24 December 2011
General Assembly
GA/AB/4021

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

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

25th Meeting (AM)


Fifth Committee, Concluding Session, Recommends $5.15 Billion Budget for 2012‑2013,

 

Including Financing for 29 Special Political Missions

 


After protracted, all-night negotiations, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) wrapped up the main part of its sixty-sixth session Saturday morning by recommending a $5.152 billion budget for the Organization for 2012-2013.


In October, when the Secretary-General initially presented his proposed $5.197 billion budget for the next biennium, which he noted was 3.2 per cent less than the current two-year expenditure, he touted it as the product of a careful exercise aimed at making the best possible use of the Organization’s resources.


That touched off weeks of negotiations and criticism during the Committee’s subsequent meetings and negotiations, with delegatesarguing, among other things, over whether the global economic crisis should be justification for imposing across-the-board budget cuts on programme managers and cancelling automatic annual pay increases for United Nations staff.


Several developing countries criticized the proposed programme budget for short-changing the Organization’s development agenda, at their expense, while some developed nations called for overhauling the budget process altogether to make it final and stable from the start.


Many delegates also felt it was perhaps misleading to claim that the Organization had in fact lowered costs for the next biennium.  They noted that in previous years, the extra expenditures and last-minute revisions for currency fluctuations and inflation, the so-called re-costing, coupled with add-ons, had caused budgets to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars, and the current biennium would likely be no exception.


Also today, in addition to the budget, the Committee acted on a wide number of other texts.  With regard to conditions of service for staff and remuneration of the Professional and higher categories, the Committee endorsed the decision of the International Civil Service Commission to review staff assessment rates every three years, while recommending that the Commission also explore ways to reflect the pay freeze of the comparator civil service in the post-adjustment for staff salary scales.


Another contentious issue was the appropriation of funds to 29 special political missions, which have expanded tenfold in the last decade to absorb about 20 per cent of the regular budget at present.  During their consideration of the issue earlier in the month, Committee members agreed that the current funding and backstopping arrangements for the missions were inadequate, but they differed greatly over how to rectify that situation and over the Secretary-General’s proposals for doing so.  Today, Committee members decided to defer review of such arrangements until the main part of its sixty-seventh session.


In a text approved today on “special subjects relating the proposed 2012‑2013 programme budget”, the Committee recommended the Assembly approve a $583.38 million budget for those missions for 2012.  But, before that action, Cuba’s representative, also speaking on behalf of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Iran, called for a vote on deleting all references concerning the principle of the “responsibility to protect” in that text, arguing that the principle had no place in a budget document and was best left to other bodies, perhaps the Legal Committee.


Delegates, however, by a recorded vote of 71 against to 11 in favour, with 42 abstentions, voted to reject that amendment, and proceeded to vote in favour of financing the special political missions by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 7 against (Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela), with 8 abstentions (Comoros, Djibouti, Grenada, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Yemen and Zambia).


The funding of peacekeeping operations also received delegates’ attention toady, with them approving financing for the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA), United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).


The Committee also decided to send to the Assembly a draft resolution aimed at helping the Organization’s two crucial oversight bodies — the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and the Independent Audit Advisory Committee — to strengthen accountability and transparency of United Nations activities.


With another consensus text, the Committee moved to continue the overhaul begun in 2009 of the Organization’s system of administering justice — which comprises informal and formal mechanisms to resolve disputes for tens of thousands of staff around the world.


Regarding the Capital Master Plan, the ambitious, multi-year overhaul of the historic United Nations Headquarters, the Committee asked the Assembly, through a consensus decision, to consider at its resumed sixty-sixth session, the Secretary-General’s proposals for financing next year’s associated costs from within the Plan’s approved budget.  Meantime, it recommended authorizing the continued use of the unspent balance of the funding for associated costs approved in 2011 to keep the project on track next year.


The Committee also pronounced itself on the programme budget implications of drafts before the Assembly on human rights in Myanmar, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and on oceans and the Law of the Sea. 


Among other issues, the Committee sent recommendations to the Assembly regarding the pattern of conferences; unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium 2012-2013; the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011; and financing of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia; as well as their International Residual Mechanism, the contingency fund and the Working Capital Fund.


At the end of the meeting, the Committee adopted its draft report for the session.


Background


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met today to conclude the main part of its sixty-sixth session, taking up several outstanding draft texts.


Action on Drafts


The first texts before the Committee were on the financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors.


The Committee approved, without a vote, a draft on financial reports and audited financial statements and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/C.5/66/L.9).  By its terms, the Assembly would accept the financial statements and the report and audit opinion of the Board of Auditors on the voluntary funds administered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the year ended 31 December 2010.  It would also approve the recommendations of the Board of Auditors and endorse the observations and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).  It would request UNHCR to continue to implement the recommendations of the Board of Auditors and would encourage the Office to expeditiously develop an action plan with a time frame to address the concerns and systemic problems previously identified by the Board.


