12 June 2012
General Assembly
GA/AB/4034

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

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

38th Meeting (AM)


Budget Committee Recommends Financing for 14 United Nations Peacekeeping

 

Operations, as It Concludes Resumed Session

 


Also Approves Budgets for 4 Political Missions, Text on Cross-Cutting

Issues, Including Near $60 Million Supplemental Payment to Troop-Contributors


The Fifth Committee today concluded its second resumed substantive session by recommending financial arrangements for 14 United Nations peacekeeping operations, which, once endorsed by the General Assembly, would total slightly more than $7 billion.


Continuing to perform its important duties as what Chairman Michel Tommo Monthe (Cameroon) referred to as, effectively, “the United Nations Ways and Means Committee,” the key budgetary body also forwarded other decisions to the Assembly for action, including financing for four political missions, a revised rest and recuperation cycle for staff at duty stations where “danger pay” applied, and a one-time supplemental payment of nearly $60 million over the next year to troop contributing countries.


While approving the peacekeeping budgets through 14 separate provisional draft resolutions that would be updated and reissued with precise figures prior to final action by the Assembly, the Committee took note of a document forwarded by the Secretary-General outlining the resources to be approved for each mission through 30 June 2013, including the prorated shares of the peacekeeping support account and of the United Nations Logistics base in Brindisi, Italy (document A/C/5/66/17).


The note sets out the appropriations as follows:


Mission

Total Appropriation


MINURSO ( Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara)

$60.80 million

MINUSTAH (Stabilization Mission in Haiti)

$676.70 million

MONUSCO (Organization Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo)

$1.40 billion

UNAMID (Hybrid Operation in Darfur)

$1.51 billion

UNDOF (Disengagement Observer Force)

$47.99 million

UNFICYP (Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus)

$56.98 million

UNIFIL (Interim Force in Lebanon)

$546.9 million

UNISFA (United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei)

$269.2 million

UNMIK ( Mission in Kosovo)

$49.02 million

UNMIL ( Mission in Liberia)

$518.09 million

UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan)

$876.16 million

UNMIT (United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste)

$162.21 million

UNOCI (United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire)

$600.15 million

UNSOA (United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia)

$455.98 million


All the texts were approved by consensus except the draft setting out the provisional budgetary arrangements for UNIFIL.  Israel’s delegation requested two separate recorded votes — on four specific paragraphs and on the resolution as a whole.  Malfunctioning equipment in the meeting room forced the Committee to hold a “roll call vote” on references to the 1996 incident in the Southern Lebanese village of Qana during which Israeli Defense Force (IDF) artillery fire hit a UNIFIL compound (document A/C.5/66/L.35).


The language — in preambular paragraph 4, and existing operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 14 of the text — including a call for Israel to pay some $1.1 million dollars for damages caused during the incident, was retained by a roll call vote of 91 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with 48 abstentions.


Following that action, the electronic voting machine was repaired and the resolution as a whole was adopted as orally amended, by a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States).


As he summed up the work of the second resumed session, Chairman Monthe said that the Committee had achieved solid results, in most cases by consensus and after “lengthy and laborious” negotiations.  He said that only two matters had been deferred to the next session — the situation of closed missions and financing the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS).  He thanked all delegations for their hard work and applauded the input of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).


He said the Committee’s role was to ensure that resources were used effectively and efficiently according to priorities set by Member States.  The Organization must continue to adapt to all emerging changes and challenges, and the Fifth Committee must continue to support such metamorphoses.  Delegations must continue to set aside their partisan interests to protect and support the United Nations staff and to promote the Organization’s aims to bolster international peace and security, he said.


Addressing the Committee for the first time, newly appointed Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Ameerah Haq said that in her previous role as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste and Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in that country, she had witnessed first-hand the increasing attention given by the Secretary-General and the Secretariat to delivering peacekeeping mandates that were increasingly complex, but with an eye to ensure that cost effectiveness was improved.


