18 June 2010
General Assembly
GA/AB/3953

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

Sixty-fourth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

37th Meeting* (AM)


Fifth Committee Recommends Peacekeeping Budget of $7.2 Billion

 

for Financial Year Running from July 2010 to June 2011

 


Also Approves Six-Part Consensus Text on Cross-Cutting Issues,

With Provisions on Increased Death Benefit, Global Field Support Strategy


Taking two weeks longer than planned, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today concluded its second resumed session by recommending to the General Assembly a peacekeeping budget of $7.2 billion for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 — slightly less than that approved in the previous financial year.  It also produced a consensus draft resolution on cross-cutting issues, which had eluded the Committee for three years.


Commenting on the Committee’s work, the representative of Japan was one of several delegates expressing satisfaction at the resolution on cross-cutting issues, which he said would provide useful guidance to the Secretariat on enhancing the management of peacekeeping activities.  By that draft, the Assembly would decide to increase the level of compensation for death for all categories of uniformed personnel to $70,000, which the representative of India later noted had not been upwardly revised for at least two decades.


The six-part resolution also contained a significant section on the new global field support strategy being proposed by the Department of Field Support under the leadership of Under-Secretary-General Susana Malcorra.  In her remarks to the Committee, she made clear that she had taken note of delegates’ requests for regular communication on the proposed strategy, and understood the importance of having clear lines of accountability and an appropriate division of labour between field and Headquarters staff.


Acknowledging that “there was a lot to do”, she said her Department had mapped out the plan to implement the strategy, and would consult continuously with States in the process.  A workshop on modularization — the development of the predefined modules and service packages for military and police deployment — would take place in the first week of July with the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.


In line with calls from several States, the draft would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to further develop the proposal in consultation with them, including on functions and resources to be transferred to the global service centre in Brindisi, Italy.  Those proposals were requested to be submitted at the Assembly’s sixty-fifth session.  Also in accordance with the new field support strategy, the Assembly would decide that the regional service centre at Entebbe, Uganda, would be a family duty station effective 1 July 2011, contingent on and without prejudice to any future decision taken by the Assembly on the designation of duty stations.


The amount approved today would provide for 15 peacekeeping missions, the Logistics Base in Brindisi and the peacekeeping support account.   The breakdown of the appropriation is as follows:


Mission

Amount requested

Amount approved

AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia)

$205.22 million

$178.22 million

MINURCAT ( Mission in Central African Republic and Chad)

$246.60 million

$215 million

MINURSO ( Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara)

$58.23 million

$57.13 million

MINUSTAH (Stabilization Mission in Haiti)

$380.40 million

$380 million

MONUC (Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo)

$1.44 billion

$1.37 billion

UNAMID (Hybrid Operation in Darfur)

$1.89 billion

$1.82 billion

UNDOF (Disengagement Observer Force)

$47.92 million

$47.81 million

UNFICYP (Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus)

$58.87 million

$56.33 million

UNIFIL (Interim Force in Lebanon)

$564.54 million

$518.71 million

UNMIK ( Mission in Kosovo)

$48.36 million

$47.87 million

UNMIL ( Mission in Liberia)

$536.05 million

$524 million

UNMIS ( Mission in Sudan)

$977.31 million

$938 million

UNMIT (Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste)

$208.84 million

$206.31 million

UNOCI (Operation in Côte d’Ivoire)

$492.54 million

$485.08 million

United Nations Office to the African Union

$10.64 million

$10.17 million

Brindisi

$72.02 million

$68.17 million

Support Account

$313.89 million

$356.03 million


Texts on all individual active missions included provisions expressing concern regarding delays in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent operations, particularly in Africa.  Additional provisions would have the Assembly emphasize that all peacekeeping missions be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment and provided with adequate resources for effective and efficient discharge of their mandates.  Each text also contained provisions on how the sums were to be apportioned among Member States and specified any offsets that might apply.