Also by the terms of the resolution, the Assembly would request the Advisory Committee to request the Board of Auditors to report on the internal audit arrangements in line with paragraph 1(d) of the annex to the United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules.  It would reiterate its request to the Secretary-General and the executive heads of the funds and programmes to ensure full implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Auditors and the related recommendations of the Advisory Committee, and ask him to provide, in his related reports, a full explanation for the delays in the implementation of the recommendations of the Board, particularly those not yet fully implemented that were two or more years old.  It would also ask the Secretary-General to track the recommendations of the Board and to indicate an expected time frame for its recommendations.


Next, the Committee approved a draft on the pattern of conferences (document A/C.5/66/L.25), by which the Assembly would authorize the Committee on Conferences to make any necessary adjustments to the calendar of conferences and meetings for 2012‑2013 based on the actions and decisions of the General Assembly.  Noting that the overall utilization of conference-servicing resources at the four main duty stations in 2010 was 85 per cent, as compared with 86 per cent in 2009 and 85 per cent in 2008 — which was above the established benchmark of 80 per cent — the Assembly would reiterate its request to intergovernmental bodies to review their meeting entitlements and to plan and adjust their programmes of work on the basis of their actual utilization of conference resources.  With regard to the impact of the Capital Master Plan, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue to provide adequate support, within the existing resources of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, for the continued maintenance of information technology facilities that have been temporarily relocated to a swing space.


In the area of documents and publications, the Assembly would emphasize the paramount importance of the equality of the six official languages of the United Nations, and reaffirm its decision in section IV of its resolution 64/230 that all reports adopted by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council be issued as documents in all official languages and in a timely manner prior to their consideration by the Council.  It would note with concern that only 50 per cent of the author departments reached the compliance rate of 90 per cent in the submission of their reports to the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management, and request the Secretary-General to enforce the slotting system more rigorously.  It would also request him to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-seventh session on a detailed time frame for the digitalization of all important older documents of the United Nations, and to redouble his efforts to ensure the highest quality of interpretation and translation services in all six official languages.


The Committee approved without a vote a text on human resources management (document A/C.5/66/L.4), which would have the Assembly endorse the Advisory Committee’s conclusions in its related report (document A/66/511 and Corr.1), subject to the present resolution’s provisions, and decide to absorb $398,300 to develop the information technology platform within the $3.88 million allocated to the Ethics Office in the regular budget for the biennium 2012-2013.


The Assembly would also express serious concern that progress towards the goal of 50/50 gender balance in the United Nations, especially at senior and policymaking levels, had been slow, urge the Secretary-General to ensure that recruitment was carried out through established recruitment procedures, and request that he ensure that temporary occupation of Professional and higher level posts by General Service staff should not exceed one year, effective 1 January 2013, and report to the Assembly on the rationale of such practice every two years, beginning with the sixty-seventh session.


Furthermore, the Assembly would reiterate its request that the Secretary-General increase efforts towards gender parity and equitable geographic distribution of staff in the Secretariat, and ask him to address the problem of the high number of posts subject to the system of geographical ranges encumbered by staff having no geographical status.


Acting by consensus, the Committee then approved a text on the United Nations common system: report of the International Civil Service Commission (document A/C.5/66/L.27), by which the Assembly would express its conviction that the common system constitutes the best instrument through which to secure staff with the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for the international civil service.  The text would have the Assembly request the Commission to explore the feasibility and sustainability of possible measures to reflect in the administration of the post adjustment system the pay freeze of the comparator civil service; to determine whether the implementation of such measures falls under its authority; to exercise such authority as appropriate; and to report thereon to the Assembly at its sixty-seventh session.


That draft would also have the Assembly approve, effective 1 January 2012, as recommended by the Commission, the revised staff assessment rates in conjunction with base salaries for the Professional and higher categories of staff.  It would also endorse the Commission’s decision to review every three years the staff assessment rates used in conjunction with gross salaries, for appropriate revision.


It then approved a two-part text on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) (document A/C.5/66/L.26).  By part I, on the activities of OIOS, the Assembly would note with concern the status of implementation of recommendations contained in the report of OIOS on its activities from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.  It would request the Secretary-General to entrust to OIOS to submit a proposal to it no later than the main part of the sixty-seventh session on the dissemination/distribution of internal audit reports, including the parameters, modalities and in full consultation with the key stakeholder, including the Department of Management, Office of Legal Affairs and the Independent Audit Advisory Committee.  It would further decide that OIOS shall continue its current reporting procedures.


By part II, on the activities of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, the Assembly would decide to keep under review observations, comments and recommendations contained in the paragraphs 19, 20(d), 21, 24, 42 and 43 in the annex of the annual report of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee.  It would also request the Secretary-General to ensure that the OIOS annual reports include brief information of any impairment of its independence.  It would endorse the observations, comments and recommendations contained in paragraphs 14, 17, 18, 20, 26, 31, 37, 40, 42, 44 and 50 of the annual report of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.