She had been following the Committee’s deliberations, as well as the work of the ACABQ, and believed the bodies had tackled some very challenging issues.  The Office of Field Support would continue to pay close attention to all the resolutions the General Assembly would soon put into place and would strive to direct, manage and support peacekeeping operations in accordance with the guidance of the Fifth Committee and the Assembly.  Finally, she paid tribute to her predecessor, Susana Malcorra and acknowledged that she knew she had “big shoes to fill”.  She pledged to do her utmost to establish a strong relationship with the Committee and looked forward to working with all delegations.


Also speaking were Japan, New Zealand (also on behalf of Australia and Canada), the United States and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as a representative of the European Union.


Background


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to conclude its second resumed session.  The first part of the Committee’s resumed session for the year began on 5 March and ended on 2 April.  The second part began on 7 May and had been scheduled to end on 1 June.


Action on Drafts


First, the Committee approved by consensus a text on the international residual mechanism for criminal tribunals (document A/C.5/66/L.511).  By that resolution, the General Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the construction of a new facility for the archives of the Mechanism’s Arusha branch and decide to authorize expenditures in the amount of $3 million to cover expenses for the design phase of the project, as set out in paragraph 6 of Assembly resolution 66/240.


The resolution would also have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to submit to the Committee during the first part of its resumed sixty-seventh session a report providing more detailed information on the key decision points regarding the conceptual design, project plan and overall cost estimate of the project, as well as information on his efforts to reduce the duration of the construction project for the Arusha branch of the mechanism.


The Committee next approved without a vote a draft resolution on financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/C.5/66/L.37), which would have the Assembly express concern that there is weakness in oversight procurement and request the Secretary-General to provide an overall analysis of those activities throughout United Nations peacekeeping operations in order to enhance its management in a more accountable manner in the context of his next report on implementation of the recommendations of the Board concerning those operations.


The text would also have the Assembly take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Auditors concerning United Nations peacekeeping operations for the financial period ended 30 June 2011.  It would request the Secretary-General to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Auditors and the related recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) “in a prompt and timely manner” and further request him to continue to indicate an expected time frame for such implementation.


By a draft resolution on the United Nations common system (document A/C.5/66/L.36), approved without a vote, the Assembly would recall that, in its resolution 66/235, the 193-member body approved a revised rest and recuperation framework linked to “danger pay” on the understanding that danger pay would apply only in extraordinary situations where staff were at high risk as a direct consequence of their employment in the United Nations.  The number of danger pay recipients would be substantially reduced from the number of recipients of the previous “hazard pay”, and implementation of danger pay would result in reduced financial requirements system-wide.


The Assembly would note with concern that the current situation with regard to the applicability of danger pay is significantly different from that which was presented during its consideration of the rest and recuperation framework.  It would therefore approve, with effect on 1 July 2012, the revised set of criteria for the granting of rest and recuperation travel and the corresponding frequencies of travel as contained in the annex to addendum 1 of the report of the International Civil Service Commission (A/66/30 Add.1).


Turning next to a number of draft resolutions on the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Committee approved a text on cross cutting issues (document A/C.5/66/L.38), which covers matters related to budget presentation and financial management, peacekeeping personnel, operational requirements, and special measures for protection against sexual exploitation and abuse.  The text would, among others, have the Assembly approve, on an exceptional basis, a one time supplemental payment of $59,999,999 to troop contributing countries during the period from 1 July 2012 to 31 March 2013.


By the text, the Assembly would pay tribute to all United Nations peacekeepers who have been wounded in the line of duty of who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while working in the pursuit of peace.  It would also express appreciation for all United Nations personnel performing peacekeeping functions and would urge the Secretary-General to make every effort to reduce the recruitment lead time for staff in the field missions and enhance the transparency of the staffing process.


The Assembly would also reaffirm the need for full implementation of the Organization’s “zero tolerance” policy of sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations, and emphasize that all such acts should be investigated and punished without delay.  Further by the text, the Assembly would express concern at the number of investigations that have not been completed, as well as the number of new cases of sexual exploitation and abuse being reported.  Though the number of allegations has declined the Assembly would regret that the proportion of those allegations regarding the most egregious forms of exploitation has not decreased. 


