


Taking note of the performance reports of both Tribunals, and endorsing the conclusions and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on the matter, by draft resolution I in document A/58/579, the Assembly would adjust the amount approved in its resolution 57/289 for the budget of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for 2002-2003 by some $4.52 million, for a total amount of $208.48 million gross.


By draft resolution I in document A/58/580, the Assembly would resolve that, also for the current biennium, the amount approved in resolution 57/288 for the budget of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia be adjusted by some $25.67 million gross, for a total amount of some $288.32 million.


Turning to the requirements for the next biennium (2004-2005), the Assembly would note with concern the high levels of unpaid assessed contributions for both Tribunals, and urge Member States to make their payments on time, in full and without conditions.


By draft resolution II on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (document A/58/579), the Assembly would welcome the recent appointment of a separate Prosecutor for the court and authorization for the use of up to nine ad litem judges by the Security Council, and stressed the importance of ensuring that the Tribunal receives adequate financial and human resources to support its strengthened judicial capacity and to enable it to meet the targets of its completion strategy.  It also concurred with the view of the Advisory Committee that continued close collaboration between the two Tribunals is essential, and urged the Secretary-General to take all necessary measures to ensure such collaboration.


Further by the text, the Assembly would appropriate $235.32 million for the functioning of the Tribunal in 2004-2005.  In so doing, it would maintain the current level of funding for consultants and experts; approve the proposed post and non-post resources for the Investigations Division for 2004; and defer consideration of the resource requirements for the Investigations Division for 2005 to its fifty-ninth session.  The Secretary-General would be requested to resubmit those resource requirements in the first performance report, ensuring that the proposals are adequate for the effective implementation of the completion strategy.


By the second draft resolution on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (draft resolution II in document A/58/580), the Assembly would appropriate the total amount of $298.23 million for the biennium 2004-2005.  It would decide not to approve the proposed increase in resources for consultants and experts; approve the proposed post and non-post resources for the Investigations Division in 2004; and defer consideration of the resource requirements for the Division for 2005 to its fifty-ninth session.  As with the Rwanda Tribunal, the Secretary-General would be requested to resubmit his proposal for the resource requirements for the Investigations Division for 2005 in the first performance report. 


Among other provisions contained in the draft are decisions to reduce the appropriation for contractual services to the level proposed in the second performance report for 2002-2003 and reduce the proposed resources for travel of Registry staff by $200,000.

The Assembly also had before it a text on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/58/581), by which it would endorse the updated composition of levels of contribution for peacekeeping operations for the period 2004-2006, as contained in the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolutions 55/235 and 55/236 contained in document A/58/157/Add.1.  [Annexed to that report are the effective rates of assessment for peacekeeping for 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2006 based on the scale for the regular budget and the peacekeeping scale.]


Four Fifth Committee texts are contained in document A/58/582. 


By the terms of draft resolution I on the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) report on reforming the Field Service category of peacekeeping personnel, the Assembly would take note of the document and the Secretary-General’s related comments, as well as related observations and recommendations of the ACABQ.  It would approve recommendations 1 to 6 of the Unit, including those related to the need to provide a clear definition of the occupational groups, as well as criteria for the identification of present staff members, who would be integrated into the new Field Service and those who would need to be redeployed or phased out. 


Draft resolution II addresses the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the audit of the mission subsistence allowance rates (document A/56/648).  By this text, the Assembly would take note of the report and reaffirm its resolution 56/246 on the work of the Oversight Office, particularly its paragraph 8, in which the Secretary-General was requested to ensure full implementation of the Office’s recommendations with regard to the new mission subsistence allowance.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to entrust the Oversight Office with submitting an updated report on mission subsistence allowance rates, during the second part of the Assembly’s resumed fifty-eighth session.


Also contained in document A/58/582 is draft decision I, by the terms of which the Assembly would approve the transfer of five additional buildings pledged by the Government of Italy to the United Nations Logistics Base, which is situated in that country.  Expressing its appreciation to the Government of Italy, it would also take note of related documents and decide to keep the financing of the Base under review during the current session.