By a consensus-approved text on the administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/C.5/66/L.10), the Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations contained in the related ACABQ report, subject to the provisions of the present resolution.  It would also decide to extend the mandate for the three ad litem judges of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal for one year, subject to review and possible extension for another year, and further decide to approve, under the General Temporary Assistance, three P-3 Legal Officers, two General Service (other level) and one General Service (local level) positions to support those judges for the same period.


Further, the Assembly would request that the Secretary-General make every effort to expedite finalization of an agreement on a cost-sharing arrangement on the internal justice system and to report thereon at the main part of its sixty-seventh session, including on the expected reimbursement of approximately $6.8 million from the participating United Nations entities.  The Assembly would also decide to amend Article 7.1(c) of the Statute of the Appeals Tribunal to extend the deadline for filing appeals to of Dispute Tribunal judgements from 45 to 60 days and to establish a 30‑day deadline for filing appeals of interlocutory orders.


Next, the Committee approved a text without a vote on the financing of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (document A/C.5/66/L.11), by which the Assembly would resolve that, for the biennium 2010-2011, the amount of $257.80 million gross ($235.33 million net) approved for the budget of the Tribunal shall be adjusted by $722,600 gross ($1.64 million net) for a total amount of $257.08 million gross ($233.69 million net).  For 2012-2013, the Assembly would decide to appropriate an amount of $171.62 million gross ($159.54 million net).


It then approved by consensus a draft resolution on the financing of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (document A/C.5/66/L.12), by which the Assembly would adjust the budget of $320.51 million gross ($289.81 million net) approved for the Tribunal for 2010‑2011 by $6.96 million gross ($3.80 million net), for a total amount of $337.47 million gross ($286.01 million net).  It would appropriate $281.04 million gross ($250.81 million net) for the Tribunal in 2012-2013.


Furthermore, it approved a consensus text on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (document A/C.5/66/L.13), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate an initial amount of $3 million for the overall construction of the proposed new facilities for the Archives of the Mechanism in Arusha, authorizing that it cover expenses related only to the conceptual design phase.  It would also decide to review the project requirements.


By further terms, the Assembly would decide that the staffing for the continuous activities of the Mechanism would comprise 67 posts for 2012-2013.  Further deciding that the Mechanism’s expenses shall be met through additional resources on the basis of assessed contributions through a separate special account, it would appropriate to that account a total of $49.77 million gross ($47.33 million net) for 2012-2013.


Next, the Committee considered several draft resolutions concerning peacekeeping operations.


A draft on the financing of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) (document A/C.5/66/L.6) would have the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to set up a special account for UNISFA for accounting purposes for income received and expenditure incurred, and to decide to appropriate $175.50 million to that account from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 to maintain the Force.  The Assembly would also decide to apply $67.01 million to the special account from the $482.46 million previously assessed under the terms of Assembly resolution 65/257 for the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), UNISFA and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).  It would also apply $1.36 million to the account, representing Member States’ respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income approved for UNIFSA and already set off against the apportionment among Member States under the terms of Assembly resolution 65/257 B. 


In addition, the Assembly would decide to apportion $89.64 million among Member States for the 28 December 2011 to 30 June 2012 period, at a monthly rate of $14.63 million, in accordance with the levels updated in Assembly resolution 64/249, taking into account the scale of assessments for 2011 and 2012, as set out in resolution 64/248, subject to a Security Council decision to extend UNISFA’s mandate.


That text was approved without a vote.


Next, the Committee approved a consensus text on the financing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/C.5/66/L.14), by which the Assembly would appropriate to the special account of the Ivorian Operation $159.24 million for the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, in addition to the amount of $517.85 million previously appropriated for the same period by resolution 65/294, inclusive of the $486.73 million for the Operation’s maintenance, $26.37 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $4.75 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Regarding the financing of that appropriation, the Assembly would further decide that, of the $517.85 million already apportioned under resolution 65/294 for the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, to apportion among Member States the additional amount of $159.24 million for the same period.  There shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of $780,900, which is the estimated staff assessment income approved for the Operation.


It then approved a consensus text on the financing of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (document A/C.5/66/L.15), by which the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to establish a special account for the Mission in South Sudan and appropriate $722.13 million for the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012.


It would further decide to apply to that special account $277.92 million from the amount of $482.46 million previously appropriated under resolution 65/257 B for UNMIS, UNISFA and UNMISS.  Also, it would apply to that Special Account $8.87 million, representing Member States respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the balance of estimated staff assessment income approved for the Mission.


