21 December 2007
General Assembly
GA/AB/3835

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-second General Assembly

Fifth Committee

26th Meeting (Night)


FIFTH COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS 2008-2009 BUDGET OF $4.17 BILLION,


AS IT CONCLUDES WORK FOR MAIN PART OF CURRENT SESSION

 


Financing for Darfur Hybrid Mission, International Tribunals,

Administration of Justice among Issues Addressed by Wide Range of Texts


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) early Saturday morning recommended a $4.17 billion budget for the Organization for 2008-2009, breaking a diplomatic deadlock that had threatened to leave the United Nations without a budget as the new year approached.


The framework of the formula reached at the conclusion of the main part of the Committee’s session -- a draft resolution on questions relating to the proposed 2008-2009 budget -- was approved by a recorded vote of 141 to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions (annex II), and was quickly followed by a standing ovation by Member States.


Speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States said that, while “prepared to live with” the outcome of the Committee’s work, he had several general concerns -- some of them common to many Members in the room.  The “Group of 77” developing countries and China, for example, was also concerned over the piecemeal approach to the budget, under which a number of additional funding requests were presented to the Committee in separate reports.


Continuing, he said that, while the budget just adopted was only modestly larger than the current one, as approved today it would be significantly higher with all the add-ons.  He appreciated the commitment of those involved, but was concerned about the coming year.


In that connection, the draft resolution approved today would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General, for all future budgets, to take the necessary steps to avoid such a piecemeal approach and ensure the fullest possible picture of the Organization’s requirements for the biennium.  Noting the practice of incremental budgeting, where only new requirements are justified, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that, whenever new proposals lead to requests for additional resources, sufficient effort is made to meet the new requirements through existing resources.


The Committee also needed a recorded vote -- 94 in favour to 40 against, with 6 abstentions (Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland) (annex I) -- to approved a text informing the Assembly that “preliminary additional requirements” of up to $6.79 million would be required, should the Assembly adopt a draft on the follow-up to the 2001 World Conference against Racism.


Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Canada said his country had serious reservations about the estimates for the Durban Conference and the role of the Fifth Committee was not to discuss substantive issues.  For its work, the Committee required detailed estimates, but the Secretary-General had not provided enough information to enable the Committee make informed decisions.


The Committee also approved, without a vote, recommendations on the essential elements of the first serious overhaul of the Organization’s system of internal justice in 60 years.  While placing great emphasis on informal resolution of disputes -- with a integrated and decentralized Office of the Ombudsman for the Secretariat, funds and programmes, with branch offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna, Santiago and Bangkok -- the Assembly established a first-instance United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) and a United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) as of January 2009.  Also established by the seven-part draft were the Office of Administration of Justice, the Mediation Division and the Office of Staff Legal Assistance, which will succeed the Panel of Counsel.


Acting without a vote on the Task Force that had been established in January 2006 to investigate United Nations procurement, the Committee recommended that the Assembly note the ad hoc nature of the Procurement Task Force and request the Board of Auditors to conduct an audit of the Task Force activities, including its compliance with established transparency and accountability measures of the Organization and the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).


Acting in response to the proposed interim financial arrangements that would allow the Task Force to continue its activities in 2008, in a manner similar to the budget draft, the Assembly would express regret over the piecemeal manner in which the investigations-related issues had been presented and decide to conduct an overall review of the capacity of the Investigations Division of the OIOS by 20 June 2008.  It would revert to the consideration of the Procurement Task Force and the related note of the Secretary-General at its first resumed sixty-second session, along with the overall review of the capacity of the Investigations Division of the OIOS.


By two other drafts approved today, the Committee recommended setting the 2008-2009 budgets for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at $267.36 million and $347.57 million, respectively.


Also today, the Committee recommended that an amount of $1.28 billion be appropriated for the establishment of a new African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008; and $182.44 million be appropriated, for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, inclusive of the amount of $45.83 million previously authorized by the Advisory Committee.


And finally, the Committee recommended, by a vote of 93 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 47 abstentions, approval of the ad hoc measure recommended by the United Nations Pension Board to address adverse, unprecedented consequences of dollarization in Ecuador as an ad hoc, one-time, ex gratia, exceptional payment.  In that regard, the Assembly would emphasize that the arrangement would not set a precedent for any future action by the Pension Fund Board.


In other action, the Committee recommended that the Assembly:


-- Set the final regular budget appropriation for 2006-2007 at $4.19 billion for expenditure sections and $505.2 million for income sections;


-- Establish the Working Capital Fund for the biennium 2008-2009 in the amount of $150 million;


-- Provide $28.1 million for the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO;


-- Approve the administrative expenses of the Organization’s Pension Fund;


-- Approve a request for subvention for the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research;


-- Reduce by some $200.15 million the overall provision for special missions for 2008-2009, while approving some $386.59 million for 26 political missions authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council;


-- Approve revised estimates resulting from decisions of the Human Rights Council in the amount of $765,100;


-- Appropriate, as an exceptional measure towards addressing the lack of transfer of resources, an additional $2.5 million for the Development Account;


-- Approve the supplementary agreement between the United Nations and the Carnegie foundation concerning the use of the Peace Palace at The Hague;


-- Approve the transfer of six additional buildings and 12 open areas by the Government of Italy to the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi; and


-- Note that a balance of $12.19 million remained in the Contingency Fund.


