9 October 2012
General Assembly
GA/AB/4040

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

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

Fifth Committee

4th Meeting (AM)


Fifth Committee Takes Up Scale of Assessments for Determining Member State

 

Contributions to 2013-2015 Peacekeeping Budget

 


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up the scale of assessments for determining Member States’ contributions for the Organization’s 2013-2015 peacekeeping operations budget, with speakers strongly cautioning against any changes to the methodology that would place extra financial burdens on small developing countries and did not reflect the “special responsibility” of permanent Security Council members to maintain international peace and security.


That discussion came just a week after delegates aired their differences over the suitability of a scale of assessments for the regular budget of the United Nations for the same three-year period that begins in January.  At that meeting, some speakers believed the complex methodology used to determine the scale should remain as is, while others said it must be fine-tuned in order to reflect each Member State’s real and current capacity to pay, while ensuring the Organization meets its expanding set of mandates (See Press Release GA/AB/4038).


Today, Deputy Controller Chandramouli Ramanathan introduced the Secretary-General’s report on financing peacekeeping operations and implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236.  With resolution 55/235, the Assembly had created a new system of adjustments of regular budget scale rates to set Member States’ rates of assessment for the Organization’s peacekeeping duties.


[Annex II of this year’s report lays out updates to the composition of levels of contribution for peacekeeping operations for 2013-2015, which the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to do on a triennial basis.  Annex I lays out a structure of 10 peacekeeping levels (Levels A to J), which is based on the per capita gross national income of Member States and other factors.]


When the floor was opened for comments, several delegates said the peacekeeping budget scale must clearly reflect the responsibility of the permanent Security Council members to maintain global peace and security while recognizing the limited capacity of less economically developed countries to contribute to peacekeeping budgets.


Speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Algeria’s delegate said no Group member that was not a permanent Council member should be categorized above level C.  Permanent Council members should continue to shoulder their respective premiums for peacekeeping financing.  “It is not acceptable that some permanent members are seeking to shift their rightful burden to developing countries,” he said.  Developing countries should not be forced to accept reductions in their discounts, or be assigned to the same level of contributions as developed countries, such as level B, based on per capita income, he added.


The representative of the Bahamas, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), also rejected any change aimed at boosting the contribution of developing countries.  CARICOM was hurt in 2009, when adjustments created an unfortunate anomaly by which the Bahamas shifted into level B, which should be reserved for developed countries.  CARICOM opposed any attempt towards further graduation of developing countries or the elimination of level C.  “These actions in fact defy the consistent application of the principle of ‘capacity to pay’ and the concept of fair and just burden sharing,” she added.


The Philippines’ delegate, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said level C should continue to serve as the marker between developed and developing countries and no developing country should be categorized above it.  He expressed concern over the automatic graduation of developing countries into level B, which was contrary to the principle established in Assembly resolution 55/235 over the different burden-sharing between developed and developing countries.  He called for reassigning level B developing countries to level C or below.


The United States delegate said the system of discounts contained in the peacekeeping scale of assessment was defined by economic indicators, namely the three criteria for identifying least developing countries used by the Economic and Social Council and per capital gross national income.  The exception to that rule was level C, which included five wealthy countries that met every criteria approved by the Assembly for level B in its resolutions 55/235.  That was reaffirmed in Assembly resolution 64/249.  The United States stressed the importance of every Member State paying its fair share of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations under the scale of assessments for 2013-2015.


Yet the representative of Singapore said that permanent Council members’ special responsibility to maintain global peace and security must be at the forefront of any discussion on the peacekeeping scale.  He was concerned that some permanent Council members would like to retain the benefits of their privileged status while reducing or eliminating the discounts of other countries.  “If the modest costs of maintaining a fair peacekeeping scale are truly so onerous to these permanent members, then they should consider expanding the permanent membership of the Security Council,” he said.


In other business, the Committee approved a consensus resolution that would allow the Central African Republic, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia to keep their voting rights during this year’s General Assembly session.


Also today, Kenneth Herman, senior advisor on Information Management Policy Coordination, secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), introduced the Secretary-General’s document on the financial situation of the organizations of the United Nations system.


Ronald Reich, Officer-in-Charge for the United Nations Office for Partnerships, introduced the Secretariat’s report on the Office, which helps forge public-private partnerships with the United Nations system to support the Millennium Development Goals.