By the terms of draft decision II, the Assembly would take note of a note by the Secretary-General on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (document A/58/599).


The Assembly also had before it a resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document A/58/583).  By its terms, an amount of $59.04 million would be appropriated for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, in addition to the amount of $582 million already appropriated and apportioned for the same period under the terms of its resolution 57/335.  The Assembly would also invite voluntary contributions to the Mission -– both in cash and in the form of services and supplies.


Another text before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) (document A/58/584), by the terms of which it would decide to appropriate the amount of $23,827,500 for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, in addition to the amount of $193,337,100 already appropriated for the same period under the terms of resolution 57/327.


Further by the text, the Assembly would approve the donation of the assets of the East Timor Mission, with a total inventory value of up to $35,262,900 and corresponding residual value of up to $15,879,900, to the Government of Timor-Leste, and emphasize that no peacekeeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peacekeeping missions.  Finally, the General Assembly would invite voluntary contributions to the Mission.


By the terms of a draft decision on the financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), which is contained in document A/58/585, the Assembly would take note of the reports on the matter and decide to keep the agenda item under review.


According to a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/58/589), the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to establish a special account for the Mission and appropriate the amount of some $564.49 million for its maintenance for the period from

1 August 2003 to 30 June 2004, inclusive of the amount of $47.46 million previously authorized by the ACABQ for the operation of the Mission under   section IV of resolution 49/233 for the period from 1 August to 31 December 2003.  Further by the text, the Secretary-General would be requested to pursue through collaboration between the missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire, opportunities for optimizing, where possible, the provision and management of support resources and service delivery to the three missions.


By the terms of another draft resolution (document A/58/590), the Assembly would decide to admit the International Criminal Court to membership in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, with effect from 1 January 2004.


Another Fifth Committee report before the Assembly (document A/58/572) contains four draft resolutions and four draft decisions relating to the agenda item on the programme budget for 2002-2003. 


By the terms of draft resolution I on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on the revenue-producing activities of the United Nations system, the Assembly would state that it awaits with interest specific proposals by the Secretary-General in connection with the Unit’s recommendation on the consolidation of management of revenue-producing activities.  It would also endorse several JIU recommendations, including those on possible relocation of United Nations bookshops and gift centres in New York and Geneva to make them more visible and accessible; identification of public information materials with marketable value that could be purposely developed for the twin objectives of advocacy and income-generation; and dissemination of best on-line practices as far as marketing of United Nations databases is concerned.


The Secretary-General would be further requested to report on the possibility of operating guided tours, bookstores and gift shops in Nairobi and explore the possibility of selling books and gifts via the Internet, in addition to existing arrangements.  Endorsed by the text would be the paragraphs of the report recommending study of ways to enhance the visitors’ experience in Geneva and Vienna, and modernizing the Palais des Nations in Geneva towards that end.  Also addressed in the resolution are the Unit recommendations related to possible review of the agreement underlining the relations of the United Nations postal service with the host country, and expansion of its contacts with the Universal Postal Union (UPU).


The Assembly also had before it draft resolution II on conditions of service and compensation for “other-than-Secretariat” officials:   members of the International Court of Justice; judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; and judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.  The text addresses those officials’ entitlement to a retirement pension, amending the Pension Scheme Regulations for the members of the International Court of Justice and the judges of the International Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR).


Draft resolution III was 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) .  By its terms, the Assembly would decide, at this time, not to change the current practice regarding the salary and retirement allowance of the Secretary-General and the salary and pensionable remuneration of the Administrator of the UNDP.


The next text contained in document A/58/572 was draft resolution IV on the conditions of service and compensation of full-time members of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and the Chairman of the ACABQ.   By this text, the Assembly would adjust, effective 1 September 2003, the compensation of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the ICSC and the Chairman of the ACABQ.