Further, the Assembly would apportion among Member States $444.21 million for the period from 9 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, while further deciding to set off against the apportionment among those States, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of $1.20 million, representing the balance of the estimated staff assessment income in the amount of $10.07 million approved for the Mission.


Further, it approved a consensus text on the financing of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) (document A/C.5/66/L.16), by which the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide detailed information the administration of termination indemnity in the context of the Mission’s performance report.  It would reduce the appropriation of $482.46 million approved in resolution 65/257 B for the Mission’s maintenance from 1 July to 31 December 2011 by $344.93 million to the amount of $137.53 million for the Mission’s withdrawal and administrative liquidation for the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012.


It would apply a total amount of $137.53 million from the amount of $482.46 million previously apportioned and decide to reduce by $10.24 million the amount of estimated staff assessment income for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2011 from $13.72 million to $3.48 million.


The Committee then turned to a draft resolution on the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 (document A/C.5/66/L.17).


By part A of that text, the Assembly would take note of second performance report of the Secretary-General on the programme budget for the biennium and endorse the observations and recommendations contained in the related ACABQ report.


It would resolve that, for the biennium 2010-2011, the amount of $5.37 billion appropriated in resolutions 65/260 A to C of 24 December 2010 would be increased by $49.2 million.  The Secretary-General would be authorized to transfer credits between sections of the budget, with the Advisory Committee’s concurrence.  In addition, $75,000 would be appropriated for each year of that biennium from the accumulated income of the Library Endowment Fund.


By part B of that text, the Assembly would resolve that the previously approved estimates of income of $592.91 million for the biennium would be increased by $8.31 million.  Income from staff assessment would be credited to the Tax Equalization Fund.


It approved that text without a vote.


The Committee then approved a decision on programme budget implications concerning the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.7), which contained implications for three draft resolutions.


In section A, relating to the draft on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/66/L.55/Rev.1), the Committee decided to inform the Assembly that its adoption of that draft would require extra resources of $1.2 million from 1 January to 31 December 2012 under section 3, political affairs, and $157,600 under section 37, staff assessment, to be offset by the same amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment.


In section B, relating to the text on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto (document A/C.3/66/L.29/Rev.1), the Committee decided to inform the Assembly that its adoption of that draft would require extra resources of $2.99 million, including $213,600 under section 24, human rights; $2.78 million under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management; and $8,800 under section 29E, administration, Geneva.


In section C, relating to a draft on oceans and the Law of the Sea (document A/66/L.21), the Committee decided to inform the Assembly that its adoption of that text would require extra resources of $815,800 gross ($729,100 net), including $537,000 under section 8, legal affairs; $192,100 under section 29D, Office of Central Support Services; and $86,700 under section 37, staff assessment, to be offset by the same amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment.


It approved a consensus draft on questions relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.18), which comprises 13 parts.


By the text, the Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination as contained in chapter II of its report, document A/66/82, and those in the related reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), document A/66/16, subject to the provisions of the present resolution.  The Assembly would reaffirm that no changes to the budget methodology, established budgetary procedures and practices or to the financial regulations may be implemented without the Assembly’s prior review and approval, in accordance with established budgetary procedures.


Regretting that delays in staff recruitment for the enterprise resource planning project, including of its project director, due to internal processes, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General redouble efforts to fill all approved posts, taking into account existing recruitment regulations and rules, and to report thereon at its sixty-seventh session.


On human resources, vacancy rates and staffing, the Assembly, expressing serious concern over the lack of progress by the Secretary-General to develop a comprehensive succession plan for the Organization, including, inter alia, for the language services, would request that he formulate a strategy on succession planning for all Secretariat departments and report thereon at its sixty-seventh session.


It would decide not to approve any of the cuts in posts and non-post resources proposed by the Secretary-General to part IV and V of the proposed budget for the biennium 2012-2013; that the staffing table for that biennium would be set out in the annex of the present resolution and that a vacancy rate of 4.7 per cent for General Service staff would be the basis for calculating the budget for that biennium.


On non-post resources, the Assembly would decide to reduce non-post resources by $17 million, excluding parts IV and V.


On consultants and contractual services, the Assembly would decide to defer post-related re-costing for inflation and exchange-rate projections to the first performance report, to ensure appropriation of post-related costs in line with actual expenditure experience.


On extrabudgetary resources, it would stress that all extrabudgetary posts must be administered and managed with the same rigour as regular budget posts.


By the terms of part I of that resolution, on overall policymaking, direction and coordination, the Assembly would decide to create one post at the D‑1 Level to head the Rule of Law Unit and to retain the P‑5 post, establish one P‑4 and two LL posts in the Office of the Directory-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).  In terms of General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management, it would decide to decrease the non‑post resources allocated to the Department by $10 million, not implement the Secretary-General’s proposals on summary records and allocate $10 million for that purpose.