Also speaking on the peacekeeping operations financing issues were the representatives of Saudi Arabia (on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council), Japan, Jamaica, Malaysia and Brunei.


A representative of the Delegation of the European Union also spoke on that issue.


The Fifth Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. Wednesday, 10 October, to discuss the Programme Budget:  biennium 2012-2013, focusing on overseas property management and construction.


Background


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to take action on a draft resolution on an agenda item regarding the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations.  It also met to discuss items on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of expenses for United Nations peacekeeping operations; the administration and budgetary coordination of United Nations Specialized Agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); and the programme budget:  biennium 2012-2013, United Nations Partnerships.


Regarding the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations, the Committee had before it the Secretary-General’s report Implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236 (document A/67/224).  In this document, the Secretariat urged the Assembly to decide on the structure of levels of contribution for such operations, the composition for the period 2013-2015, and the level for South Sudan for 2011 and 2012.


The report pointed out that until the Assembly has adopted a new scale of assessments, it could not determine the corresponding rates of peacekeeping assessments for the 2013-2015 period.  Any adjustments to the structure of contribution levels for peacekeeping operations, as the Assembly may decide during its sixty-seventh session, would also need to be taken into account in determining the rates of assessment for peacekeeping.  For illustrative purposes, using the existing structure of contribution levels as a base, Annex III of the report lays out the peacekeeping rates of assessment.  This corresponds to the scale of assessments for the period 2013-2015, which was included for information in the report of the Committee on Contributions.


On another issue, the Committee had before it a note by the Secretary-General:  Budgetary and financial situation of the organizations of the United Nations system (document A/67/215).  This note transmits to the Assembly the statistical report of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) on the budgetary and financial situation of the organizations of the United Nations system.


In its resolution 63/311 on system-wide coherence, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to create a central repository of information on operational activities for development.  This would include disaggregated statistics on all funding sources and expenditures and build on the comprehensive statistical analysis of the financing of operational activities for development.  It would ensure appropriate and user-friendly online access and regularly update the information.


The CEB secretariat has worked continuously to enhance the structure and content of the present report.  Each release of the survey has included more comprehensive data on revenue and expenses relating to extra-budgetary resources from Governments and from non-State donors.


Finally, the Committee had before it the Secretary-General’s report United Nations Office for Partnerships (document A/67/165).  The Office serves as a gateway for public-private partnerships with the United Nations system to support the Millennium Development Goals.  The Office oversees the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), created in 1998 to be the link between the Organization system and the United Nations Foundation — the public charity responsible for administering Robert E. Turner’s $1 billion contribution in support of United Nations causes.


At year-end 2011, the cumulative allocations provided by the United Nations Foundation through UNFIP to projects implemented by the United Nations system reached about $1.19 billion.  Of this amount, $0.4 billion (37 per cent) represented core Turner funds, and $0.7 billion (63 per cent) was generated from other co-financing partners.  The total number of United Nations projects supported at year-end 2011 by the Foundation, through UNFIP, stood at 524.  These projects have been implemented by 43 United Nations entities in 124 countries.


The Office also oversees the United Nations Democracy Fund, created by the Secretary-General in July 2005 to support democratization around the world.  Through this Democracy Fund, the Office has sent about $110 million to more than 400 projects in 150 countries around the world.


Further to the report, the Office also oversees the Partnership advisory services and outreach, initiated in 2006.  The Office provides advice to entities, including academic institutions, companies, foundations, government agencies, media groups and civil society organizations.


Action on Draft


The Committee then approved the draft resolution on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations:  request under Article 19 of the Charter (A/C.5/67/L.2) concerning an exemption for the Central African Republic, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia.


Scale of Assessments for Peacekeeping Missions


CHANDRAMOULI RAMANATHAN, Deputy Controller, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on Implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236 (document A/67/224).  In resolution 55/235, the Assembly established a new system of adjustments of regular budget scale rates in determining Member States’ rates of assessment for peacekeeping operations.  In accordance with a number of criteria, including average per capita gross national income, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to update the composition within the established levels on a triennial basis, in conjunction with the regular budget scale of assessment reviews, and report them to the Assembly, he said.