The Committee also pronounced itself on the programme budget implications of a series of drafts before the Assembly and recommended that it take note of several reports it had considered and defer until the resumed session the issues of:  administrative and budgetary aspects of peacekeeping financing; financing of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor; and scale of assessments.


Action on Drafts


The first text before the Committee was a draft resolution on the administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/C.5/62/L.13), by the terms of which the Assembly would decide on the essential elements of the legal framework for the new justice system and address specific processes, including selection of judges, disciplinary procedures, management evaluation and legal assistance for staff.


By the terms of this seven-part draft, the Assembly, would decide to establish a fundamentally different two-tier system of administration of justice, comprising a first-instance United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) and an appellate instance United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT), as of January 2009.  UNDT would have a registry in New York, Geneva and Nairobi and would initially comprise three full-time judges at those duty stations, as well as two half-time judges.  UNAT would comprise seven members, who will sit in panels of at least three and have a registry in New York.  It would also establish the Office of Administration of Justice, comprising the Office of the Executive Director and the Office of Staff Legal Assistance, as well as the Registries of the two Tribunals.  The Secretary-General would be asked to ensure that the positions within the Office of the Executive Director be filled as a matter of priority, but no later than 1 July 2008.


By 1 March 2008, a five-member Internal Justice Council would be established, consisting of a staff representative, a management representative and two external distinguished jurists, one nominated by the staff and one by management, and chaired by a jurist chosen by consensus by the four other members.  The Council would liaise with the Office of Human Resources Management, provide its views to the Assembly on the candidates for vacancies within the Tribunals, with due regard to geographical distribution; draft the code of conduct for the judges; and provide its views on the implementation of the justice system.


Placing great emphasis on the informal resolution of disputes, the Assembly would create a single integrated and decentralized Office of the Ombudsman for the Secretariat, funds and programmes, as of 1 January 2008, with branch offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna, Santiago and Bangkok, each with one Regional Ombudsman and Administrative Assistant.  Also from 1 January, the Assembly would establish the Mediation Division.


Reiterating its support for strengthening professional legal assistance for staff, the Assembly would decide to establish the Office of Staff Legal Assistance to succeed the Panel of Counsel, consisting of one Chief of Unit, two Legal Officers and three Legal Assistants in New York, as well as one Legal Officer each in Geneva, Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Beirut.  The Secretary-General would also be asked to report on the progress made to establish a staff-funded scheme that would provide legal advice and support to staff, as well as possible measures to encourage responsible use of the justice system.  The Assembly would revert to the issue of the mandate of the Office of Staff Legal Assistance at its sixty-third session.


As for the proposal to extend the scope of the new system to over 100,000 staff and non-staff personnel, by the draft, only individuals who have access to the current system would have access to the new one.  The Assembly would revert to the scope issue at the second part of its resumed sixty-second session.  The Secretary-General would be requested to ensure that the daily paid workers in peacekeeping missions are aware of their rights and have access to suitable recourse procedures within the framework of the United Nations.


The Assembly would endorse, in principle, the delegation of authority for disciplinary measures to heads of offices away from Headquarters and heads of missions/special representatives and request the Secretary-General to present a report containing a detailed proposal regarding possible options in that regard.  It would also establish an independent Management Evaluation Unit in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management, which -- in response to formal requests for management evaluation -- would have to complete such evaluation as soon as possible and within a limit of 30 calendar days for New York and 45 days for offices away from Headquarters.


The Assembly would call for intensified efforts to clear the backlog of cases before existing justice bodies and decide to revert to the issue of transitional arrangements at the second part of its resumed session.  It would ask the Secretary-General to conclude cost-sharing arrangements with relevant funds and programmes by July 2008.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to ensure that information concerning the details of the new system, in particular options for recourse, are readily accessible to all staff covered.


Prior to action on the draft, the coordinator of the negotiations on the text, Vice-Chairman of the Committee, KLAUS DE RIJK, orally amended the draft, inserting a paragraph, by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of paragraph 35 of the related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).


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


Prior to action on the financing for the International Tribunals, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, SHARON VAN BUERLE, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on revised estimates reflecting effects of changes in rates of exchange and inflation on the proposed budgets of both courts (document A/62/586).  A related ACABQ report (document A/62/7/30) was introduced by Chairman of the Advisory Committee, RAJAT SAHA.


According to the documents, after recosting, the resource requirements for the two Tribunals for 2008-2009 would amount to some $280.39 million for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (an increase of $6.29 million) and $364.67 million for the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (an increase of $24.95 million).  The Advisory Committee finds no technical basis for objecting to the revised estimates arising from the recosting and transmits them to the Fifth Committee for consideration.


As proposed by the Chairman, the Committee recommended that the Assembly take note of the revised estimates for the Tribunals.


The Committee then turned to a draft resolution on financing the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (document A/C.5/62/L.11), by the terms of which the Assembly would resolve that, for the biennium 2006-2007, the amount of some $277.13 million gross approved for the budget of the Tribunal shall be adjusted by the amount of some $2.38 million gross for a total amount of $279.51 million.  For 2008-2009, the Assembly would decide to appropriate an amount of $267.36 million gross.

The draft was approved without a vote.


On the financing of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Committee had before it a draft resolution (document A/C.5/62.L.12), by the terms of which the Assembly would adjust the budget of $326.57 million gross that has been approved for the Tribunal for 2006-2007 by some $22.41 million for a total amount of $348.98 million gross.  The Tribunal’s budget for 2008-2009 would be determined at $347.57 million gross.