At the same time, it would maintain the procedure for adjusting the compensation of the three officials on the basis of the movement of the consumer price index in New York and reaffirmed the principle that their conditions of service and compensation shall be separate and distinct from those of officials of the Secretariat.  The Secretary-General was requested to bring the matter to the attention of the Assembly when the annual compensation of the Chairman of the ICSC and the Chairman of the ACABQ falls below the level of the compensation of the Assistant Secretary-General, but no sooner than its sixty-third session.  The adjustment procedure would replace the requirement for future five-year compensation reviews outlined in the Secretary-General’s report.


By draft decision I on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on support costs in connection with extrabudgetary activities in organizations of the United Nations system, the Assembly would request the JIU to provide clarifications on several of its recommendations.  It also decided to continue its consideration of the matter at the first part of its resumed fifty-eighth session.


By the terms of draft decision II, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General on the construction of additional office facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and of the related report of the ACABQ.


By draft decision III, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General on strengthening the Department of Public Information, within the existing capacity, in order to support and enhance the United Nations Web site in all official languages of the Organization:  follow-up, and of the related report of the ACABQ.


Another text before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the final budget appropriations for the 2002-2003 biennium (document A/58/572/Add.1) by the terms which (document A/C.5/58/L.41) it took note of the Secretary-General’s second performance report for 2002-2003 and a related ACABQ report and resolved that the appropriation for the biennium shall be increased by $76.66 million –- from    $2.89 billion to a grand total of $2.96 billion.


Noting that the financing of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire up to now has been provided in accordance with the provisions for peacekeeping missions, the Assembly, by the terms of a draft resolution on the matter (document A/58/586), would decide, as a provisional and exceptional measure, to finance the Mission from the regular budget until its current mandate expires next February.  The Assembly would further decide that the issue of the most appropriate funding for the Mission upon renewal of its mandate should be considered at the first part of the resumed fifty-eighth session, in the context of established norms and practice.  


Five drafts were presented to the Assembly in Fifth Committee report contained in document A/58/571.


The first text was draft resolution A on outsourcing practices, by whose terms the Assembly would take note of the related report of the Secretary-General and endorse the recommendations of the ACABQ that information on current outsourcing practices in Geneva be included in the next report of the Secretary-General, who in the future, should also indicate savings whenever an activity is outsourced for reasons of cost-efficiency.


Draft resolution B relates to the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on management audit review of outsourcing in the United Nations funds and programmes.  By its terms, the Assembly would take note of several recommendations of the Unit, including its proposal that outsourcing arrangements with commercial suppliers be based on a number of distinctive elements and a suggestion that the Inter-Agency Procurement Working Group seek agreement on standard contract provisions, emphasizing cost-effectiveness and efficiency in outsourced operations.  The Assembly also endorsed a paragraph recommending that the Secretary-General reinforce existing outsourcing policy guidelines by incorporating the General Assembly’s policy directives on outsourcing practices contained in resolution 55/232 into relevant policy documents. 


Further by the text, the Secretary-General was requested to ensure that contractors, whose staff were present on the United Nations premises on a regular basis, were held accountable for conducting individual background checks at their own cost.  The Assembly also asked the Secretary-General to share the experience of the United Nations Procurement Division in the use of its new formats for monitoring, evaluating and certifying supplier performance under outsourced contracts with the membership of the Inter-Agency Procurement Working Group, and to report to the General Assembly thereon in the context of his next report on outsourcing practices.


By draft resolution C on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on common and joint services of United Nations organizations at Vienna, the Assembly would welcome the comprehensive and timely preparation of the document and decided to return, at its fifty-ninth session, to its consideration upon the issuance of a related ACABQ report.


The fourth text contained in document A/57/571 was draft resolution D on the report of the Office of the Internal Oversight Services on the audit of the Investment Management Service of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, by whose terms the Assembly would note with concern the findings of the Office on problem areas in the functioning, administration and accountability mechanisms of the Investment Management Service.  The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that all the recommendations of the Oversight Office contained in the report are fully and expeditiously implemented and to submit a report thereon at its resumed fifty-eighth session.