On the basis of the resolution’s provisions and the Assembly practice adopted for the composition of levels for the 2001-2003 period, he said the Secretary-General updated the composition of levels for the periods 2004-2006, 2007-2009 and 2010-2012 using the average data on gross national income for the six-year base period used by the Committee on Contributions in considering the scale of assessment for those periods.  Accordingly, data for the six-year period 2005-2010 were used in updating the composition of levels for the 2013-2015 period.  The composition of levels was updated based on the provisions of resolution 55/235 and each Member State’s average per capita gross national income for 2015-2010 in relation to the membership average of $8,337.50, he said.


Last week, the Assembly began its consideration of the scale of assessments for the period 2013-2015.  Until a new regular budget scale was adopted, it would not be possible to determine the corresponding rates of assessments for peacekeeping operations for the 2013-2015 period, he said.


Any adjustments to the structure of contribution levels for peacekeeping operations, as the Assembly may decide during its sixty-seventh session, would also need to be taken into account in determining the rates of assessment for peacekeeping, he said.  To help the Assembly’s review of the issue, document A/67/224 presented the peacekeeping rates of assessment corresponding to the scale of assessment for the period 2013-2015, which was included for information in the report of the Committee on Contributions.


South Sudan was admitted to membership in the United Nations on 14 July 2011 and the Committee on Contributions recommended to the Assembly that the regular budget rate of assessment of South Sudan be established at 0.003 per cent for 2011 and 2012.  In order to determine the rate of assessment for peacekeeping operations, the Assembly would also need to decide on the contribution level for South Sudan for 2011 and 2012, he added.


MOURAD BENMEHIDI ( Algeria), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said peacekeeping operations needed the requisite resources to carry out their activities.  The Group’s 28 September 2012 Ministerial Declaration had stressed that the current principles and guidelines for apportioning expenses to peacekeeping should be the basis for discussing the peacekeeping scale.  It stated that the scale must clearly reflect the responsibility of the permanent Security Council members to maintain global peace and security; discussions on the discount system applied to the scale should take that into account the limited capacity of less economically developed countries to contribute to peacekeeping budgets; no Group member that was not a permanent Council member should be categorized above level C. 


Permanent Council members should continue to shoulder their respective premiums for peacekeeping financing.  “It is not acceptable that some permanent members are seeking to shift their rightful burden to developing countries,” he said.  Developing countries should not be forced to accept reductions in their discounts, or be assigned to the same level of contributions as developed countries, such as level B, based on per capita income.  Such a measure ignored the difficulty of developing countries with small populations in contributing financially to peacekeeping operations. 


Least developed countries, which were the “epicentre” of peacekeeping operations, merited special consideration, he said.  He expressed deep concern that the automatic application of the current discount system had created a situation whereby developing countries, including small island developing States, could be artificially classified in the developed world category, or level B, and forced to relinquish their discounts.  That violated the principle that developing countries had limited capacity to contribute and that Council members had a special responsibility.  “These anomalies need to be corrected in order to have a fair and just distribution of the levels of discounts,” he said, calling for the correction to take effect immediately.  Negotiations on the matter must be open, inclusive and transparent.  He reiterated the Group’s strong opposition to making decisions on the matter based on conditionalities and in small group configurations.


PAULETTE BETHEL (Bahamas) spoke on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and aligned herself with the statement made earlier on behalf of the “Group of 77”.  The Organization’s scale of assessments for peacekeeping should take into account the particular circumstances of small island developing States, as well as countries with small populations and a “perceived” high per capita income.  Those economies were nevertheless open and vulnerable.  And per capita Gross Domestic Product/Gross National Income should not be used as the predominate measure in determining the levels of assessment for peacekeeping operations.


CARICOM opposed any attempt towards further graduation of developing countries or the elimination of level C.  “These actions in fact defy the consistent application of the principle of ‘capacity to pay’ and the concept of fair and just burden sharing,” she added.  CARICOM, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China had consistently said that no developing country should be categorized above the level of C in the peacekeeping scale.


She said CARICOM strongly supported the position that there should be a clear differentiation of burden-sharing responsibilities between developed and developing countries.  The creation of level C represented the clear delineation between the developed and developing countries.  This category should be maintained and expanded to accommodate other developing countries, she said.