The Committee approved the draft without a vote.


By the terms of the draft resolution on the transfer of buildings to the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, (document A/C.5/62/L.14), the Assembly would note with appreciation the offer by the Government of Italy of six additional buildings and 12 open areas to the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi and would approve the transfer of those buildings and open spaces.


The Committee approved the text without a vote.


By the terms of the draft resolution on the Financing of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (document A/C.5/62/L.15), the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the special account for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) the amount of $1.275 billion for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 for the establishment of the mission.


It would also have the Assembly decide to establish 13 posts for the conduct and discipline team and 14 positions to be funded from general temporary assistance.  In addition, it would decide to approve 13 posts (four P-5, eight P-4, one General Service) for the integrated operational team, in order to provide backstopping for UNAMID, the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) and the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), to be financed through the account of peacekeeping operations.


Further, the resolution would also have the Assembly recall that the mission should have a predominantly African character and the troops should, as far as possible, be sourced from African countries.


It would also reaffirm, in the context of all Security Council decisions on peacekeeping operations, the prerogatives of the General Assembly in issues related to administrative and budgetary matters, and emphasize that all future and existing peacekeeping missions shall be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements.


The Committee approved the text without a vote.


The Committee then approved, also without a vote, a draft resolution on financing of United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (document A/C.5/62/L.16), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate the amount of $1.11 million previously authorized by the ACABQ for the establishment of the advance mission in Chad and the Central African Republic for the period from 1 March to 30 June 2007.  The budget of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 would be determined at $182.44 million, inclusive of the amount of $45.83 million previously authorized by the Advisory Committee.


The next draft before the Committee related to the reports of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)/financing of the Procurement Task Force (document A/C.5/62/L.26).  By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the reports considered by the Committee and express regret over the piecemeal manner in which the investigations-related issues contained in those documents have been presented to the Assembly.  It would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of ACABQ and decide to conduct an overall review of the capacity of the Investigations Division of OIOS by 20 June 2008.


Noting the ad hoc nature of the Procurement Task Force, it would request the Board of Auditors to conduct an audit of the activities of the Procurement Task Force for the period from 1 January 2006 to 30 June 2007, including its compliance with established transparency and accountability measures of the Organization and OIOS and to report thereon separately at the main part of the sixty-third session.


The Assembly would decide to revert to the consideration of the OIOS report on the activities of the Task Force and the related note of the Secretary-General at its first resumed sixty-second session, along with the overall review of the capacity of the Investigations Division of OIOS.


The Committee approved the draft without a vote.


The Committee then approved, also without a vote, a draft resolution on the Organization’s budget for 2006-2007 (document A/C.5/62/L.10), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of the second performance report of the Secretary-General on the programme budget for the biennium and endorse the observations and recommendations contained in the related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.


It would resolve that, for the biennium 2006-2007, the amount of some $4.3 billion appropriated in resolutions 61/253 A of 22 December 2006, 61/258 of 26 March 2007 and 61/275 of 29 June 2007 shall be decreased by some $113.23 million.  The Secretary-General would be authorized to transfer credits between sections of the budgets, with the concurrence of the Advisory Committee.


Also by the draft, the previously-approved estimates of income in the amount of $492.25 million for the biennium would be increased by some $12.93 million to a total of some $505.2 million.


Prior to action on the draft, an oral amendment to the text was introduced by the Secretary of the Committee MOVSES ABELIAN, who said that it had been agreed in informal consultations that a new subparagraph d should be inserted on page four of the draft:  “decides to increase the provision under section 34, Development Account by the amount of $5 million”.


As the Committee then turned to the Organization’s proposed budget for 2008-2009, Ms. VAN BUERLE, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the recosting of the budget (document A/62/587).  A related report of the Advisory Committee was introduced by its Chairman, Mr. SAHA, who said that the Advisory Committee found no technical basis for disagreeing with the revision.


The Committee decided to recommend to the General Assembly to take note of the revised estimates:  effect of changes in rates of exchange and inflation on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


The Committee then took up a draft decision on Programme budget implications relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009 (document A/C.5/62/L.17) which contained the programme budget implications with regard to 11 draft texts.


In section A relating to draft resolution on the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (document A/C.1/62/L.24/Rev.1), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that should it adopt the draft, additional requirements amounting to $360,200 would be required under section 4, disarmament ($322,300), and section 35, staff assessment, ($37,000), to be offset by the same amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


In section B, relating to the draft resolution on the Human Rights Council (document A/C.5/62/L.84), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, additional requirements amounting to $3.98 million would arise under section 23, human rights ($3.11 million), section 2 ($874,000) and section 35, staff assessment ($438,600), to be offset by an equivalent amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


In section C, relating to the draft resolution on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/62/L.41/Rev.1), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, additional requirements of $781,900 would be charged against the provision for special political missions included under section 3, political affairs, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


In section D, relating to the implementation of the United Nations Platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (document A/C.4/62/L.9), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that should it adopt the draft, additional requirements amounting to $682,000 would be required under section 6, peaceful uses of outer space ($604,000), and section 35, staff assessment  ($78,000), to be offset by an equivalent amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


In section E, relating to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (document A/C.3/62/L.20/Rev.1), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, additional requirements in the total amount of $10.77 million would be required under the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009 as follows:  section 23, human rights ($415,450), and section 2, General assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($10.36 million).