The Committee then approved without vote a draft resolution on the support account for peacekeeping operations (document A/C.5/66/L.55), which would have the Assembly approve for that account requirements in the amount of $318 million for the period from 1 July 2012 to 31 June 2013.  It would also apply $2.47 million representing the excess of the authorized level of the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund in respect of the period ended 30 June 2011 to that resource requirement.


Moving on, the Committee next approved by consensus a text on financing the United Nations Logistics base in Brindisi, Italy (document A/C.5/66/L.46), recommending that the Assembly approve the 2012/13 cost estimates for the Logistics Base amounting to $68.62 million.


Next, the Committee took note of a note by the Secretary-General on the financing of the support account for peacekeeping operations and the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy (document A/C.5/66/17), which contains an annex that reflects the resources to be approved by the Assembly in respect of each peacekeeping mission, including prorated shares of the support account and of the Logistics Base.  According to the note, once the Assembly takes action on the Committee’s recommendations, another note will be issued on the approved level of resources for all peacekeeping operations.


The Committee next approved a draft resolution on special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/66/L.54).  By the text, the Assembly would approve the total amount of $47.8 million for the budgets of the four special political missions authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council, namely the Office of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis; the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sudan and South Sudan; the United Nations Support Mission in Libya; and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).  It would also approve a charge of that amount against the provision appropriated for special political missions under Section 3, Political Affairs, of the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.  It would also decide to approve the additional requirements for UNPOS for 2012 in the amount of $2.99 million.


By the same text, the Assembly would also endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions’ report that analyzed administrative and financial implications of the decisions and recommendations contained in the International Civil Service Commission’s report for 2011.  The Advisory Committee had recommended the Secretary-General provide information to the General Assembly, including: the total expenditures for hazard pay in 2011; the estimated total annual requirements for danger pay; the estimated number of staff by category and duty station eligible for a four-week rest and recuperation cycle under the current rest and recuperation frameworks; and the estimated number of staff by category and duty station eligible for a six week rest and recuperation cycle under the current rest and recuperation frameworks.


The Assembly would also decide that the position of the Director of the Umoja enterprise resource planning project shall be at the level of Assistant Secretary-General, effective from 1 July 2012.


By the provisional draft resolution on financing of United Nations Mission Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) (document A/C.5/66/L.43), which was adopted without a vote, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $257.93 million for the maintenance of the Interim Security Force, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


The Committee approved without a vote a text on financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) (document A/C.5/66/L.49).  The Assembly would decide to reduce the appropriation approved for the maintenance and administrative liquidation of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 under the terms of its resolution 65/254 A of 24 December 2010, from $239.09 million to $236.25 million, equal to expenditures incurred by the Mission during that period. 


The Committee went on to approve without a vote a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/C.5/66/L.45).  The Assembly would be asked to appropriate to the Special Account for UNOCI in the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $575.01 million for the maintenance of the Operation, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


The Committee approved without a vote a text on financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/C.5/66/L.40).  The Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNFICYP the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $54.57 million for the maintenance of the Force, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Moving on, the Committee approved a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC); and financing of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo(MONUSCO) (document A/C.5/66/L.39).  The Assembly would be asked to appropriate to the Special Account for MONUSCO the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $1.34 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


The Committee also approved without a vote a text on financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) (document A/C.5/66/L.50).  The Assembly would decide that Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission shall be credited with their respective share of the net cash available in the Special Account for the Mission in the amount of $9.08 million as at 30 April 2012.  The Assembly would also decide that, for Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, their respective share of the net cash available in the Special Account for the Mission in the amount of $9.08 million as of 30 April 2012 shall be set off against their outstanding obligations.