Again backing the position of the “Group of 77”, CARICOM rejected any change to the elements of the current methodology used to prepare the scale of assessments aimed at increasing the contribution of developing countries.  CARICOM was negatively impacted by the political construct reached in 2009, which created an unfortunate anomaly by which the Bahamas was graduated into category B, which should be reserved for developed countries, she said.


ABDULLAH AHMED AL-GHAMDI ( Saudi Arabia), speaking on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said peacekeeping operations must be given sufficient funding and resources to carry out their mandates.  He strongly affirmed that the general principles for financing peacekeeping operations, approved in Assembly resolution 55/235, should form the basis for discussion on the scale of assessments for apportioning such expenses, and that the scope of financing such operations must clearly reflect the special responsibilities of permanent Security Council members.  He stressed the limited capacity of less economically developed countries to contribute to peacekeeping budgets. 


He went on to express deep concern over the current system of discounts applied to the scale of assessments for financing peacekeeping operations, which had led to the transfer of some developing countries to the category of the most advanced countries, specifically level B.  He stressed the need to take into account what had been agreed upon in the Group of 77 and China’s 28 September 2012 Ministerial Declaration, which stated that no Group member that was not a permanent Council member should be categorized above level C.  Transparency was needed when negotiating that item.  In that regard, he stressed the role and the legitimacy and efficiency of the Fifth Committee as the main Committee of the Assembly entrusted with administrative and budgetary items.


LIBRAN CABACTULAN (Philippines), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said all Member States should meet their financial obligations so the Organization had the necessary resources to carry out peacekeeping operations.  Developing countries were assuming more responsibilities for peacekeeping financing.  Under the current methodology, their contribution rates, including those of ASEAN members, would grow, while developed countries’ rates would decline.  Nevertheless, ASEAN members remained committed to doing their part to ensure peacekeeping operations’ efficient functioning.


The special responsibility of the permanent Council members to maintain international peace and security must be considered in connection with their contributions to peacekeeping financing, he said.  Under the current methodology, permanent Council members absorbed the discounts applied to other Member States with limited pay capacity.  Permanent Council members should continue to be assessed at a higher rate for the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations than for the regular budget. 


Peacekeeping financing must recognize the special circumstances of developing countries, which included small, vulnerable economies that might have a misleadingly high per capita income because of their small populations, he said.  There must be a clear differentiation between the responsibilities of developed and developing countries that recognized the latter’s limited pay capacity.  Level C should continue to serve as the marker between developed and developing countries; no developing country should be categorized above it.  He expressed concern over the automatic graduation of developing countries into level B, as it was contrary to the principle established in Assembly resolution 55/235 over the different burden-sharing between developed and developing countries.  He called for reassigning level B developing countries to level C or below.


FRANCESCO PRESUTTI, Delegation of the European Union, said Member States of the Union remain committed to providing adequate and efficient financial backing for United Nations peacekeeping operations.  The reform of peacekeeping rates of assessments in 2000 was aimed at providing an equitable and stable and sustainable financial basis for these essential tasks.  Funding the Organization was the joint responsibility of the entire membership and was essential to its effective functioning.


The peacekeeping rates of assessments should reflect the capacity to pay and the special responsibility of the permanent members of the Security Council.  In addition, the rates of assessment should be organized so all Member States were encouraged to assume responsibility for the effective management and responsible budgeting of peacekeeping missions.  The level of surcharge and contributions should be sustainable, he said.


The European Union was ready to review the structure of contribution levels of peacekeeping operations rates of assessment, as reflected in Assembly resolution 55/235.  It was essential that any discounts in the scale rates for peacekeeping operations were based on objective and comparable criteria.  This was currently not the case, for example, for level C.  “A fresh and pertinent analysis could prove beneficial in ensuring that the scale better reflects the principle of capacity pay,” he said.


KEN SIAH ( Singapore) said his country had always honoured its assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions, even though it faced inherent limitations in its capacity to pay.   Most Member States had significant challenges paying their peacekeeping contributions because of their small physical size.  Like other small States, Singapore lacked natural resources, and had to import food, water and fuel.  Such economic, structural and geophysical challenges could not be ignored.  The permanent Council members’ special responsibility to maintain global peace and security must be at the forefront of any discussion on the peacekeeping scale.  They held power and influence above the rest of the membership.  As such, there must always be a level A in the discount system for the peacekeeping scale, with permanent Council members absorbing the discounts of other members.  He was concerned that some permanent Council members would like to retain the benefits of their privileged permanent membership while reducing or eliminating the discounts of other countries. 