According to section E, which relates to the ocean and the law of the sea (document A/62/L.27), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that should it adopt the draft, additional requirements amounting to $1.96 million would be required under section 8, legal affairs, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


Section G, on the Subregional Centre for Human Rights and democracy in Central Africa (document A/C.3/62/L.44), would have the Committee decide to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, additional requirements totalling $573,600 under section 23, human rights ($520,100), and section 35, staff assessment ($53,000), be offset by an equivalent amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009, should be accommodated within the existing resources provided for in the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009, under section 23, human rights.


In section H, relating to the right to development (document A/C.3/62/L.49), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that adoption of the draft resolution would not give rise to additional resource requirements under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council and conference management, section 23, human rights and section 28 E, administration, Geneva, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


In section I, relating to the Global Forum of Migration and Development (document A/62/L.25), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, additional requirements of $110,000 would be met within the overall appropriations under section 9, economic and social affairs, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


Section J, on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development:  modalities, format and organization of the high-level meeting on Africa’s development needs (document A/62/L.29), would have the Committee decide to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, additional requirements amounting to $86,000 would be required under section 11, United Nations support for Africa’s development, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


According to section K, relating to global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of the follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/62/L.65/Rev.1 as orally revised), the Committee would decide to inform the Assembly that, should it adopt the draft, preliminary additional requirements up to $6.79 million would be required under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Affairs and conference management ($4.89 million) and section 23, human rights ($1.89 million), of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.  The Committee would recommend that the Assembly take note of the estimates.  Upon conclusion of discussions and negotiations and the determination of the structure of the Durban Review Conference, including the regional preparatory meetings, detailed information and financial implications would be submitted.


The representative of the United States said his country could not join the consensus on the document because of the section relating to the Durban conference.  His country, therefore, requested a recorded vote on the programme budget implications statement of the Durban Conference.


The representative of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that the decision that had been challenged should be treated in accordance with established procedures.  The ACABQ had provided a clear recommendation, on which the Committee should be able to take a decision.  The Group of 77 and China would vote in favour of the section.

The representative of the United States requested a short suspension of the meeting to allow for consultation.


The representative of Pakistan, on behalf of the Group of 77, said that sufficient time had been already available to all delegations to consult and express their opinions on the decision.  The Group of 77 could, therefore, not support any suspension of meeting at the present stage.


Section G was then approved by a vote of 94 in favour to 40 against, with 6 abstentions ( Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland) (annex I).


The Committee then adopted the draft decision as a whole without a vote.


Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Canada said his country had serious reservations about the estimates for the Durban Conference.  The role of the Fifth Committee was not to discuss substantive issues.  For its work, the Committee required detailed estimates, but the Secretary-General had not provided the information to enable the Committee to make informed decisions.  In the absence of the needed information, Canada had voted against the resolution.


The representative of the United States said that his country’s concerns had been stated in the Third Committee.  Part of the Fifth Committee’s role was to be fully informed.  This programme budget implications statement was unlike any in the history of the United Nations, with one exception.  It was missing key information and the Committee needed to rely on detailed and precise information in order to make informed decisions.


The representative of Spain said that her delegation had meant to vote against the draft.


By the draft resolution on questions relating to the proposed programme budget for 2008-2009 (document A/C.5/62/L.18), the Assembly would reaffirm that no changes to the budget methodology, established budgetary procedures and practices or financial regulations may be implemented without prior review and approval by the Assembly, in accordance with established budgetary procedures.


Noting with concern the piecemeal approach to the budget process, it would request the Secretary-General, for all future budgets, to take the necessary steps to avoid such a piecemeal approach to the budget process and ensure the fullest possible picture of the Organization’s requirements for the biennium.  It would reiterate that allocation of resources should reflect fully the priorities established in the Biennial Programme Plan and emphasize that the resources proposed by the Secretary-General should be commensurate with all mandated programmes and activities.  The Assembly would also reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to specifically define accountability, as well as clear accountability mechanisms, including to the General Assembly, and to propose clear parameters for its application and the instruments for its rigorous enforcement, without exception, at all levels, during the sixty-second session.


On extrabudgetary funding, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General, in the budget proposal for the next biennium, to submit estimates of the total amount of resources, from all sources of financing, that he should have at his disposal to be able to implement fully the mandated programmes and activities efficiently and effectively.  In connection with the budget presentation, the Secretary-General would be requested, in future budget submissions, to propose measures to offset the budget increases, wherever possible, without undermining the implementation of mandated programmes and activities.  The Assembly would also decide that supplementary financial information presented to the ACABQ, including detailed explanations of requirements by component and source of funds and by object of expenditure, should also be made available to Member States, including through the Fifth Committee website.


Further by the text, the Assembly would set the staffing table for the biennium at 9,923 and express its concern at the high vacancy rate, especially at the Professional level, in certain areas of the Organization, emphasizing its negative impact on the effective delivery of mandated activities.  The Secretary-General would be requested to recruit staff expeditiously through proper planning and streamlining of personnel activities and procedures.