All the resolutions today were approved without a vote, except the text on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which, by a recorded vote, received 132 votes in favour to 2against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Chad, Côte d’Ivoire).  (For details of the vote, see Annex II)


Prior to action on the text as a whole, a separate recorded vote was held on the paragraphs referring to several previous resolutions that called for Israel to pay $1.12 million for the damage resulting from a 1996 incident at the UNIFIL headquarters in Qana, Lebanon.  The paragraphs were retained by a vote of 81 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United States), with 47 abstentions.  (Annex I)


Also, the Committee approved without a vote a draft resolution on the report of the Board of Auditors, urging the Secretary-General to fully implement its recommendations.  In addition, an oral draft decision on closed peacekeeping missions would have the Assembly return the amount of $291,900, reflecting two thirds of the adjusted net credits available in the account of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission, to the Government of Kuwait.


And finally, the Assembly decided to defer until its sixty-fifth session its consideration of the financial position of closed peacekeeping missions.


Closing statements were made this afternoon by representatives of Yemen (on behalf of the Group of 77), Spain (on behalf of the European Union), Côte d’Ivoire (on behalf of the African Group), Chile (on behalf of the Rio Group), Japan, Egypt, India, United States, United Kingdom, Syria, Nicaragua and Sweden.


Background


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to conclude its second resumed session, two weeks after its scheduled closing.


Action on Drafts


Acting on its first draft, the Committee approved, without a vote, the proposed text on financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/C.5/64/L.39).  By that resolution, the General Assembly would accept the audited financial statements of United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009, and take note of the observations contained in the report of the Board of Auditors and endorse its recommendations. 


Further by the draft, the Secretary-General would be requested to ensure full implementation of the Board of Auditors’ recommendations, as well as the related recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).  In addition, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to strengthen internal controls in the management of expendable and non-expendable property, strategic deployment stocks and other assets.  It would further request the Secretary-General to continue to indicate an expected time frame for the implementation of the Board’s recommendations and the priorities for their implementation, including office holders to be held accountable.


Continuing, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that managers were held accountable for identifying priorities, clear time frames and assessing actions to implement the Board’s recommendations.  The Secretary-General is requested to report on that effort in the context of his report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Auditors.  Also in that report, the Secretary-General would be requested to provide a full explanation for delays in implementation of all outstanding recommendations, and to explain the root causes of the recurring issues and measures to be taken.


Turning next to a draft resolution on cross-cutting issues (document A/C.5/64/L.57), the Committee adopted that six-part resolution without a vote.  The subtopics covered by the draft were budget presentation and financial management; human resources; operational requirements; conduct and discipline; “other” (regarding reimbursement to police- and troop-contributing countries); and the global field support strategy.


In the part under human resources, the draft would have the Assembly decide to increase the level of compensation for death for all categories of uniformed personnel to $70,000.  It would express deep concern about delays in the settlement of claims in respect of death and disability, and request the Secretary-General to take urgent measures to eliminate the existing backlog of death and disability claims pending for more than three months.


In the part under global field support strategy, the draft would have the Assembly note with interest the overall concept of the global field support strategy.  The Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General, with prior agreement by ACABQ, to commit up to $100 million from the available balance of the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund if a decision of the Security Council relating to start-up or expansion of peacekeeping operations were to result in the need for expenditure.  The Financial Regulations and Rules of the Organization would be amended to reflect a change in the budgeted upper limit for commitments from $50 million to $100 million.  The Secretary-General would also be authorized to commit up to $50 million from the available balance of the stores available from the Organization’s strategic deployment stocks for the same reason.


Among other things, it would request the Secretary-General to further develop specific proposals — in consultation with Member States, in particular troop-contributing countries — on functions and resources to be transferred to the global service centre in Brindisi.  Those proposals were requested to be submitted at the Assembly’s sixty-fifth session.  It would note the opportunity to optimize the use of air assets in Central and Eastern Africa.  It would decide that the regional service centre at Entebbe would be a family duty station effective 1 July 2011, contingent on and without prejudice to any future decision taken by the Assembly on the designation of duty stations.


In the part on conduct and discipline, it would underline the great importance of eliminating misconduct, including sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.  It would strongly urge Member States to take all appropriate measures to ensure that crimes by United Nations officials and experts did not go unpunished.