“If the modest costs of maintaining a fair peacekeeping scale are truly so onerous to these permanent members, then they should consider expanding the permanent membership of the Security Council,” he said.  The 10-level peacekeeping scale set in 2000 was equitable and did not structurally disadvantage any country or group of countries.  It should remain in place to reflect Member States’ different responsibilities and stages of development.  He opposed any proposals that would force countries to accept more reductions in their discounts.  There must be a clear acknowledgement of the challenges faced by developing countries, particularly small developing States.  They should not be assigned automatically to the de facto level B developed world category solely based on their nominally high per capita incomes.  Small countries’ per capita income could appear high, inaccurately reflecting their real economic situations and capacity to assume developed world obligations.


TED DINTERSMITH (United States), noting that his country was “by far” the largest financial contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations, said the United States’ share of the peacekeeping budget was likely to increase beyond the existing level of more than 27.1 per cent.  “We strongly oppose any efforts that would unfairly burden the United States with additional assessments,” he added.


The system of discounts contained in the peacekeeping scale of assessment was defined by economic indicators, namely the three criteria for identifying least developing countries used by the Economic and Social Council and by per capita gross national income. The exception to this rule was level C, which was made up of five wealthy countries that met every criteria approved by the Assembly for level B in its resolution 55/235 and reaffirmed in its resolution 64/249.  The United States stressed the importance of every Member State paying its fair share of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations under the scale of assessments for 2013-2015, he said.


MONDO YAMAMOTO ( Japan) said that as the second largest financial contributor to the United Nations, his country attached great importance to the scale of assessments for apportioning expenses for the Organization and its peacekeeping operations.  Japan had paid its dues faithfully, despite economic and financial woes.  Since the scale of assessments for all peacekeeping operations was based on the scale of assessments for the Organization as a whole according to the capacity-to-pay principle, discussions on the latter should be reflected appropriately in discussions on the former.  It was necessary to respect and adhere to the capacity-to-pay principle.  Discussions on the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations must also consider the principle of responsibility.  Based on those principles, Japan would actively and constructively participate in negotiations to ensure a comprehensive review of the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations.


RAYMOND WOLFE (Jamaica), aligning his statement with those made on behalf of the “Group of 77” and CARICOM, said any reduction in the resources meant for peacekeeping operations should not lead to a narrowing of activities considered crucial to their mandates of maintaining political stability and securing the rule of law.  But the special circumstances of developing countries and the difficulties they confronted in meeting their obligations relating to contributions to missions should be treated with the gravity it deserved.


The placement of developing countries above the level C was far from ideal, he said.  Assembly resolution 55/235 emphasized the special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Security Council should be borne in mind, in connection with their contributions to the financing of peace and security operations.  Developing countries with small, open and vulnerable economies cannot and should not be expected to shoulder the same financial burden as developing countries.  “This is particularly the case for middle income countries such as my own whose burdensome debt to GDP ratios serve to limit their fiscal space,” he said.


HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia) said his country had actively participated in several peacekeeping missions worldwide, contributing more than 20,000 troops since the 1960s.  Peacekeeping operations must be given the requisite resources to carry out their mandates.  Determining the corresponding assessment rates for peacekeeping operations for the period 2013-2015 depended greatly on adoption of a new scale of assessments for the regular budget.  He hoped that matter would be resolved accordingly to sustain the operations in the future.  As stated in the 29 September 2012 Ministerial Declaration of the Group of 77 and China, the peacekeeping scale must clearly reflect the permanent Council members’ special responsibility to maintain global peace and security.  It would be “irresponsible” for permanent Council members to seek to shift their rightful burden to developing countries.  As such, no developing countries should be allotted the same level as developed countries based on their per capita income or capacity to pay.


To avoid any discriminatory practices in determining the developing countries’ responsibility in the peacekeeping scale, more comprehensive, definitive steps should be taken, as called for by Member States, he said.  Automatically applying level C developing countries to the level B rate would impede the peacekeeping scale of assessments for those countries, including small island developing States.  The current system must reflect a fair distribution of discounts among developing countries, and it must reassign developing countries according to their actual ability to pay.  Under the 2013-2015 scale of assessment rates, Malaysia’s rate could increase, as it had in previous budget cycles.  He looked forward to the forthcoming negotiations on that matter.