Reaffirming that the vacancy rate is a tool for budgetary calculations and should not be used to achieve budgetary savings, the Assembly would set a vacancy rate of 6.5 per cent for Professional and 3.5 per cent for General Service staff, and 27.2 per cent for Field Security staff as a basis for the calculation of the budget for 2008-2009.  It would also point out that deliberate management decisions should not be taken to keep a certain number of posts vacant, as such actions make the budgetary process less transparent and management of resources less efficient.


Noting the practice of incremental budgeting, where only new requirements are justified, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that whenever new proposals lead to requests for additional resources, sufficient effort is made to meet the new requirements through existing resources.  It would reaffirm the role of the General Assembly with regard to the structure of the Secretariat, including creation, conversion, suppression and redeployment of posts and request the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Assembly with comprehensive information on all decisions involving established and temporary high-level posts.  Any transfer of resources between posts and non-post objects of expenditure would require the approval of the General Assembly.  The OIOS would be entrusted with a comprehensive review of the implementation of the recruitment, promotion and mobility policies of United Nations staff over the last five years and report on it to the sixty-third session of the Assembly.


By the draft, non-post requirements would be reduced by 2 per cent, other than travel of staff, contractual services and general operating expenses.  For those expenditures, the Assembly would decide to maintain the resources at the 2006-2007 level, after recosting.  It would also decide not to apply relevant adjustment to travel provisions of the regional commissions.


Also by this draft, the Assembly would address the issues of information technology and conference servicing and training and provide guidance on various sections on the budget in the areas of overall policymaking, direction and coordination; political affairs; international cooperation and development; regional cooperation for development; human rights and humanitarian affairs; public information; common support services; internal oversight; jointly financed administrative activities and special expenses; and safety and security.


The draft was introduced by the coordinator of informal consultations on the budget, ALEJANDRO LEPORI ( Argentina), who said that much work had been required to conclude work on the text, and he was very proud that it had succeeded.


Prior to action on the draft, the United States representative expressed regret that his country could not join consensus on the United Nations budget and called for a recorded vote.


The representative of Pakistan said that he regretted to see a call for a vote on a consensus resolution -- a product of months of hard work.  By that extreme action, the spirit of consensus, of the Committee working together, of harmony and trust had been put in question.  All concerns expressed by delegations had been fully discussed and addressed to the extent possible.  The Committee had worked days and nights, and it was a sad moment that after all the hard work the Committee had found itself at such a dead end.  He did not know what message the Committee was sending.  The delegation of the United States had made it a practice to challenge the work of the Committee.  During previous deliberations on the budget, a cap had been placed on the budget, and that had continued to haunt the relationship between Member States for some time.  It was regrettable that lessons had not been learned from that hard experience.  He was very disappointed and would vote in favour of the budget proposal.


He also expressed deep appreciation to the coordinator, Mr. Lepori of Argentina, for his extraordinary work and for the Chairman, who had made sure that there was no exclusion from the process.


The draft resolution was approved by a vote of 141 to 1 against ( United States), with no abstentions (annex II).


The United States representative said that he joined the standing ovation for the coordinator and applauded the efforts in which the Committee had engaged.  He gave a lot of credit to everyone in the room for their commitment and time.  His delegation was prepared to live with the outcome of the Committee’s work, but it had several general concerns -- some of them common with many members in the room.  The Group of 77, for example, was also concerned over the piecemeal approach to the budget.


His delegation was concerned that action taken today was on a preliminary budget, he continued.  He was concerned that what the Committee endorsed was not the final budget.  While only modestly larger than the past budget as approved today, everybody knew that the budget for 2008-2009 would be significantly higher.  It was important for the credibility of the United Nations to adopt fiscally disciplined budgets.  He appreciated the commitment of those involved, but was concerned about the coming year.  The ultimate final straw, which had prevented his delegation from joining the consensus, were concerns over the inclusion of the Durban II conference.  Because of those combined reasons, he had been unable to join the consensus and called for a vote.


The Chairman expressed appreciation to Mr. Lepori for his coordination of the negotiations on the matter.  He also thanked all the delegations for their cooperation.


The attention of the Committee was then drawn to the consolidated statement on programme budget implications and revised estimates.  In that connection, Ms. VAN BUERLE introduced the report contained in document A/C.5/62/22.


Orally introducing a related report of the Advisory Committee, Mr. SAHA said that the ACABQ recommended taking note of the fact that the amount of $12.12 million remained in the contingency fund.


The Committee then recommended that the Assembly note that a balance of $12.12 million remained in the contingency fund.


Contained in draft resolution A/C.5/62/L.23 was the draft report of the Fifth Committee on the programme budget for 2008-2009.  The report was divided in two parts:  part I contained the narrative of the action taken by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary); and part II contained the Committee’s recommendations.


With draft resolution I, questions relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009, already approved, the Committee turned to draft resolution II contained in part II of the report (document A/C.5/62/L.19),which contains the Organization’s budget appropriations for the biennium 2008-2009 in the total amount of about $4.17 billion.  Section B contains income estimates for the biennium, and Section C, financing appropriations for the year 2008.


The Committee approved the text without a vote.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution on special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009 (document A/C.5/62/L.20) which contains 23 parts.


By part I on the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development/World Trade Organization), the draft would have the Assembly decide to approve resources in the amount of $28.09 million proposed for the biennium 2008-2009 under section 13, International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO.