By the text approved without a vote on financing of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) (document A/C.5/66/L.47), the Assembly would be asked to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $155.42 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


The Committee then approved a text on financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) (document A/C.5/66/L.34) by which the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the final disposition of the assets of that mission (document A/66/569).  That report notes that as at 1 July 2009, UNOMIG’s total inventory value was $22.71 million.


The text would have the Assembly take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as at 30 April 2012, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $3.9 million, or some 1 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  As such, it would note with concern that only 157 member States had paid their assessed contributions in full and would urge all others Member States, particularly those in arrears, to ensure full payment of their outstanding contributions. 


The Committee went on to approve a provisional text on financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/C.5/66/L.57), which would have the Assembly decide to appropriate to the Special Account for that Mission the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of some $648.4 million for the maintenance of MINUSTAH, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Further, the Assembly was asked to take note of the fact that, as at 30 April 2012, some $124.4 million was outstanding to MINUSTAH and that only 77 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.  All Member States that had not paid in full would be urged to do so.  Further, the Assembly would have the Assembly decide to allocate up to $8 million for the community violence reduction programme in Haiti through 30 June 2013.


Before action on that text, the representative of the Russian Federation said that while his delegation planned to support consensus, it was unlikely to support the language on “local procurements” that was based on last year’s text.  The Russian Federation was of the view that any procurements must be carried out under existing financial rules and regulations.  His delegation would expect a discussion on such procurements during the main part of the Committee’s sixty-seventh session.


Next, the Committee approved a provisional draft on financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/C.5/66/L.56), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNMIK the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $46.96 million for the maintenance of the Interim Mission, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Continuing to act by consensus, the Committee approved a provisional text on financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/C.5/66/L.44).  That draft resolution would have the Assembly appropriate to the Special Account for UNMIL the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $496.4 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


The Committee then approved a provisional draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/C.5/66/L.48), by which the Assembly would decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the Observer Force the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of some $46 million for the maintenance of UNDOF, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Next, the Committee took up a provisional draft text on financing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/66/L.35).  That text, which was orally amended by the Committee Secretary, would have the Assembly decide to appropriate to the Interim Force the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $524 million for the maintenance of UNIFIL, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


The draft would have the Assembly expresses “deep concern” that Israel had not complied with previous resolutions on UNIFIL, and it would request the Secretary-General to take measures necessary to ensure the full implementation of the relevant paragraphs of those resolutions, and “stress once again that Israel shall pay the amount of $1,117,005 resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996”.


Before action was taken, the representative of Algeria, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, proposed that the Committee delete preambular paragraph 7 of the text, which would have the Assembly “express concern at the delay in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peacekeeping mission, in particular in Africa”.


Speaking next, the representative of Israel said he was compelled to express disappointment about the draft resolution because he felt that some language was political in nature and undermined the work of the Fifth Committee.  “Some countries have proposed language that has nothing to do with the budget,” he said, adding that Israel had the utmost respect for the work being carried out by UNIFIL.  The entire Committee should not be “dragged through the mud” by those attempting to politicize the issue, he said, requesting a separate single vote be taken on the fourth preambular paragraph, and on the existing operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 14.


Next, the representative of Lebanon said that UNIFIL, which had been in operation since 1978, had been deliberately attacked by Israel in 1996.  Women and children were among the 100 victims of the shelling.  Scores had been wounded, including peacekeepers.  The United Nations had carried out an investigation and the results, issued in 1996, revealed the truth about the incident.  The paragraphs called into questions were not political:  they called on Israel to pay for the damage caused by its actions.


The “token amount” — of some $1.1 million — could in no way compensate for all the suffering.  Further, the payment was to be made to the United Nations, not Lebanon.  Similar language to that being disputed today had been included in 19 resolutions, all of which had been ignored by Israel.  If Lebanon had wished to insert political matters regarding Israel’s violation of international law into the text, “I assure you, the list [of paragraphs] would have been much longer,” he said.


The representative of Cuba said that it was totally unacceptable that the voting machine in the meeting room was malfunctioning, and suggested that a “roll call” vote be held instead so that he Committee could finish its work in a timely and professional manner.