By part II, on political affairs, the Assembly would decide not to abolish one P-4 and one General Service (OL) post under subprogramme 4 (Decolonization); establish two P-4 posts for the Peacebuilding Support Office; increase the level of non-post resources of the Office of the Registrar of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by $306,000; and ask the Secretary-General to continue to provide the United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament with the necessary resources to discharge their mandate, as well as to make further concrete efforts to ensure proper representation of troop-contributing countries in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support.


By part III, on international justice and law, the Assembly would decide to increase the non-post resources by $274,200 to provide sufficient funding for servicing 14 weeks of work of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and to retain the rotation scheme between Vienna and New York. and to approve $2.45 million for travel and related costs for representatives and staff of the International Law Commission.


By part IV, on international cooperation for development, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to implement the provisions related to the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States in Assembly resolutions 62/236, 63/260, 64/243 and 66/8 accordingly in full and without delay.


By part V, on regional cooperation for development, it would decide to increase the grant to the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning to $2.6 million per biennium.  Concerning economic development in Western Asia, it would decide to establish one D-1, Chief of the Division for Women, subprogramme 6; one D-1, Chief of the Emerging Trends and Conflict-related Issues Division, subprogramme 7; and one P-5, Chief of the Governance, Instability and Development Section, subprogramme 7.


By part VI, on human rights and humanitarian affairs, the Assembly would decide to reclassify one P-5 post to D-1 under subprogramme 4, and ask the Secretary-General to designate capacity to support a Universal Periodic Review and to report in the context of a performance report.  It would also express concern over the significant reduction in the total resources for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) over the past 10 years while the overall workload and responsibilities of the Agency had continued to increase.


By part VII, on public information, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to continue to expand the scope of press releases, in addition to the existing languages, in order to widen the United Nations message.  Further, it would convert the general temporary position in the Russian News Centre to an established post at the P-3 level; reclassify one P-2 post to P-3 in the Chinese Unit and one P-3 post to P-4 as Head of the Kiswahili Unit of United Nations Radio; and establish two P-3, two P-2 and one General Service (OL) posts in the Kiswahili Unit of United Nations Radio, and one P-3 and two P-2 posts in the Portuguese Unit of United Nations Radio.


By part VIII, on common support services, it would express serious concern at the potential escalation of costs of the enterprise resource planning project and ask the Secretary-General to ensure its implementation without further delay, as well as ensure by all means that the project costs were brought back within the approved budget.  The Assembly would reiterate its request that the Secretary-General make every effort to avoid budget increases through sound project management practices and ensure that the enterprise resource planning project was completed within the budget approved in its resolution 64/243.


Further, the Assembly would express serious concern at the enterprise resource planning governance crisis and reaffirm its decision to designate the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Management as the Chairperson of the enterprise resource planning Steering Committee.  It would decide that the enterprise resource planning project director would report solely and directly to that Under-Secretary-General, and place the enterprise resource planning project team and the administration of the enterprise resource planning budget within that Department.  It would express serious concern that no specific information had been shared with Member States regarding related costs and activities of the enterprise resource planning project, and ask the Secretary-General to include such information in his next progress report and to make every effort to fully implement such activities within the approved budget level of each Department.


In addition, the Assembly would approve commitment authority for the enterprise resource planning project for one year at maintenance level and ask the Secretary-General to present a revised comprehensive proposal for funding enterprise resource planning for the 2012-2013 biennium at the main part of its sixty-seventh session.  It would request that ACABQ ask the Board of Auditors to conduct a comprehensive audit of the implementation of the enterprise resource planning project and to report to the Assembly annually, starting at the main part of its sixty-seventh session.


Regarding the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to ensure that implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards at the United Nations was completed no later than 2014 and to exercise strict oversight its implementation.


Regarding the Office of Human Resources Management, the Assembly would further decide to increase by 50 per cent the non-post resources available for outreach, under component 2, strategic planning and staffing.  Regarding the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), the Assembly would decide that the Chief Information Technology Officers would report accordingly to the Head of the Department of Management and decide to place the OICT budget within the budget of the Department of Management.  It would decide not to approve extra funding to implement project 1 (improve enterprise ICT management) and project 4 (create resilient ICT infrastructure), and not to approve project 2 (leverage knowledge through ICT project) and project 3 (enhance ICT service delivery).


By part IX, on internal oversight, the Assembly would decide to establish the post of Assistant Secretary-General in the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).


By part X, the Assembly would authorize the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) an amount of $100,000 for requirements on consultants, while urging JIU to make greater use of its secretariat and available expertise within the United Nations common system to provide such specialized advice and technical services to the inspectors.


By part XI, on capital expenditures, it would decide to reduce the overall requirements for construction, alteration, improvement and major maintenance by $6.9 million and ask the Secretary-General to prioritize between the projects proposed in order to ensure the security of staff, delegates and other personnel.


By part XII, on safety and security, it would ask the Secretary-General to review the appropriateness of the use of private security personnel.


