|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-third General Assembly
50th Meeting (AM)
Fifth committee takes up proposed $768.2 Million budget for United Nations Mission
in Central African Republic and Chad
The $768.19 million proposed budget for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) for 2009/10 represented an increase of 74.3 per cent, compared to the 2008/09 period, due to the projected phased deployment of 5,183 military contingent personnel, for which the Mission would require a total of 30 aircraft and seven additional helicopters, United Nations Controller, Jun Yamazaki, told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this morning.
[The most recent extension of the mandate of MINURCAT was authorized by the Security Council in its resolution 1861 (2009), by which the Council, among others, authorized the deployment of its military component to follow up the European Union-led force (EUFOR) in both Chad and the Central African Republic at the end of its mandate. The transfer of authority between EUFOR and the military component of MINURCAT took place on 15 March 2009.]
Presenting the Secretary-General’s reports on the financing of MINURCAT, Mr. Yamazaki said that the budget proposal also provided for the construction of helipads and access roads, renovation and rehabilitation of airfields and runways, replication of aprons and taxiways in the N’Djamena and Abeche airports, and construction of additional camps for military contingents. There were also increased requirements for generator fuel. Increased requirements had been offset, in part, by reduced provisions for the acquisition of prefabricated facilities, which had been budgeted for 2008/09.
The Controller also presented the Mission’s performance report for the period from 1 July to 30 June 2008, which invites the General Assembly to decide on the treatment of the unencumbered balance of some $17.26 million, as well as other income amounting to $1.39 million.
Introducing a related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), its Chair, Susan McLurg, said that the Advisory Committee was recommending a reduction of about $128.47 million to the proposed 2009/10 budget of MINURCAT. Should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the Mission beyond 15 March 2010, the Advisory Committee recommended that the General Assembly appropriate an amount of some $639.72 million for the maintenance of MINURCAT for the 12-month period ending on 30 June 2010.
Recognizing that the Mission was striving to implement a complex mandate in a challenging environment, the ACABQ took the view, however, that the significant expansion proposed by the Secretary-General ‑‑ an additional 369 civilian posts and an almost 100 per cent increase in the number of uniformed personnel ‑‑ might not be entirely achievable during the 2009/10 period. In light of the current status of deployment plans and past experience with force generation in missions’ start-up phases, the Advisory Committee was recommending application of a 40 per cent delayed deployment factor to the cost estimates for military contingents; approval of 35 new civilian personnel posts; as well as approval of 25 per cent of new international posts, 50 per cent of new national posts and 50 per cent of new United Nations Volunteer posts under the support component. The Advisory Committee further recommended a detailed staffing review, based on the Mission’s operational requirements.
Given the high vacancy rate and MINURCAT’s evolving support concept, the Advisory Committee was of the view that most of the proposed reclassifications of 15 posts under the support component were premature, she said. However, in recognition of the fact that more senior and experienced leadership was required to handle the increased support requirements, it was recommending approval of the upward reclassification of the post of Chief of Mission Support (D-1) to Director of Mission Support (D-2).
Given the underutilization of resources in 2008/09, as well as uncertainty of arrangements for procurement contractual services for the next period, and in light of the recommendations on the levels of military and civilian personnel, the ACABQ recommended a reduction of $40 million in the provision for facilities and infrastructure. It was also recommending a reduction of 30 per cent in the overall provision for ground transportation and a reduction of $25 million in the requirements for air transportation.
Regarding the Détachement intégré de sécurité (DIS), procurement and fuel, she said that the ACABQ urged the Mission to ensure that its fuel farms were operational as soon as possible to avoid a repeat of supply shortages. The average fuel cost for the period from January to March 2009 should be used as the basis for estimating the fuel requirements in 2009/10, which would entail a reduction of $11.9 million in the proposed budget.
The Committee will meet to continue its consideration of peacekeeping finance at a date to be announced.
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