By the terms of draft resolution E on review of duplication, complexity and bureaucracy in the United Nations administrative processes and procedures, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the matter.


The proposed programme budget for 2004-2005 (document A/58/573) totals   $3.16 billion, with appropriations, as follows:


Section

Thousands of U.S. Dollars


Overall policy-making, direction and coordination

593 884.9

Political affairs

349 252.2

International justice and law

70 245.4

International cooperation for development

336 495.3

Regional cooperation for development

388 613.7

Human rights and humanitarian affairs

170 670.5

Public information

155 869.9

Common support services

516 168.9

Internal oversight

23 227.2

Jointly financed administrative activities and special expenses


102 445.3

Capital expenditures

58 651.3

Staff assessment

382 270.7

Development Account

13 065.0


Total

3 160 860.3


Action on Reports


Before the Assembly were two draft resolutions on the situation in Central America: progress in fashioning a region of peace, freedom, democracy and development.  The first text was on the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) (document A/58/L.30/Rev.1), and the second draft, on the situation in Central America (document A/58/L.38).


The Fifth Committee’s decisions on the budget implications of the drafts are included in Reports of the Fifth Committee (documents A/58/653 and 654).


The representative of Mexico introduced the text on MINUGUA, and drew attention to some technical corrections.  The Assembly adopted the resolution as orally amended.


The Assembly then adopted the draft on the situation in Central America without a vote.


After the vote, the representative of Japan said his delegation believed that strengthening support for MINUGUA was essential for Guatemala and the region as a whole.  But, while the extension of the Mission’s mandate would not immediately create an increase in the United Nations budget, Japan was nevertheless concerned about the expanding budget in general.  It would urge MINUGUA to expedite its activities and to increase its cooperation with United Nations agencies on the ground.


Also before the Assembly was a 17-part draft resolution on oceans and the law of the sea (document A/58/L.19).  The budget implications of the text are included in the Report of the Fifth Committee (document A/58/648).


Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, Turkey’s representative said that he would vote against the draft before the Assembly as some of the elements contained in the Convention -- which had prevented his country from accepting the Convention in the first place -- had remained in the draft.  In particular, the Convention did not take into account the geographical situation of individual countries and made no provisions for registering reservations on specific clauses.


The representative of Venezuela said that his delegation would like to record its commitment to all efforts to promote cooperation in the area of the law of the sea.  However, the difficulties that had prevented his country from becoming party to the Convention were still in force, although more than two decades had passed since the instrument had come into force.  As his country was not party to the Convention, those standards could not be applied to Venezuela.  Thus, he was compelled to abstain in the vote.


The text was adopted by a vote of 156 in favour to 1 against (Turkey), with 2 abstentions (Colombia, Venezuela) (see Annex I).


Next, the Assembly took up a draft included in paragraph 82 of the Report of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) on complete and general disarmament (document A/58/462).  The budgetary implications of the text are included in the Fifth Committee report A/58/646.


The text was adopted without a vote.


On the environment and sustainable development, the Assembly had before it two draft resolutions contained in reports of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial).


A text on Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, was contained in the Report of the Second Committee (document A/58/484/Add.2).  The Fifth Committee’s statement on the budget implications of the text was included in document A/58/655.


Operative paragraph 14 of that text was retained by a vote of 161 in favour to 1 against (United States) (Annex II).


The text as a whole was adopted without a vote.


Following the vote, the representative of the United States said that her delegation was opposed to the financing of conference services of a treaty body on the non-reimbursable basis.  Under the Charter, United Nations Member States were not responsible for the operations of treaty bodies.


Another Second Committee Report, on protection of the global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/58/484/Add.6), contains a relevant draft, which would call on States to work cooperatively in achieving the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  The Fifth Committee’s decisions on the budget implications of this text were included in document A/58/656.


Operative paragraph 5 of that text was retained by a vote of 161 in favour to 1 against (United States) (Annex III).


The resolution as a whole was adopted without a vote.