Upon its approval, the representative of Costa Rica said she was pleased that, after many years, the Committee had adopted such a resolution, in line with the Fifth Committee mandate to promote measures to protect people against sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations staff and personnel.  Those behaviours reflected not just poor conduct, but were flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and human rights.  Peacekeeping operations were, in many cases, the primary vehicle for the well-being and survival of many people, including vulnerable women and girls.  It was unacceptable for individuals that had taken up the commitment to protect such people to be their sexual aggressors.  She appealed to the Committee to continue creating capacities aimed at enabling investigation of such cases, and for providing assistance to victims.  She also expressed hope that norms of integrity and conduct of United Nations staff and related staff would become inherent in the culture of the Organization.


Pakistan’s representative said he had been glad to see Member States moving forward on the issue of death and disability, and thanked his colleagues for approving a resolution that would enhance the level of compensation for those occurrences.  He noted it was not a major increase, but a technical adjustment, which marked “a first step”.  He hoped that the levels would be adjusted again, taking account of inflation, for example.  He was grateful that Member States had acknowledged concerns over delays in settlement of claims due to excessive procedural requirements.  He hoped the Assembly would address those issues.  He underlined his understanding that the provision on death and disability compensation would be awarded to all uniformed personnel, with the exception of cases where there was wilful neglect or self-inflicted injury.


He noted, as well, that the Assembly had made considerable progress on issues regarding the start-up and expansion phases of peacekeeping operations, and was grateful to the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Susana Malcorra, for her close personal engagement in clarifying the concerns of Member States, especially to troop-contributing countries.  He believed the use of Entebbe as a family duty station would facilitate the regional service centre approach, by improving living conditions and enhancing the ability to attract staff.  As troop-and police-contributing countries were primary users of the field support services, he welcomed the move to conduct formal consultation and dialogue with them by the Department of Field Support.  He understood, as well, that those countries would be consulted extensively in future when refining the concept of global field support services over the next five years.


Next, approving, without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi (document A/C.5/64/L.54), the Committee recommended approval of the cost estimates for the Base in the amount of $68.17 million.  By other terms of the text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to strengthen management of strategic deployment stocks so that the Logistics Base would issue items on a “first in, first out” basis to avoid possible deterioration and obsolescence of strategic deployment stocks.


The Committee next approved, without a vote, a draft decision on the support account (document A/C.5/64/L.55), by which terms the Assembly would approve requirements of $356.03 million.  It would reaffirm that the support account should be used for financing human resources and non-human resources requirements for backstopping and supporting peacekeeping operations at Headquarters, and that any changes in that limitation would require the prior approval of the General Assembly.  It would also reaffirm the need for adequate funding for backstopping and the need for full justification for that funding in support account budget submissions.


The Committee next heard an oral draft decision on closed peacekeeping missions, which was read aloud by the Secretary of the Committee, MOVSES ABELIAN.  He said the text of the decision would be published in due course.  Approved without a vote, the decision would have the Assembly return the amount of $291,900, reflecting two thirds of the adjusted net credits available in the account of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission, to the Government of Kuwait.  It would also decide to continue to consider the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions during its sixty-fifth session.


The Committee then took note of a document concerning financing of the support account for peacekeeping operations and the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi (document A/C.5/64/18), introduced by JUN YAMAZAKI, Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Controller.  The document had been issued in accordance with prorating procedures approved by the Assembly.  An annex reflected resources to be approved in respect with each peacekeeping mission’s prorated share of the support account and the Logistics Base.  It also included actions to be taken with respect to the financing of the United Nations Office to the African Union.


The Committee then approved a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) (document A/C.5/64/L.37), whose mandate expired on 31 December 2006.  The text provides for ONUB’s removal as an item on the Assembly’s agenda, and would have the Assembly decide to credit Member States with their share of the net cash available in ONUB’s special account, totalling $9.52 million.  It would decide that, for Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Operation, their respective share should be offset against their outstanding obligations.  The text would also provide for updated information on the financial position of the Operation to be included in the report on the updated position of closed peacekeeping missions, to be considered by the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session.


Next, approving, without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/C.5/64/L.42), the Committee recommended approval of the cost estimates of $485.08 million for the maintenance of the mission in 2010/11.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the Operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $7.02 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset also by their respective share of that amount.  The Assembly would further decide that the increase of $47,900 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


Also approved without a vote was a draft resolution on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/C.5/64/L.43), which would have the Assembly appropriate $56.33 million for the maintenance of the mission in 2010/11.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $517,502.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset by that amount.  The Assembly would further decide that the increase of $76,100 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of the unencumbered balance.