By part XIII, on the Development Account, it would decide to appropriate a extra $6 million for that Account.  On limited budgetary discretion, it would decide to extend the provisions in section III of its resolution 60/283 until 30 April 2012, pending a decision at the first part of the resumed sixty-sixth session.


After approving that text, MICHEL TOMMO MONTHE (Cameroon), Committee Chair, said that in doing so, the Committee had committed to finding ongoing ways, through financial and organizational efficiency, to better achieve the priorities of the Organization as set by the Assembly.


The representative of the Russian Federation referred to the interpretation of section 24 on human rights of the text.  He said it was unacceptable that the proposed programme budget did not correspond to the strategic framework and that doubt had been cast on the Committee for Programme and Coordination.  The Secretariat was ignoring the views of Member States that were advancing elements appropriate to them.  The Russian Federation, in order to avoid disrupting consensus, had not sought to put the entire budget to the vote.  Concerning section 24 on human rights, the Russian Federation would rely on the language of the strategic framework previously adopted at the international level.


The Committee took up the report of the Fifth Committee on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 as contained in document A/C.5/66/L.23, parts I and II.  The report comprised two parts: part I contained the narrative of action taken by the Committee; part II contained the Committee’s recommendations.  With those drafts already approved, the Committee approved the report without a vote.


As draft resolution I on the questions relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, had already been approved by the Committee, it then took up a text on special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.19), which comprises 17 parts.


Part I, on revised estimates relating to the proposed budget programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, would have the Assembly decide not to use the Contingency Fund to finance proposals contained in the Secretary-General’s report A/66/516, and request him to strictly observe its resolutions 41/213 and 42/211 in using that Fund.  It would also decide to approve the extension of the lease of the secondary data centre in Piscataway, New Jersey, for 30 months beyond 31 December 2011 and the procurement of software to maintain emergency preparedness plans and the staff accounting system, but not to approve additional resources in this regard.


Part II, on transitional measures concerning the financial reporting by UNHCR under the International Public Sector Accounting Standards, would have the Assembly authorize the High Commissioner to apply mutatis mutandis to its voluntary funds accounting process and financial reporting.


Part III would have the Assembly note the Secretary-General’s report and endorse the Advisory Committee’s conclusions and recommendations regarding revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its 2011 substantive session.


Part IV would have the Assembly approve the request for a subvention of $577,800 (before re-costing) to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research for the biennium 2012-2013 from the Organization’s regular budget, on the understanding that no additional provision would be required under section 4, disarmament, of the proposed programme budget for 2012-2013.


Part V, on administrative expenses of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, would have the Assembly approve the revised estimate of $154.55 million for the biennium 2010-2011 for the Fund’s administration, as well as expenses totalling $173.41 million net chargeable directly to the Fund for the 2012-2013 biennium.  It would further approve $20.69 million as the United Nations share of the cost of the Fund’s administrative expenses for 2012-2013, of which $13.24 million would represent the share of the regular budget and the balance of $7.45 million would represent the share of the funds and programmes.


By further terms of part V, the Assembly would approve the reduction of $1.04 million in the United Nations share of the cost of administrative expenses of the Fund’s central secretariat under section 1 of the proposed programme budget for 2012-2013.  The Joint Staff Pension Board would be authorized to supplement the voluntary contributions to the Emergency Fund for the 2012-2013 biennium by an amount not exceeding $200,000.  Also, the Fund would be authorized to continue to apply the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations mutatis mutandi to their accounting processes and financial reporting in a manner that allowed it to be IPSAS-compliant by 1 January 2012.


Part VI would have the Assembly approve $41.34 million (United Nations share of equivalent Swiss Francs 38.07 million at the exchange rate of 0.921 Swiss franc to 1 dollar) proposed for the 2012-2013 biennium under section 13, International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO.


Part VII would, among other things, have the Assembly decide to approve general temporary assistance totalling $810,600 under section 29E, Administration Geneva, to provide for one P-4 architect and one P-4 engineer, as well as the additional requirement of $2.8 million for contractual services in relation to the development of the detailed project implementation and phasing plan under section 34, construction, alteration, improvement and major maintenance of the proposed programme budget for 2012-2013.  An amount of $74,000 would also be approved under section 37, staff assessment, to be offset by an equivalent under income section 1, income from staff assessment of that proposed budget.


Part VIII would have the Assembly take note of the Secretary-General’s report and endorse the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions’ conclusions and recommendations on revised estimates resulting from the resolution and decisions of the Human Rights Council at its sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth sessions and its fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth special sessions.  It would also welcome the establishment of the Office of the President of the Human Rights Council.