Part II, on administrative expenses of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, would have the Assembly approve expenses chargeable directly to the Fund totalling $131.99 million net for the biennium 2008-2009 and a revised estimate of $104.46 million net for the biennium 2006-2007 for the administration of the Fund.  It would further approve an additional $748,200 above the level set out in section 1, overall policymaking, direction and coordination, of the proposed programme budget for 2008-2009 as the United Nations share of the cost of the administrative expenses of the central secretariat of the Fund.


Part III of the draft deals with the request for the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.  By the terms, the Assembly would approve the request for a subvention to the Institute of $485,500 for the biennium from the regular budget of the United Nations, on the understanding that no additional provisions would be required under section 4, disarmament, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


By part IV, on revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive and resumed substantive sessions of 2007, the Assembly would note that the provision relating to the resource requirements for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was considered in the report to the General assembly on the programme budget implication of draft resolution A/C.5/62/L.20.


Part V, on estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General assembly and/or the Security Council, would have the Assembly decide to reduce the overall provision for special missions for 2008-2009 by $200.15 million.  It would further approve the budgets totalling $386.59 million of the 26 political missions authorized by the General assembly and/or the Security Council presented in the report of the Secretary-General.


By the terms of the revised estimates resulting from resolutions and/or decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council contained in part VI, the Assembly would decide to establish five P-5 posts for senior revisers for conference management, Geneva.  In addition, it would approve net additional resource requirements for the biennium 2008-2009 amounting to $765,100.


Part VII, on revised estimates to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009 under sections 17, 20, 21, 27, 28C, 28D, 28E, 28F, and 28G to ensure operational preparedness and business continuity in a protracted human influenza pandemic crisis would have the Assembly take note of the report of the Secretary-General.  It would also stress the need for a comprehensive review for all business continuity, including the human influenza pandemic and other kinds of emergency planning, and request the Secretary-General to present a comprehensive report on business continuity, including in the event of a pandemic, that was complementary and compatible with the wider Enterprise Resource Planning and Information and Communication Technology reform, and to include information on the status of implementation of measures taken in that regard at its sixty-third session.


With regard to the development account, contained in part VIII, the draft would have the Assembly decide to appropriate an additional $2.5 million for that account, but stress that that appropriation was an exceptional measure towards addressing the lack of a transfer of resources to the account since its inception.


On part IX, on the construction of additional office facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, the draft would have the Assembly take note with appreciation of the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia, as host country, in facilitating the construction of additional office facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa.  It would also take note of the reports of the Secretary-General and endorse the related observations and recommendations of ACABQ contained in that report.


Similarly, by the terms of part X on construction of additional conference facilities at the Vienna International Centre, the General Assembly would take note with appreciation of the efforts of the Government of Austria, as host country, to construct conference facilities at the Centre.  It would also take note of the report of the Secretary-General and endorse the related observations and recommendations of the ACABQ contained in that report.


Part XI, on a supplementary agreement between the United Nations and the Carnegie foundation concerning the use of the Peace Palace at the Hague, would have the Assembly endorse the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the ACABQ and approve the supplementary agreement as contained in the annex to the Secretary-General’s report.


Also, by part XII, on the financial situation of International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the Assembly would reiterate its appeal to Member States, as a matter of urgency, to contribute voluntary funds in support of the Institute and to honour existing pledges in a timely manner.


By part XIII, on administrative and financial implications of the decisions and recommendations contained in the report of the International Civil service Commission (ICSC) for 2007, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General and endorse the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the ACABQ.


With regard to part XIV, on the United Nations Postal Administration, the draft would have the Assembly decide to consider the establishment of a contingent liability reserve for the Postal Administration as a solution to the issue of reducing the risk posed to the Postal Administration by the use of its services for commercial and bulk mail, on the basis of any future recommendations of the Board of Auditors and updated information provided by the Secretary-General on the issue at its sixty-third session.


Part XV, on standards of accommodation for air travel, would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Chief Executives Board, to report on the feasibility of harmonizing standards for travel of staff members, members of organs and subsidiary organs of the United Nations and organizations of the United Nations system, on the basis of a Chief Executives Board review and proposals, taking due consideration of the specificity of the work and mandates of the different entities of the system.


By part XVI, the Assembly would note that a balance of $12.19 million remained in the Contingency Fund, while part XVII on the effects of changes in rates of exchange and inflation, would have it take note of the revised estimates arising from recosting due to the effects of changes in the rates of exchange and inflation.


The Assembly would approve the gross budget for the Joint Inspection Unit for the biennium 2008-2009 in the amount of $11.63 million under part XVII on the Joint Inspection Unit, and a gross budget for the International Civil service Commission for the biennium in the amount of $17.77 million under part XIX on the International Civil Service Commission.


Part XX, on the administration of justice, would have the Assembly decide to approve a total of $17.01 million under the programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009 under administration of justice.  It would also decide that an amount of $305,300 would be financed from the resources approved for the support account for peacekeeping operations for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008, to be reported to the General Assembly in the context of the performance report on the support account for the period.


Part XXI, on the use of 300-series and 100-series appointments, would have the Assembly decide to continue to suspend the application of the four-year maximum limit for appointments of limited duration until 30 June 2008 and to authorize the Secretary-General to reappoint, under 100 series of the staff rules, those mission staff whose service under 300-series contracts had reached the four-year limit by 30 June 2008, provided that their functions had been reviewed and found necessary and their performance had been confirmed as fully satisfactory.  It would further request the Secretary-General to continue the practice of using 300-series contracts as the primary instrument for appointment of new staff.