Preambular paragraph 4, and existing operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 14 were retained by a roll call vote of 91 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with 48 abstentions.


Following that action, the resolution as a whole, as orally amended, was adopted by a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States).


Speaking in explanation of vote after action, the representative of Denmark, on behalf of the European Union, said that his delegation was concerned that no consensus could be reached during the negotiations on the resolution, and regretted that political elements had been introduced into the Committee’s work.  European Union member States had abstained on the first vote because they considered the text inappropriate in the context of matters regarding UNIFIL.


He said that the broader political aspects of the events to which the draft referred, including the incident at Qana, had been extensively debated in the Assembly in 1996.  At that time, the Union’s member States had made their position on the issue clear.  As for today’s action, he said the European Union wished to underline that it would have wished that consultations could have been confined only to the budgetary aspects of the financing of UNIFIL.  He added that the bloc’s members had voted in favour of the resolution as a whole, since it provided the mission with the adequate resources to fulfil its important mandate.  


Canada’s representative said that his delegation had found it necessary to oppose the text, but that opposition should in no way be considered a lack of confidence in the work of UNIFIL.  At the same time, his delegation found several paragraphs of the text to be inappropriate, especially as it attempted to politicize the Committee’s work.  He said that the resolution included language calling on Israel to pay for damages caused by the incident at Qana, and the Committee was not the venue for such a call to be made.


The representative of the United States said the use of General Assembly funding resolutions to pursue claims against a Member State procedurally was not correct.  That was the reason his delegation had opposed the Assembly resolutions on this item in previous years, since they required Israel to pay for costs stemming from the Qana incident of 1996.  These resolutions were not consensus resolutions.  Since shortly after the United Nations inception, the procedure which had been followed was that the Secretary-General presented and pursued the settlement of the Organization’s claims against a State or States, he said.  Using a funding resolution to legislate a settlement was inappropriate.  It also politicized the work of the Fifth Committee and should be avoided both now and in the future.


Taking the floor a second time, the representative of Cuba said his delegation was profoundly concerned by the malfunctioning voting machine. He wondered what would happen when other Committee’s attempted to carry out their work, particularly the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural) or the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) where everyone knew the voting could be intense.  What had occurred today was “scandalous” and the Committee must consider the matter during its next substantive session when it discussed matters regarding the Capital Master Plan.


Also sent to the Assembly without a vote was a draft resolution on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (document A/C.5/66/L.52).  By the text, the Assembly would be asked to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $839.49 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Commenting on the draft resolution, the representative of the Russian Federation said that his delegation had supported consensus on the text, but would note that the ACABQ report on the mission had emphasized the unrealistic character of the goals set for the operation.  It also noted large expenditures for civilian personnel and auxiliary resources.  He hoped that, in the future, the Secretariat would adhere more strictly to the mandates set out for respective missions by the Security Council.


Moving on, the Committee approved without a vote a text on financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/C.5/66/L.41), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission the amount of $_________ for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $58.25 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Approved next without a vote was a draft resolution on financing of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur(UNAMID) (document A/C.5/66/L.42), which would have the Assembly appropriate to the Special Account for the Operation the amount of $_________ from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $1.44 billion for the maintenance of the Operation, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


The Committee approved without a vote a text on financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 1863 (2009) (document A/C.5/66/L.53), by which the Assembly would appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia the amount of $_________ from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, inclusive of $436.9 million for the maintenance of the entity, $_________ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_________ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.


Turning to the last agenda item “review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations,” the Committee approved without a vote a draft decision on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/66/L.58).  The text would allow the Assembly to defer — until the second resumed session of the sixth-seventh session — consideration of the Secretary-General’s report on the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as of 30 June 2012 (A/66/665) and the related report of ACABQ (A/66/713), as well as the Secretary-General’s report on the budget performance of the United Nations Mission in Sudan from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 (A/66/608) and the related report of ACABQ (A/66/718/Add.5).