Following the vote, the representative of the United States said that her delegation was opposed to the financing of conference services of a treaty body on the non-reimbursable basis.  Under the Charter, United Nations Member States were not responsible for the operations of treaty bodies.


Following that action, JOSE ALBERTO BRIZ GUTIERREZ (Guatemala) introduced the report of Economic and Social Council, which contained a draft decision on the Trust Fund for the United Nations Forum on Forests.


The Assembly adopted the decision without a vote.


The Assembly then took up a draft on outstanding matters related to the advancement of women, contained in a report of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) (document A/58/501).  The budgetary implications of that text were included in the Fifth Committee’s report A/58/649.


The text included in the report, on the future operation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), was adopted by a vote of 126 in favour to 5 against (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, United States), with 30 abstentions (Annex IV).


The Assembly then took up another Third Committee item, a text on the protection and promotion of children’s rights (document A/58/504).  The budgetary implications of that text are included in the Fifth Committee’s report A/58/652.


The text on the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict was adopted by a vote of 115 in favour to 20 against, with 28 abstentions (see Annex V).


The Assembly also had before it two drafts related to human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights, and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (documents A/508/Add.2 and Add.3).  The budgetary requirements of those draft resolutions are included in Fifth Committee reports A/58/650 and 651.


The draft on the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities was adopted without a vote.


The text on the situation of human rights in Myanmar was adopted without a vote.


Following the vote, the representative of Myanmar said that in the Third Committee, his delegation had disassociated itself from the resolution just adopted.  He asked that that same position be reflected in the Assembly’s record of the proceedings today.


The Assembly then took up a draft resolution contained in the Sixth Committee’s (Legal) report on the Special Committee on the United Nations Charter and on Strengthening the Role of the Organization (document A/58/517).  The report of the Fifth Committee was included in document A/58/647.


The Assembly adopted that text without a vote.


As the Assembly turned to the recommendations of the Fifth Committee, the Rapporteur of that body, FOUAD RAJEH (Saudi Arabia), introduced all the drafts in one intervention.


The Assembly first took up two draft decisions contained in Fifth Committee report A/58/588.


Draft decision I on the delegation of authority in matters of personnel of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was adopted without a vote.


Turning to the report of the Economic and Social Council (Chapters I, VII, Sections B and C, and IX), the Assembly decided to take note of the chapters of that report allocated to the Fifth Committee.  That action is contained in draft decision II.


Acting on the draft resolution on the Board of Auditors’ reports (document A/58/570), the Assembly adopted that text without a vote.


Turning to a draft resolution on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of expenses of the United Nations (document A/58/432/Add.1), the Assembly then adopted it without a vote.


Following the vote, the representative of Costa Rica said that all knew that the methodology adopted by the Organization in 2000 had negatively impacted some developing countries by increasing their assessments dramatically.  But thanks to the goodwill of some delegations, particularly that of Spain, the level of Costa Rica’s and other small country’s increase would be more reasonable.  It was necessary to ensure that methodologies to that end be based on clear technical and non-political determiners.  He hoped that by 2006 a more equitable system could be adopted.


The representative of Trinidad and Tobago said that the statement that his delegation had made in the Fifth Committee had highlighted several important issues concerning the scale of assessments, including the need for greater political commitment by all States to pay assessments in full, on time and without impediments, that the Assembly express greater understanding towards States inability to meet their commitments due to genuine economic duties, and that the Assembly give due consideration to ensure adherence to the Organization’s fundamental processes on the issue.  In the context of the negotiation on the draft, his delegation had sought to adhere to the practices of the Assembly.


Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted the draft resolution on the pattern of conferences (document A/58/575).


Also before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the United Nations common system (document A/58/576).  The text was adopted without a vote.


By four other draft resolutions, the Assembly addressed the second performance reports for the current biennium of the two International Tribunals and their budgets for 2004-2005.  Draft resolutions I and II on the Rwanda Tribunal are contained in document A/58/579, and draft resolutions I and II for the former Yugoslavia court, in document A/58/580.


The Assembly first adopted without a vote the two drafts on the Rwanda Tribunal, and then did the same on the ICTY drafts.