In addition, the text would have the Assembly note with appreciation that one third of the net appropriation would be funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus, and $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.  Taking account its voluntary contribution for the financial period ended 30 June 2009, the Committee would recommend that the prorated share of $314,186 in other income in respect of the period ended 30 June 2009 should be returned to the Government of Greece.


The Committee next approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document A/C.5/64/L.44), by which terms the Assembly would decide to appropriate $1.37 billion for the maintenance of the Mission in 2010/11.  The sum of $682.5 million was to be apportioned on Member States at a monthly rate of $113.75 million from 1 July to 31 December 2010, to be offset by their respective share of the Tax Equalization Fund of $15.23 million.


States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $51.86 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset by their share of that same balance.


The draft would have the Assembly further decide that the decrease of $16,300 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of the unencumbered balance.


The Committee then approved a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) (document A/C.5/64/L.45), by which it would appropriate $206.31 million to the Mission for the 2010/11 period.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $6.78 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset by that amount.


The draft further decides that the increase of $662,000 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of the unencumbered balance.


Next, the Committee approved a draft resolution, without a vote, on financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) (document A/C.5/64/L.38), whose mandate was terminated in July 2008.  The text would provide for the return of nearly $16.5 million of net cash in UNMEE’s special account to States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, representing credits due to Member States in respect of the period ended 30 June 2008 ($14.74 million) and the period ended 30 June 2009 ($1.76 million).  For Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, their share of the net cash should be offset against their outstanding obligations.  In addition, the text would have the Assembly take note of an additional $9.36 million in the Mission’s account resulting from an unencumbered balance and an accumulation of “other income” as at 30 June 2009.  The treatment of $7.6 million, representing the balance of credits due to Member States, would be deferred to the Assembly’s sixty-fifth session.


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved next a draft resolution on financing for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/C.5/64/L.46), authorizing the Secretary-General to enter into commitments not exceeding $380 million for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2010.  From 1 July 2010 to 15 October 2010, $221.67 million was to be apportioned on Member States and offset by their respective share of the Tax Equalization Fund for that period, amounting to $4.79 million.  From 16 October to 31 December 2010, $158.33 million was to be apportioned on Member States, to be offset by their respective share of the Tax Equalization Fund for that period — $3.43 million — subject to a decision by the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Mission.


States that had not fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $9.04 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset also by their respective share of that amount.  The Assembly would further decide that the increase of $167,400 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


Further by the draft, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to MINUSTAH as at 30 April 2010, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $83.7 million, representing 4 per cent of total assessed contributions.  It would note with concern that only 52 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.


Before its adoption the representative of Kenya clarified that the draft resolution was approved without prejudice to outcomes resulting from a further review of MINUSTAH’s funding, during the Committee’s consideration of that Mission’s full budget proposal.


Turning next to a draft resolution on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/C.5/64/L.47), the Committee approved, without a vote, its recommendation that the Assembly appropriate $47.87 million for the maintenance of the Mission in 2010/11.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $38.62 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset by their respective share of that amount.  The draft further decides that the increase of $16,900 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


The Committee also approved without a vote a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/C.5/64/L.48), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate an amount of about $524 million for the maintenance of the Mission in 2010/11.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $23.81 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset also by their respective share of that amount.  The draft further decides that the decrease of $172,400 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


Also approved without a vote was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/C.5/64/L.41), by which terms the Assembly would decide to appropriate an amount of $47.81 million for the 2010/11 period.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $1.93 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset also by their respective share of that amount.  The increase of $69,200 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


The Committee approved, by a recorded vote of 132 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Chad, Côte d’Ivoire), a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/64/L.40), which would have the Assembly appropriate $518.71 million for the maintenance of the mission in 2010/11.  (For details of the recorded vote, see Annex II.)


For Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, their apportionment would be offset by their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other income accumulated in the financial period ended 30 June 2009 ($101.75 million).  For those that had not fulfilled their financial obligations, their outstanding contribution would be offset by their respective share of the same.  A decrease of $336,100 in the estimated staff assessment income would be offset against the credits from the unencumbered balance.