By part XXII, on the United Nations Office of Partnerships, the Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General and endorse the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of ACABQ.


Also, by part XXIII, on the jointly financed gross budget of the Department of Safety and Security, the Assembly would approve the gross budget of that Department for the biennium 2008-2009 in the amount of $200.13 million, comprising $172.42 million for filed security operations and $27.71 million for security and safety services at the United Nations Office at Vienna.


The representative of Syria requested a recorded vote over part V of the draft resolution, saying his country had expressed some concerns during the discussions on the draft, but those concerns had not been given due consideration.


The Committee then adopted the draft on estimates in respect of special political missions by a vote of 92 in favour to none against, with 14 abstentions (annex III).


The representative of Chile, in explanation of vote after the vote, said that the Fifth Committee had a tradition of resolving questions through consensus and it was regrettable that it had had to vote on the draft.  The Committee was a technical one and another competent forum should deal with that issue.


The representative of Algeria said his country had meant to abstain from the vote.


The representative of Afghanistan said that he had voted in favour of the draft, but machine did not record his vote properly.


The representative of Yemen said that he had tried to abstain, but voted otherwise by mistake.


The Committee then adopted the draft resolution on special subjects relating to the programme budget as a whole without a vote.


The Committee then turned to draft resolution IV on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium 2008-2009 (document A/C.5/62/L.21), by the terms of which the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General, with prior concurrence of ACABQ, and subject to the financial regulations and rules of the United Nations, to enter into commitments to meet unforeseen and extraordinary expenses arising during or subsequent to the biennium.  The text also specifies the cases for which the Advisory Committee’s concurrence would not be necessary.


Further by the text, the Assembly would decide that if a decision of the Security Council results in the need for the Secretary-General to enter into commitments relating to the maintenance of peace and security in an amount exceeding $10 million, that matter shall be brought to the Assembly.  Should the Assembly be suspended or not in session, a resumed or special session would be convened to consider the matter.


The draft was approved without a vote.


By the terms of draft resolution V -- contained in document A/C.5/62/L.22 -- the Assembly would establish the Working Capital Fund for the biennium 2008-2009 in the amount of $150 million, with Member States to make advances to the Fund in accordance with the scale of assessments adopted by the Assembly for contributions to the budget for the year 2008.


The Secretary-General would be authorized to advance from the Working Capital Fund the sums as may be necessary to continue the revolving fund to finance miscellaneous self-liquidating purchases and activities not exceeding $200,000; advances in excess of $200,000 may be made with prior concurrence of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.  With prior concurrence of the Advisory Committee, the Secretary-General would also be able to finance payments of advance insurance premiums where the period of insurance extends beyond the end of the biennium; the Secretary-General shall make provision in the budget estimates of each biennium, during the life of the related policies, to cover the charges applicable to each biennium.  Also financed from the Fund would be the sums to enable the Tax Equalization Fund to meet current commitments pending the accumulation of credits; such advances shall be repaid as soon as credits are available in the Tax Equalization Fund.


Should the amount in the Fund prove inadequate to meet the purposes normally related to it, the Secretary-General would be authorized to utilize cash from special funds and accounts in his custody, under the conditions approved in resolution 1341 (XIII), or the proceeds of loans authorized by the Assembly.


The Committee approved the text without a vote.


The Committee then approved the draft report of the Fifth Committee (document A/C.5/62/L.23, parts I and II) without a vote.


Having considered the report of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board on the administrative expenses of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund and several related reports, the Committee also had before it a draft resolution on the questions related to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (document A/C.5/62/L.25).


By this text, the Assembly would concur with the recommendations contained in the reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions on the administrative expenses of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund and on the administrative and financial implications arising from the report of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board and request the Secretary-General to undertake a comprehensive review of the Fund’s services, funded through section 1, overall, policymaking, direction and coordination, of the programme budget and report thereon in the context of the budget for 2010-2011.


When submitting performance reports, the Fund would be encouraged to consider the feasibility for an extension of the reporting period for actual expenditures and shortening, accordingly, the reporting period for projected estimates.  Taking note of the information in the Pension Board’s report on the need for a more strategic approach to the human resources requirements of the Fund, the Assembly would concur with the request made by the Board that the Chief Executive Officer of the Fund and the Representative of the Secretary-General should undertake an overall review of the staffing and organizational structure in their respective areas, including on drawing on relevant industry benchmarks and best practice.


The Assembly would also note that all requests by the Fund for the establishment of new Information Technology posts have been deferred until the Board’s fifty-fifth session, when a full Enterprise Resource Planning project strategy, including a budget and project plan, will be presented.  It would urge the Fund administration to make every possible effort to fill the existing vacancies as soon as feasible and authorize the Pension Board to supplement the voluntary contributions to the Emergency Fund for the biennium 2008-2009 by an amount not exceeding $200,000 dollars.  The Assembly would also stress the importance of securing the income replacement principle that is embodied in the Fund’s regulations, which has been consistently upheld by the International Civil Service Commission.


And finally, the Assembly would approve the ad hoc measure recommended by the Pension Board to address adverse, unprecedented consequences of dollarization in Ecuador as an ad hoc, one-time, ex gratia, exceptional payment.  In that regard, it would emphasize that the arrangement would not set a precedent for any future action by the Board.