Part IX — on estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives by the Assembly and/or the Security Council and review of the current funding and backstopping arrangements for those missions — would have the Assembly reduce the 2012 budget of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) by $350,000 and the budget for the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission by $250,000.  It would also approve the budgets totalling $583.38 million for the 29 special political missions authorized by the Assembly and/or the Council presented in table 1 of the Secretary-General’s report (document A/66/354 and Corr.1) for 2012 only.  A charge totalling $583.38 million net against the provision for special political missions requested in section 3, political affairs would also be approved.


By further terms, the Secretary-General would be authorized to enter into commitments not exceeding $16 million for UNSMIL and not exceeding $9.07 million for the subvention of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.


Part X would have the Assembly take note of the statement submitted by the Secretary-General and endorse the Advisory Committee’s conclusions and recommendations relating to the administrative and financial implications of the decisions and recommendations in the report of the International Civil Service Commission for 2011.


Part XI, on the financial implications of the administration of justice at the United Nations, would have the Assembly approve $7.08 million, at 2012-2013 rates, under the proposed programme budget for that biennium, reflecting an increase of $2.18 million under section 1 (overall policymaking direction and coordination; $557,600 under section 8 (legal affairs); $402,600 under section 19 (economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific); $299,400 under section 29A (Office of the Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Management); $689,200 under section 29C (Office of Human Resources Management); $649,700 under section 29D (Office of Central Support Services); $868,200 under section 29E (administration, Geneva); $695,00 under section 29G (administration, Nairobi); and an increase of $738,400 under section 37 (staff assessment) to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1 (income from staff assessment).  It would also decide that the additional amount of $7.08 million would represent a charge against the Contingency Fund for the 2012-2013 biennium.


Part XII would have the Assembly take note of the revised estimates arising from re-costing due to changes in the rates of exchange and inflation.


Part XIII would have the Assembly note the balance of $13.76 million remaining in the Contingency Fund.


Part XIV would have the Assembly approve the gross budget for the Joint Inspection Unit for the 2012-2013 biennium in the amount of $12.74 million.


Part XV would have the Assembly approve the gross budget for the International Civil Service Commission for the 2012-2013 biennium in the amount of $17.55 million.


Part XVI would have the Assembly note the gross budget for the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) for the 2012-2013 biennium in the amount of $5.38 million.


Part XVII would have the Assembly approve the gross jointly financed budget for the Department of Safety and Security for the 2010-2011 biennium in the amount of $244.54 million, with $215.03 million going to Field Security Operations and $29.5 million going to the Security and Safety Services at the United Nations Office at Vienna.


Before action, the representative of Cuba, also speaking on behalf of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Iran, proposed an oral amendment to part IX of that text, concerning special political missions.  The amendment would call for deleting all references related to the responsibility to protect, including as it concerned the role of the Office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.  Accordingly, he asked the Secretary-General to issue a corrigendum to his report A/66/354/Add.1.


The representative of the Netherlands said she did not agree with the proposed amendment, whose function went beyond the responsibility of the Committee.  For that reason, she requested a recorded vote on it, and she called on delegates to vote against it.


The representative of Poland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Committee was responsible for administrative and budgetary matters only, and therefore should refrain from political discussions that belonged in different United Nations forums.  It was the Committee’s responsibility to ensure that the Office of the Special Adviser was adequately funded in order to be able to implement its mandate.  He would vote against the amendment and called on other delegations to follow suit.


The representative of Sudan supported the proposed amendment.  The nature of the Committee did not in any way prevent Member States from voicing their concerns.


The representative of Cuba, taking the floor again, noted the lack of satisfaction in the way it had been forced to consider and approve resources for the special political missions.  He did not understand where the interpretation came from that Secretariat reports were legislative mandates.  It was unacceptable that concepts being discussed in the Assembly were incorporated into strategic frameworks as if they had been mandated or adopted by Member States.  It had not been decided that the responsibility to protect was a central part of the Office of the Special Adviser.  The responsibility to protect was being manipulated by hidden interventionists that sought to justify the use of force.  The principle of state sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.  There was no clear definition yet of the responsibility to protect.  Therefore, it was unacceptable that decisions were made in a budget document, when such matters should be taken up and made in the Assembly.


In a recorded vote of 71 against to 11 in favour, with 42 abstentions, the Committee rejected the amendment.


Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Tunisia said her country had abstained.  The principle of the responsibility to protect was noble, but to avoid abuse of it, there must be advanced discussions on it to reach consensus.  Clearly, the concept was still being worked on and no case could replace the fundamental principles on which the Charter was based.  It would have been better to consider the responsibility to protect in the Sixth Committee (Legal).


The representative of Venezuela, also speaking on behalf of Cuba, Nicaragua and Iran, requested a recorded vote on part IX as a whole.


The representative of Sudan took to floor to say it had voted in favour of the amendment.  The principle of the responsibility to protect had been used loosely, without taking into account the stance of the vast majority of Member States.