The Assembly also had before it a text on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/58/581), which was adopted without a vote.


Four Fifth Committee texts are contained in document A/58/582.


The Assembly first adopted, without a vote, draft resolution I on the JIU report on reforming the Field Service category of peacekeeping personnel.


Draft resolution II addresses the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the audit of the mission subsistence allowance rates (document A/56/648).  It was also adopted without a vote.


Adopting without a vote draft decision I, the Assembly approved the transfer of five additional buildings pledged by the Government of Italy to the United Nations Logistics Base.


By the terms of draft decision II, the Assembly would take note of a note by the Secretary-General on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (document A/58/599).  That draft was also adopted without a vote.


The next text adopted without a vote was a resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document A/58/583).


A draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (document A/58/584) was also adopted without a vote.


So was a draft decision on the financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), which is contained in document A/58/585.


Turning to a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (document A/58/589), the Assembly adopted it without a vote.


The Assembly also decided, by the terms of another draft resolution (document A/58/590), to admit the International CriminalCourt to membership in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, with effect from 1 January 2004.  The draft was adopted without a vote.


Another Fifth Committee report before the Assembly (document A/58/572) contains four draft resolutions and three draft decisions relating to the agenda item on the programme budget for 2002-2003.  All were adopted without a vote.


Draft resolution I refers to the report of the JIU on the revenue-producing activities of the United Nations system.


Draft resolution IIdeals with conditions of service and compensation for “other-than-Secretariat” officials.


Draft resolution III was on the salary and retirement allowance of the Secretary-General and the salary and pensionable remuneration of the Administrator of the UNDP.


Draft resolution IV concerns the conditions of service and compensation of full-time members of the ICSC and the Chairman of the ACABQ.


The Assembly then adopted without a vote draft decision I on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on support costs in connection with extrabudgetary activities in organizations of the United Nations system.


By the terms of draft decision II, the Assembly took note of the report of the Secretary-General on the construction of additional office facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa.


By the terms of draft decision III, the Assembly took note of the report of the Secretary-General on strengthening the Department of Public Information.

Another text before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the final budget appropriations for the 2002-2003 biennium (document A/58/572/Add.1), which was adopted without a vote.


The Assembly then turned to the Fifth Committee report on programme planning (document A/58/574), adopting the draft resolution contained therein, without a vote.


Also before the Assembly was a draft resolution on Strengthening the United Nations system (document A/58/587), which was then adopted without a vote.


It also had before it the Fifth Committee’s report containing the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005 (document A/58/573, which, for the time being, is contained in document A/C.5/58/L.56, parts I and II).  The document contains five draft resolutions, which were all adopted without a vote.


Draft resolution I is entitled “Questions relating to the programme budget for 2004-2005”.


Draft resolution II is entitled “Programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005”.


Draft resolution III is entitled “Special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005”.


Draft resolution IV relates to unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the coming biennium.


And draft resolution V deals with the Working Capital Fund for 2004-2005.


Speaking in explanation of vote, a representative of Cuba said that her delegation had agreed to the adoption of the draft on the programme budget for 2004-2005, although it had reservations on some provisions of the text.  While the resolution should not become a cumbersome political document, it should provide context for financial decisions.  Thus, the draft should not become a precedent for future decisions, although its merits were recognized by Member States.


Also, the resolution once again imposed budget cuts on the requests by the Secretary-General, she said.  She believed that Member States should unconditionally support budget requests.  She was also concerned that the draft had been used to promote certain reforms, while no intergovernmental decisions had been made in that respect.


The representative of the United States said that his country remained opposed to financing of conference services for treaty bodies from the regular budget.  Under Article 17 of the Charter, the Member States were not responsible for financing their work.  However, in keeping with his country’s position that the budget needed to be adopted by consensus, while continuing to oppose such expenditures, his country did not oppose the adoption of the budget.


The Assembly then took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (MINUCI)(document A/58/586).  The draft was adopted without a vote.