In order to reduce the cost of employing General Service staff, the Secretary-General would be requested to continue efforts to recruit local staff for UNIFIL against General Service posts.  He would also be asked, again, to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the Brindisi Logistics Base to minimize the costs of procurement.


Further, the Assembly would take note of $45.6 million in outstanding contributions as at 30 April 2010, and further note with concern that only 47 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.


Also by the text, the Assembly would express deep concern that Israel had not complied with previous resolutions on the financing of UNIFIL, and stress once again that Israel should strictly abide by those resolutions.  It would stress, once again, that Israel pay $1.12 million resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996, and request the Secretary-General to report on this matter to the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session.


The Secretary made some oral amendments to the resolution, which were circulated in the Hall in writing.  They included the insertion of two new paragraphs recommending that the Assembly apply a delayed deployment factor of 20 per cent to military contingents, a vacancy rate of 22 per cent for international staff and a vacancy rate of 16 per cent for national staff.


Before voting on the resolution as a whole, the Committee held a single, separate vote on several paragraphs referring to previous resolutions calling for Israel to pay $1.12 million for the damage resulting from the 1996 incident at the UNIFIL headquarters in Qana, Lebanon.  Those paragraphs were retained by a recorded vote of 81 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United States), with 47 abstentions.  (Annex I)


Prior to the vote, the representative of Israel expressed thanks and support for UNIFIL, troop-contributing countries, commanders and those that supported the work of various peacekeeping operations.  Israel’s financial contributions demonstrated its commitment to peacekeeping, and it was proud to have good cooperation with peacekeeping operations in its region.  Notwithstanding such support, she was compelled to express disappointment in the resolution, which she said was politicized and genuinely unhelpful to peacekeeping operations.  Preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 16 were ad nauseum attempts to institutionalize an anti-Israel narrative, and spoiled the professional nature, good relations and consensus atmosphere.  She and others firmly believed that such paragraphs should be removed in future.  For that reason, she would call on a vote on the resolution.  She called on others to also express their disapproval by casting a negative vote.


Also making a statement before the two votes, the representative of the United States said his Government strongly supported UNIFIL and its mandate, but thought that using funding resolutions to pursue claims against Member States was procedurally incorrect.  That was why his Government had not supported the resolution in previous years.  It was the Secretary-General that presented and pursued settlement of claims against States.  Using a budget resolution to do the same was inappropriate and should be avoided now and in the future.


Another speaker before the votes was the representative of Lebanon, who expressed his deep appreciation for the many sacrifices made by peacekeepers, including 286 soldiers who had lost their lives.  He paid tribute to the highly coordinated relationship between UNIFIL and the Lebanese army, and thanked troop-contributing countries for their contributions.  He stressed the importance of collective responsibility in shouldering the costs of peacekeeping operations, and said it was the individual responsibility of every country to account for its wrongful acts and their consequences, including through material compensation.  That principle was enshrined in the United Nations Charter, and in the General Assembly resolution on how peacekeeping costs would be apportioned among Member States.  Israel had not complied with that provision, to date, even as 17 resolutions had been passed calling on Israel to make compensation.  He called on States to vote in favour of the resolution.


Speaking after the vote, the representative of Spain, on behalf of the European Union, expressed concern at the lack of consensus and the introduction of political elements in the work of the Committee.  The European Union had abstained in the vote on the group of paragraphs concerning Qana because it believed that such language was inappropriate in the context of a financing resolution.  The political aspects of that issue had been subject to discussion in April 1996 and the associating resolution, during which the European Union had clearly expressed its position.  Nevertheless, he had voted in favour of the resolution as a whole because doing so would allow the mission the resources it needed to carry out its mandate.


The representative of Greece commented that any mention of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should be done so using that full title, pending settlement of differences regarding the name of the State.