In a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 7 against (Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela), with 8 abstentions (Comoros, Djibouti, Grenada, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Yemen and Zambia), the Committee approved part IX of the draft.


The Committee then approved the draft as a whole.


Mr. TOMMO (Cameroon), Committee Chair, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revised estimates under the contingency fund, contained in document A/C.5/66/13 and the related report of the Advisory Committee contained in document A/66/7/Add.23.


The Committee then recommended that the Assembly note that a balance of $13.76 million remained in the Contingency Fund.


The Committee then approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.20), which contains the Organization’s budget appropriations for the biennium 2012-2013 in the total amount of $5.15 billion.  That draft contained three sections.


Section A, which outlines those appropriations, would have the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to transfer credits between sections of the budget with the Advisory Committee’s concurrence.  An additional amount of $75,000 would be appropriated for each year of the 2012-2013 biennium from the accumulated income of the Library Endowment Fund for the purchase of books, periodicals, maps and library equipment, and for such other expenses of the library at the Palais des Nations in Geneva as are in accordance with the endowment’s objects and provisions.


Section B would have the Assembly approve the estimates of income other than assessments from Member States totalling $507.75 million as follows: $455.37 million from income from staff assessment and $52.5 million from general income, against expenditures from services to the public of $115,400.


Section C would have the Assembly resolve that for 2012, appropriations totalling $2.58 billion — being half of the $5.15 billion approved for 2012-2013 — plus $49.2 million, being the net increase in revised appropriation for the 2010-2011 biennium approved in draft resolution A/C.5/66/L.17 shall be financed in accordance with regulations 3.1 and 3.2 of the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations.  It further outlines the specific financing in that regard.


By a consensus-approved text on the Working Capital Fund for the biennium 2012‑2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.22), the Assembly would resolve that the Fund would be set up for the biennium 2012-2013 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 of Member States to budget for the year 2012. 


The Secretary-General would be authorized to advance from the Fund the sums as may be necessary to finance budgetary appropriations pending the receipt of contributions.  Sums so advanced should be reimbursed as soon as receipts from contributions were available for that purpose.  He would also be authorized to advance sums to finance commitments that related to unforeseen and extraordinary expenses.


It then approved a text titled unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.21), by which the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General, with prior concurrence of the Advisory Committee and subject to the financial regulations and rules of the United Nations, to enter into commitments to meet such expenses arising during or subsequent to the biennium.  The text also specifies cases for which the Advisory Committee’s concurrence would not be necessary, including, for example, commitments not exceeding a total of $8 million in any one year of the biennium, as the Secretary-General certifies relates to the maintenance of peace and security.


By a draft decision on the Capital Master Plan (document A/C.5/66/L.8), the Assembly would authorize the continued use in 2012 of the unspent balance of the funding for associated costs approved in 2011 to allow the Secretary-General to continue activities and projects planned for 2012, and decide to consider, at the first part of its resumed sixty-sixth session, the Secretary-General’s report on proposals for financing the 2012 associated costs from within the approved budget for the Capital Master Plan.


That decision was approved by consensus.


The Committee then approved its draft report on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.23, parts I and II).


The Committee then turned to a draft decision on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/66/L.24).


By part A of the draft, the Assembly would defer until the resumed first part of its sixty-sixth session consideration of the following documents under agenda item 34, proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013: report of the Board of Auditors for the year ended 31 December 2010 on the Capital Master Plan (document A/66/5, Vol.V); report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Board of Auditors contained in its report on the United Nations for the year ended 31 December 2010 (document A/66/326); the Secretary-General’s ninth annual progress report on the implementation of the Capital Master Plan and on proposals for financing associates costs for 2012 from within the approved budget for the Capital Master Plan (document A/66/527 and Add.1); and the Advisory Committee’s report (document A/66/7/Add.11).


Also, the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the audit of Capital Master Plan procurement and contract management, including change orders (document A/66/179); report of the Secretary-General on the feasibility study for the United Nations Headquarters accommodation needs 2014-2034 (document A/66/349); the Advisory Committee’s report (document A/66/7/Add.16); report of the Secretary-General on the financing of unforeseen and extraordinary expenses arising from resolutions and decisions of the Human Rights Council (document A/66/558 and Corr.1); report of the Secretary-General on limited budgetary discretion (document A/66/570) and the Advisory Committee’s report (document A/66/7/Add.18).


By part B of the draft, the Assembly decided to defer until the main part of its sixty-seventh session consideration of the following documents under agenda item 34, proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013: report of the Secretary-General on the review of arrangements for funding and backstopping special political missions (document A/66/340) and the Advisory Committee’s report (document A/66/7/Add.21).


That text was approved without a vote.


Mr. TOMMO made closing remarks.


The representatives of Argentina (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China) and New Zealand (also on behalf of Canada and Australia) also made concluding statements.


Also making a closing statement was Angela Kane, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Management


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For information media • not an official record