Five drafts were presented to the Assembly in Fifth Committee report contained in document A/58/571.  All of them were adopted without a vote.


The first text was draft resolution A on outsourcing practices.


Draft resolution B relates to the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on management audit review of outsourcing in the United Nations funds and programmes.


Draft resolution C concerns the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on common and joint services of United Nations organizations at Vienna.


Draft resolution D was on the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the audit of the Investment Management Service of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.


By the terms of draft resolution E on review of duplication, complexity and bureaucracy in the United Nations administrative processes and procedures, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the matter.


And finally, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, two draft decisions contained in document A/58/571/Add.1.  For the time being, those texts are contained in documents A/C.5/58/L.55 and A/C.5/58/L.54.  They relate to the items deferred until the resumed session of the Assembly and the Fifth Committee’s programme of work for the next two years.


Closing Statement by General Assembly President


Following the Assembly’s consideration of the reports of the Fifth Committee, Assembly President JULIAN ROBERT HUNTE (Saint Lucia) said that given the challenges faced at the beginning and throughout the session, what the Assembly had been able to achieve together -– and the course it had set for the remainder of the session –- it was safe to say that the session had been nothing short of extraordinary.


The session had begun with a most dynamic general debate, he continued.  The overall policy direction given by a record number of heads of State and government had not only stimulated the work of the Main Committees and subsidiary bodies, but had also prepared the wider Assembly to address the myriad critical issues on its agenda, including HIV/AIDS, financing for development, humanitarian assistance, an enhanced role for the General Committee, and revitalization of the Assembly itself.


He said he had been “very optimistic” in the session’s opening days that the Assembly was ready to move more decisively to advance the process of its revitalization.  He was, therefore, pleased with the adoption of a consensus resolution that would set that process in motion.  With that and other issues the Assembly had tackled, “I believe we have thus earned the right to be highly satisfied with our accomplishments”, he said.

Expressing thanks and deep appreciation for the support of Member States, regional groups and the Secretariat, he stressed that the period ahead would be demanding, and filled with great challenges and great opportunities.  On revitalization alone, the consensus resolution had committed Member States to take up four key issues, including scheduling of future Assembly sessions -– including the work of the Main Committees’ and subsidiary bodies -– streamlining the Assembly’s agenda, eliminating or clustering items and setting them on a two- or three-year review schedule, and rationalizing the Main Committees’ work.


Member States would also have to take up the preparations for the “major event in 2005” –- a proposed review of the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and the outcomes of other major United Nations conferences and summits -- with great resolve, he added.  He said that he hoped everyone would return in January -– a mere nine days away –- revitalized and ready to contribute to achieving the goals that had been set.


(annexes follow)


ANNEX I


Vote on Oceans and Law of Sea


The draft resolution on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (document A/58/L.19) was adopted by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 1 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Turkey.


Abstain:  Colombia, Venezuela.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Bahamas, Barbados, Bhutan, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


(END OF ANNEX I)


ANNEX II


Vote on Convention on Desertification


Operative paragraph 14 on the draft resolution on implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification (document A/58/484/Add.2) was retained by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Bahamas, Barbados, Bhutan, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


(END OF ANNEX II)


ANNEX III


Vote on Global Climate


Operative paragraph 5 of the draft resolution on protection of the global climate for present and future generations (document A/58/484/Add.6) was retained by a recorded vote 161 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Bahamas, Barbados, Bhutan, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


(END OF ANNEX III)


ANNEX IV


Vote on Women’s Research Institute


The draft resolution on the future operation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) (document

A/58/501-VII) was adopted by a recorded vote of 126 in favour to 5 against, with 30 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Bahamas, Barbados, Bhutan, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Liberia, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Uganda, Vanuatu.


(END OF ANNEX IV)


ANNEX V


Vote on Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict


The draft resolution on the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (document A/58/504–III) was adopted by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 20 against, with 28 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Fiji, Hungary, Latvia, Mongolia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Venezuela.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Bahamas, Barbados, Bhutan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Vanuatu.


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