LATIF TUAH (Brunei Darussalam) backed the statements made by the representatives of the Philippines, on behalf of ASEAN, and Algeria, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.  He said there was pressure by certain countries to eliminate level C of the peacekeeping scale and to graduate to level B all developing countries that met that category’s per capita income threshold.  Peacekeeping financing should take into account developing countries’ special circumstances, including those countries with high per capita income because of their small populations. 


The peacekeeping scale should continue to uphold the principle of explicit, meaningful distinction between developed and developing countries.  Developing countries should not be assigned to the same contribution level as developed countries on the basis of their per capita income.  He supported the position of ASEAN and the Group of 77 and China that no developing country should be categorized above level C.  He was prepared to engage constructively on the Committee’s discussions on that matter.


Administrative and Budgetary Coordination of the United Nations with the Specialized Agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency


KENNETH HARMAN, Senior Adviser, Information Management Policy Coordination, Secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, introduced the Secretary-General’s note transmitting CEB’s statistical report on the budgetary and financial situation of the United Nations system organizations (document A/67/215).  The report was the only system-wide source of financial statistics for the United Nations organizations.  Whenever possible, its figures were based on official data according to organizations’ financial statements.  


In response to Assembly resolution 63/311, the CEB secretariat had worked closely with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs to harmonize data collection and reporting processes, he said.  The data collected during that exercise was now used as a basis for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs report on operational activities for development.  By setting up one data collection mechanism, the United Nations system’s reporting workload had been reduced greatly.  Thirty-three organizations had participated in the July 2012 member organizations’ survey, including for the first time the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and UN-Women.


The CEB secretariat had continuously worked to enhance data transparency and availability, he continued.  Its database now contained comprehensive data on five consecutive biennia, from 2002-2003 through 2011-2011.  Thanks to continuing implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards, the statistical report would in the future be prepared and presented annually.  To improve transparency, revenue was now reported by four major categories:  assessed contributions; non-earmarked voluntary contributions; earmarked voluntary contributions; and revenue from other activities.  The report also included a new table on total expenses for the period 2010-2011 by five major programme categories:  development assistance; humanitarian assistance; technical cooperation; peacekeeping operations; and normative, treaty-related and knowledge creation activities.


Programme Budget for the Biennium 2012-2013


RONALD REICH, Officer-in-Charge, United Nations Office for Partnerships, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on that Office (document A/67/165).  It covered three main areas:  the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships, United Nations Democracy Fund, and Partnerships Advisory Services and Outreach.  The United Nations had received $1.2 billion for projects in the four main thematic areas of the United Nations Foundation’s work:  women and children’s health, including projects aimed at polio eradication, measles reduction, malaria prevention and the “Every Woman Every Child” initiative; women and population, including projects aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls; environment, including projects aimed at promoting the “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative, ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the global rate of improving energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable resources; and peace, security and human rights.


Annex I to the report gave detailed information on the distribution of some 524 projects in 124 countries.  He pointed to an error in Annex II to the report, and said he was providing the Committee with a revised table that would reflect the total value of projects approved in 2011 as $48.61 million.  The report also provided a breakdown of the percentage of funding provided by the United Nations Democracy Fund for specific projects including:  community development (33 per cent); women’s empowerment (26 per cent); youth (15 per cent); media (9 per cent); strengthening Government instruments (8 per cent); rule of law and human rights (6 per cent); and tools for democratization (3 per cent).  The Advisory Board had approved the holding of a sixth round of funding.  In November and December 2011 the United Nations Democracy Fund received more than 2,800 applications for project proposals from organizations in 141 countries. 


He said the Secretary-General would make a proposal to the Assembly to create a mechanism to strengthen the United Nations capacity to build broad multi-stakeholder partnerships to deliver the Organization’s goals as mandated by its Member States.  The Secretary-General was conducting a review of current practices in that field among the various United Nations bodies engaged in partnerships in order to present the most cohesive, effective mechanism for the Assembly’s consideration.  The initial findings of that review would be presented during the course of the Assembly’s sixty-seventh session.


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