The United States representative called for a vote on paragraph 10 of the draft, which related to the ad hoc measures recommended by the Pension Board to address the consequences of dollarization in Ecuador.


Speaking in explanation of position before the vote, the representative of Pakistan said the Group of 77 fully supported the provision in paragraph 10 of the draft and would vote in favour of that paragraph.


The Committee approved paragraph 10 of the text by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 47 abstentions (annex IV).


Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation said that his delegation regretted that the Committee had been compelled to take a decision by voting on the important text that affected the interests of thousands of Pension Fund beneficiaries and Member States that were guarantors of the normal functioning of the pension system.  When discussing the matter, the Committee had been unable to reach consensus on special measures for retirees from Ecuador.  The Assembly and the Pension Board had, for several years, discussed the matter and been unable to find a solution, in accordance with existing rules and procedures.  The adoption of compensation measures for retirees created an undesirable precedent and entailed certain risks.


During negotiations, the Committee had had before it an acceptable decision that did not create additional risks and solved the problem of Ecuadorian retirees.  Concretely, the Committee was talking about payments ex gratia that had been recommended by the Pension Board through voluntary contributions.  Unfortunately, the Committee had been unable to reach consensus on what would have been a technically correct solution and would not have created a precedent.  Taking all that into consideration, when voting, his delegation had abstained.


The representative of the Dominican Republic, speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, thanked the delegations that had supported the efforts to arrive at consensus.  He deeply regretted that the Committee did not have a unanimous adoption.  The text did not call for resources from the regular budget and would not generate a precedent.  Ecuadorian retirees had devoted many years to the Organization, giving it a portion of their lives.  Regrettably, a recorded vote had been required.  He hoped the Committee would continue to adopt its texts by consensus in the future, as was characteristic of its work.


With a recorded vote requested by the United States, the draft resolution as a whole was approved by a vote of 140 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 1 abstention (Canada) (annex V).


Following adoption of the draft, the United States expressed deep disappointment concerning the decision to approve ad hoc, one time, ex gratia, exceptional payment to retirees and other beneficiaries of the Pension Fund adversely affected by dollarization in Ecuador.  The United States remained strongly opposed to the blanket approach endorsed by the resolution.  The text deviated from the income replacement principle and the Fund’s two-track adjustment system.  Member States bore important fiduciary responsibility to ensure the financial health of the Pension Fund.  Accordingly, the United States could not in good conscience endorse the draft resolution.


He was also concerned that the resolution could generate other requests, he continued.  That was a matter of equity for all participants and beneficiaries.  It was inappropriate to authorize special payments to those individuals.  He was concerned over the decision by the United Nations to provide a substantial sum to a small group of people who were generally relatively well-off, while the Organization struggled to provide aid to many people in need around the world.  Many of the pensions in Ecuador exceeded $20,000 and went as high as $50,000, far exceeding the average income of $4,500.


The representative of Argentina said that his delegation welcomed the approval of the draft on the Pension Fund.  He had full confidence that it was a good decision.


The representative of the Sudan said that his delegation had meant to abstain in the vote on part V of document A/C.5/62/L.20.


The Committee then approved without a vote a draft resolution on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/62/L.24), by the terms of which the Assembly would defer until the resumed part of its sixty-second session the issues of the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of peacekeeping operations; financing of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET); and the scale of assessments.


Libya’s representative said that his delegation had meant to abstain on section V of draft resolution A/C.5/62/L.20 on special political missions.


The representative of Lebanon said that there had been confusion in the room when the Committee had been voting on section V of A/C.5/62/L.20 pertaining to special political missions.  Operative paragraph 9, which many delegations had asked to remove in informals, was no longer in the text.  Thus, the intention was to vote in favour of the draft, but there was confusion, as certain delegations thought that operative paragraph 9 was still there.  For that reason, they had been asking to correct the vote.


The representatives of Qatar and India said that, with an explanation by Lebanon, they wanted to change their votes to in favour of section V of A/C.5/62/L.20.  The Secretary of the Committee said that he would take corrections after the meeting and those would be recorded in the report of the Committee.


ANNEX I


Vote on Durban Anti-Racism Plan


The draft resolution on carrying out the Durban anti-racism programme of action (document A/C.5/62/L.17 section K) was approved by a recorded vote of 94 in favour to 40 against, with 6 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland.


Absent:  Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Jamaica, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Montenegro, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


ANNEX II


Vote on Questions Relating to 2008-2009 Budget


The draft resolution on questions relating to the programme budget for 2008-2009 (document A/C.5/62/L.18) was approved by a recorded vote of 141 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, 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, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Albania, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Jamaica, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


ANNEX III


Vote on Special Political Missions


The draft resolution on special political missions (document A/C.5/62/L.20 section V) was approved by a recorded vote of 92 in favour to none against, with 14 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  None.


Abstain:  Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uruguay.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Pension Fund Exceptional Payment


Operative paragraph 10 of the draft resolution on the Pension Fund, which concerns an ad hoc measure to address the consequences of dollarization in Ecuador (document A/C.5/62/L.25) was approved by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 1 against, with 47 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Albania, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Jamaica, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


ANNEX V


Vote on Pension Fund


The draft resolution on questions related to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (document A/C.5/62/L.25) was approved by a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 1 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, 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, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  Canada.


Absent:  Albania, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Jamaica, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


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For information media • not an official record