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) (document A/C.5/64/L.49), by which terms the Assembly would appropriate about $938 million for the maintenance of the Mission in 2010/11.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $48.49 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset also by their respective share of that amount.  The increase of $2.24 million in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


For the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the Committee recommended, by the terms of a draft resolution on the financing of the Mission (document A/C.5/64/L.50), the appropriation of some $57.13 million for the maintenance of the Mission in 2010/11.  The text was approved without a vote.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $1.64 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset also by their respective share of that amount.  The increase of $46,300 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


Acting without a vote, the Committee next approved a draft resolution on the financing of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (document A/C.5/64/L.51), which would have the Assembly appropriate nearly $1.82 billion for the 2010/11 period.  The Assembly would decide to offset the shortfall of $191.57 million for the period ended 30 June 2009 against $130.92 million in “other income” for the same period.  It would decide to apportion $60.65 million among Member States, representing the difference between $191.57 million and $130.92 million.  It would further decide that the increase of $2.85 million in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


The text has the Assembly also requesting the Secretary-General to ensure that all procurement projects for the Organization were in full compliance with relevant resolutions.  The Secretary-General was to be encouraged, where feasible, to enhance regional and inter-mission cooperation with a view to achieving greater synergies in the use of resources.


Turning to the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), the Committee then approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of that Mission (document A/C.5/64/L.52), which would have the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments not exceeding $215 million for the Mission for the period 1 July to 31 December 2010.  In its preamble, the text would have the Assembly recall a decision of the Security Council to call on the Secretary-General to complete withdrawal of all uniformed and civilian components, other than those required for the Mission’s liquidation, by 31 December.


The sum of $184.95 million was to be apportioned among Member States and be offset by their respective share of the Tax Equalization Fund of $2.74 million.  States that had fulfilled their obligations to the Operation would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $31.27 million.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset also by their respective share of that amount.


The draft further decides that the decrease of $31,000 in estimated staff assessment income, in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2009, would be added to the amounts to be credited to Member States as part of their offset.


The Committee then approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on financing of support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) (document A/C.5/64/L.53), which would have the Assembly appropriate $178.22 million for that support.  In its preamble, the text would have the Assembly recall a decision of the Security Council requesting the Secretary-General to continue to provide a logistical support package to AMISOM until 31 January 2011.


States that had fulfilled their obligations would have an additional offset equal to their respective share of an unencumbered balance of $11,700.  States that had not fulfilled their obligations would have their outstanding obligations offset, also by their respective share of that amount.


Also approved without a vote was a resolution on financing of the United Nations Office to the African Union (document A/C.5/64/L.58), in which the Assembly would approve $10.17 million for the Office, derived from two sources: the support account for the 2010/11 period and the 2010-2011 programme budget.  Another $7.67 million would be approved for the Office under the support account alone, to be prorated amongst active peacekeeping missions.  It would reduce by $3.9 million the amount proposed for the financing of support for AMISOM for the 2010/11 period, and reduce another $6.87 million proposed for UNAMID.  A sum of $187,100 would be appropriated under the programme budget for 2010-2011, to be charged against the contingency fund.


Finally, the Committee approved without a vote a draft decision on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/64/L.56), by which the Assembly would decide to defer until its sixty-fifth session consideration of the report of the Secretary-General on the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as at 30 June 2009 (document A/64/605); report of ACABQ (documents A/64/659 and Corr.1); report of the Secretary-General on the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as at 30 June 2008 (document A/63/581); and report of ACABQ (document A/63/856).


After all the resolutions had been approved, the Chair announced that the consideration of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) would be considered at the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly.


Statements


SUSANA MALCORRA, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, expressed thanks to Fifth Committee delegates, members of ACABQ and coordinators of the different agenda items for bringing about a package of decisions that were critical to the implementation of peacekeeping mandates.  The budgets were vital to peacekeeping operations, both at Headquarters and in the field.  She was conscious of the dynamic nature of peacekeeping, changing environments and the evolving nature of the mandates established by the Security Council.  Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad were clear examples, and tragically, also Haiti.  Given those contexts, delegates should be aware that, subject to Security Council decisions, the Secretary-General might come back during the main part of the sixty-fifth session with revised budget requests.


She said the United Nations Office to the African Union would integrate existing peace and security presences in Addis Ababa, and improve the quality of the partnership with the African Union, which had become so critical in recent times.  And, for the first time in three years, the Committee had come to consensus on a cross-cutting resolution, although the process had not been easy.  That resolution was important for providing direction on management aspects of all peacekeeping operations.  That resolution also contained important decisions on raising compensation for death and disability, asking the Department of Field Support to make better use of air assets and asking for further improvements in budget presentations.  She pledged to work on those requests.