Closing Remarks


The representative of the European Union said the Group was satisfied with the Committee’s achievements relating to the peacekeeping operations’ budgets.  The budget levels agreed upon ensured that the Missions were provided with the resources required to implement their mandates and, at the same time, more closely reflected the need for effective and efficient management of the Organization.  The European Union also welcomed the adoption of a resolution on cross-cutting issues and the guidance it provided for more effective peacekeeping.


On the Global Support Strategy, while welcoming the progress this session made in various components, the European Union felt there were reasons for a more ambitious decision regarding the comprehensive re-profiling of the Global Service Centre in Brindisi, including its facility in Valencia, she said.  The European Union looked forward to considering next year’s report of the Secretary-General with his end-state vision for the Strategy, which must provide Member States with detailed information, including on the role and functions to be performed by the whole Global Service Centre and by the Regional Service Centre.


As for United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA), the 27 European Union member States firmly believed that it was a matter of principle that there should be no backdating of payments of troop costs and contingent-owned equipment before the actual integration of any forces under the command of the African Union, she stated.  In the specific case of UNSOA, no payment should, therefore, be made before the date of signature on the memorandum of understanding between the African Union and the troop-contributing country.  The number of troops should be verified before any payment was made.


Japan’s representative said that compared with last year, the mere fact that this formal session took place 12 June showed how constructively Member States had been engaged in the discussion.  His Government expressed hope that the spirit would be maintained and strengthened during the forthcoming session, where many challenging but important items, such as scale of assessment and mobility policy, would be addressed.


It was striking that the overall budget level of peacekeeping missions which was agreed on in this Committee was more than 6 per cent lower than last year’s budget level, he said.  However, his delegation was fully aware that the reduction stemmed largely from the reduction of mandates of several peacekeeping missions.  With that in mind, Japan would like to encourage the Secretariat to pursue its efforts to find out more structural and sustainable efficiency gains through, among others, the efforts made by the Resource Efficiency Group.


The Committee agreed on the interim measures on the troop costs, he said.  This issue required a mid- and long-term solution.  In this respect, all delegates were encouraged to actively engage in the discussion on the troop costs in accordance with the recommendations to be made by the Senior Advisory Group, with a view to reaching a balanced and sustainable solution, which bears great importance for the valuable partnership for peacekeeping operations. 


The representative of New Zealand, speaking also on behalf of Canada and Australia, said delegates rolled up sleeves to tackle the heavy program before the Committee and was pleased with the overall achievements in the second resumed session.  He also paid tribute to individual delegates leaving the Committee.


The representative of the United States said that at the beginning of the session his delegation emphasized the importance of reaching real consensus.  In several previous sessions, negotiations had been contentious and unfortunately the Committee had not been able to reach consensus on some key issues.  In contrast, the current session had demonstrated that the Committee was able, when it chose, to tackle difficult, complex issues and reach consensus. 


While there was inevitably some language that was not what the United States would have written, he felt the outcome of this session was “a win for all Member States and for the global peacekeeping partnership”.  Even in these very difficult financial times, the contribution of troop-contributing countries was recognized with a supplemental payment and an agreement was made to consider the results of the Senior Advisory Group on reimbursement rates and related issues in the coming year. 


The Committee had identified significant savings and efficiencies that would not diminish the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.  His Government was also pleased that the Committee had agreed to reverse the cuts proposed to the nascent political mission in Libya.  The cuts would have significantly impacted the ability of the mission to fulfil its difficult, crucial work in such areas as human rights and electoral support.


The representative of Côte d’Ivoire thanked the Chairman, whose guidance and wisdom had allowed the Committee to achieve success during the resumed session.  On the issue of troop reimbursements, he thanked all delegations that had helped find a solution for that “difficult situation”, especially when peacekeepers worked in difficult situations.  Indeed, just last week, seven peacekeepers had lost their lives while patrolling the Côte d’Ivoire-Liberia border.  That sorrowful incident should guide delegations in their work towards ensuring that all missions and operations were adequately resourced on all fronts.


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For information media • not an official record