She noted, as well, that the Committee had given the Department its go-ahead on the global field support strategy.  She had taken note of delegates’ requests for regular communication on the strategy, and understood the importance of having clear lines of accountability and an appropriate division of labour between field and Headquarters staff.  She was conscious that the Department of Field Support, with partners in the Department of Management and Department of Peacekeeping Operations, now must implement that strategy.  There was a lot to do; it had mapped out the plan for its implementation and would consult continuously with States on it.  A workshop on modularization would be held with the Committee of 34 [the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations] in the first week of July to ensure that troop- and police-contributing countries were properly considered.


The representative of Yemen, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, opened by paying special tribute to the United Nations peacekeepers, particularly those who had given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, and to their families, in serving the cause of global peace and security.  The Committee’s actions on the cross-cutting issues were of critical importance to the United Nations peacekeeping operations and Member States, particularly troop-contributing countries.  Those issues needed consistent focus and attention.


In terms of the cross-cutting resolution just adopted, he said the Group understood that death and disability compensation should be awarded to all personnel during the entire period of their deployment.  The only exception could be in case of wilful neglect or self-inflicted injury.  He highlighted that any reduction approved by the General Assembly would not entail a reduction of resources for quick impact projects in those missions.  The Group welcomed progress on a global field support strategy.


The representative of Spain, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the global field support strategy represented a major transformation of service delivery and support to peacekeeping operations.  He commended fellow members of the Committee for reaching agreement on the major components of that strategy: the recognition of the primary role of the global service centre in Brindisi and the implementation of modularization; the establishment of the regional service centre in Entebbe, with the further development of the Transportation and Movements Integrated Control Centre; and the modification of the financial mechanisms for the start-up of missions.


But, he said, the European Union was deeply disappointed that no agreement had been reached among Member States regarding the return of the balance of funds retained in the closed peacekeeping operations account for seven years in a row.  It believed that the net cash balance remaining in the accounts of closed missions with cash surpluses should be surrendered to Member States without condition and in full compliance with the Organization’s rules.  In that context, the European Union was not convinced by the Secretariat’s answers provided on the legal basis for retaining those funds.  It owned a significant portion of the claims to Member States in closed peacekeeping missions with cash deficits, and called on all States to pay their outstanding contributions expeditiously.  Since the Committee had not been able to reach an agreement since 2003, the European Union might consider taking adequate measures to ensure that the funds retained in the closed peacekeeping operations’ accounts with cash surpluses were rightfully surrendered to Member States.


The representative of C ôte d’Ivoire, speaking on behalf of the African Group and aligning himself with the statement by the Group of 77, recalled the African Group’s strong opposition to package deals that often reflected across-the-board cuts.  He noted with appreciation that the Group’s calls had been heeded, and that the Committee had approved drafts that reflected decisions based on the merits of each peacekeeping budget proposal.  He applauded the Committee’s agreement on the global field support strategy, and the United Nations and African Union integrated office at Addis Ababa that had been so important to the Group.


The representative of Chile, speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, especially thanked the Committee for the speedy adoption of the resolution giving authority to commit $380 million for MINUSTAH.  She expressed profound satisfaction at the approval of a resolution on cross-cutting issues.  With regard to the global field support strategy, the Group was pleased that, after long and difficult negotiations, it had been possible to reach consensus satisfying all delegations on the question.


Japan’s representative noted that the $7.2 billion budget was slightly less than the level of the 2009/10 budget, but was still a significant amount.  In the course of discussions, Japan had stressed the importance of efficiency savings and better human resources management, which could produce significant cost reductions.  Governments faced with severe fiscal situations, including his own, were making serious efforts to cut expenditures, while maintaining the quality of the services they provided.  He urged the Secretariat to do the same.


He expressed pleasure at the approval of the resolution on cross-cutting issues, which would provide useful guidance on enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in peacekeeping management.  He requested the Secretariat to return to the General Assembly with a progress report that included concrete information on what had been achieved, including efficiency gains and subjects yet to be considered and reviewed.  But, the Committee had been less successful in two areas: the deferral of the discussion on closed peacekeeping missions; and the failure to conclude the session as planned.  This year, it was not the Secretariat, but Member States that were primarily responsible for the session being extended.  If the Committee had distinguished more clearly between time-bound and non-time-bound issues, and made greater and more flexible efforts to prioritize, it would probably have finished its discussions in May.  The Committee should seriously consider ways of resolving that continuing problem.  Perhaps the Committee could consider addressing the two difficult items of cross-cutting issues and the support account in alternate years.


He noted that, at the sixty-fifth session, the Assembly would go on to take up human resources management.  Recognizing the significant impacts of resolution 63/250 on civilian personnel in peacekeeping operations, he requested the Secretary-General to provide comprehensive and sufficient information in a timely manner.


The representative of Egypt asked that lessons learned during the resumed session just ended be taken into account in future work: that the Secretariat should provide documents in timely manner; and that the Committee should finish its work on time, so as to provide peacekeeping operations with enough resources.  The Committee should not link resource provision with “other items under consideration”.  Proposals on the global field support strategy should be crafted in close consultation with troop-contributing countries.  There should be a fair solution in future to the question of closed peacekeeping operations, since it was not appropriate to defer that issue each time it came up. 


The representative of India, aligning himself with the Group of 77, thanked fellow delegates, Under-Secretary-General Malcorra and the members of the Bureau for their efforts.  The extremely long session had brought about a significant outcome on several issues, for example, the conclusion of a resolution on cross-cutting issues that had eluded the Committee in the past.  The resulting draft reflected the richness of the debate and the complexity of the conversation States had had on the issue.  The discussions had enhanced mutual understanding on substantive issues and on the concerns of Member States. 


Continuing, he said peacekeeping field support needed far greater client orientation and the deeper engagement of troop-contributing countries.  In that context, he appreciated the attempts at better service delivery as envisaged by the new strategy, which he also recognized was a complex endeavour that was yet to be fully understood.  He looked forward to further discussions with the Secretariat on it.


He praised agreements to enhance compensation for death and disability of uniformed personnel, finding it “incomprehensible” that rates had not been revised for nearly two decades.  It would apply to all cases of death and disability during the entire period of an officer’s deployment, barring exemptions spelled out in the resolution.  He paid tribute to peacekeepers and their families, particularly those who had given their lives.


The representative of the United States said support given to peacekeepers through the resolutions was small compared to the sacrifice that those personnel had to make in the course of their work.  He offered condolences to the families of fallen officers.  The cross-cutting resolution went some way in helping improve the conditions under which they served.


Those that spoke also paid tribute to colleagues that were due to leave the Fifth Committee, among them the representatives of the United Kingdom, Syria, Nicaragua and Sweden, who, in turn, acknowledged those tributes and expressed their pleasure at having served on the Committee.


Closing the session, Vice-Chairperson SIRITHON WAIRATPANIJ (Thailand) delivered the closing statement to the Committee on behalf of Chairperson Peter Maurer (Switzerland), who had left New York in May to become the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.  He thanked his fellow Committee members, Bureau members, members of ACABQ, particularly its Chair Susan McLurg, the Secretary of the Committee and Under-Secretaries-General Angela Kane, Ms. Malcorra, Mr. Yamazaki, Catherine Pollard, Warren Sach, Michael Adlerstein and other staff members of the Department of Management.  Under-Secretary-General Muhammad Shaaban of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management also received thanks.


Ms. WAITATPANIJ delivered her own thanks to the Bureau, including to Vice-Chairpersons Babou Sene (Senegal), Danilo Rosales Diaz (Nicargua), Yuliana Zhivkova Georgieva (Bulgaria) and Thomas Gruber (Switzerland).


ANNEX I


Vote on Separate Paragraphs on Financing Lebanon Force


The separate paragraphs calling for Israel’s payment for damages (document A/C.5/64/L.40) were retained by a recorded vote of 81 in favour to 6 against, with 47 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Mozambique, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


ANNEX II


Vote on Financing for Force in Lebanon


The draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/64/L.40) was approved by a recorded vote of 132 in favour to 2 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, United States.


Abstain:  Chad, Côte d’Ivoire.


Absent:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


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*     The 36th Meeting was covered in Press Release GA/10947 of 11 June 2010.



For information media • not an official record