24 December 2012
General Assembly
GA/AB/4057

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

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

Fifth Committee

22nd Meeting (PM)


Fifth Committee, Concluding Session, Approves 2013-2015 Assessment Scales Used


to Determine Member State Contributions to Regular, Peacekeeping Budgets

 


Also Approves Revised Budget Appropriations for 2012-2013 Biennium; Other

Texts Address, Among Others, Special Political Missions, Pension Fund Change


Emerging from protracted negotiations that continued throughout the weekend, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today wrapped up the main part of its sixty-seventh session by recommending that the General Assembly retain the existing formula for assessing Member States’ financial contributions to the Organization’s regular budget and its peacekeeping operations during the 2013-2015 period.


With the current methodology for determining that scale set to expire at year’s end, some delegates had argued in recent weeks that it must be fine-tuned in order to reflect each Member State’s real and current capacity to pay.  But, by a consensus approved text, the Committee asked the Assembly today to keep in place existing factors for measuring the scale for the regular budget, including the average statistical base period of three to six years, a country’s gross national income converted to United States dollars using market exchange rates, and its population size.


Further, the Assembly would maintain the 0.01 per cent ceiling for assessing the rate of least developed countries, and the 22 per cent maximum assessment rate for everyone else.  The Committee on Contributions would be asked to review and make recommendations on the factors used in the scale in order to reflect Member States’ capacity to pay, and report on its findings during the main part of the Assembly’s seventieth session.


Concerning peacekeeping assessments — where each Member State is assigned to one of 10 levels, with corresponding discount rates — the Committee approved another consensus text in which it asked the Assembly to take note of updates to those levels, as suggested by the Secretary-General.  Then, it would endorse those updates subject to certain provisions, and use them to establish member States’ fees for the period 2013 to 2015.  The Assembly, recognizing the need for reform, would decide to review the structure of the assessment scale during its seventieth session.


Though not tasked with approving a budget this year, the Committee examined the Secretary-General’s performance report of the budget during the first year of the 2012-2013 budget cycle, and asked the Assembly in a consensus text to revise expenditures upwards by $243.26 million to $5.39 billion, and income by $3.99 million to $511.74 million, for the current biennium.


The primary purpose of a first performance report is to pinpoint budget adjustments required because of variations in the rate of inflation, shifting exchange rates and standards used to calculate appropriation, as well as unforeseen and extraordinary expenses and decisions of policymaking organs – an exercise known as “recosting”.


During the Committee’s main session, delegates had argued over the merit of the recosting exercise, with some saying the Secretariat had broken the established budgetary rules and methodologies, while others called for recosting to be scrapped altogether.


With another consensus text, the Committee asked the Assembly to make promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development, maintenance of international peace and security, development of Africa, and promotion of human rights, among other issues, the priorities of the Secretary-General’s proposed programme budget for the 2014-2015 biennium. 


The Secretary-General’s proposed budget for 33 special political missions came under scrutiny, with the Committee sending the Assembly a request to approve $566.48 million to keep them running in 2013. 


The Committee’s attention also focused on two thorny management issues, including the post-adjustment payment for staff and conditions of service, while action on the Secretary-General’s staff mobility and career development initiative was deferred to the resumed part of the Assembly’s sixty-seventh session.


Earlier in the year, after delegates had criticized the International Civil Service Commission’s recommendation to use its established methodology and increase the post-adjustment payment for staff members, the Commission delayed its promulgation, normally due in August, to give Member States a chance to discuss the issue. 


By a consensus text, the Committee asked the Assembly to ask the Commission to maintain the current post-adjustment multiplier until 31 January 2013, with the understanding that the post-adjustment system’s normal operation would resume on 1 February 2013.


With another consensus text, the Committee asked the Assembly to increase the mandatory retirement age to 65 for new participants of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund effective no later than 1 January 2014, and amend Fund regulations to allow for the recovery of pension entitlements from staff who defrauded participating employers, as ways to improve the Fund’s actuarial situation.


The Committee also moved to approve a revised plan and extra funds to implement the enterprise resource planning system, whose project timetable had slipped back more than three years to 2018.  Known as Umoja, the Swahili word for unity, the system aims to streamline business practices and boost efficiency throughout the United Nations.


In another consensus text, on questions related to the current biennium’s programme budget, the Committee called for $1.79 million gross ($1.69 million net) to advance development of the Organization’s revamped system of administering justice — which comprises informal and formal mechanisms to resolve disputes for tens of thousands of employees worldwide.


Regarding the Capital Master Plan, the ambitious, multiyear overhaul of the United Nations historic Headquarters complex on Manhattan’s East Side slated for completion in mid-2014, the Committee asked the Assembly to approve proposals to reduce or offset costs so the project could be funded within the Plan’s approved budget.  It recommended the Assembly approve the extension of the approved commitment authority for 2012 into 2013, and authorize the Secretary-General to enter into additional commitments of up to $167.77 million for 2013.


The commitments made at last June’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development also received the Committee’s attention as it backed the spending of $8.77 million in the current biennium to implement the sustainable development goals and other outcomes of the Conference. 


As the Assembly body charged with overseeing the Organization’s spending, the Committee also considered several issues that carried budget implications.  It asked the Assembly to approve funding to continue the Secretary-General’s good offices in 2013 in Myanmar, facilitate the final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York next March, and hold extra meetings of the Committee on Torture so it could address its backlog of States parties’ reports. 


The Committee also sent recommendations to the Assembly regarding the financing of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT); the Special Court for Sierra Leone; the International Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and their Residual Mechanism; additional facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa; the enterprise resource planning project; the International Public Sector Accounting Standards; resolutions and decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council; revised estimates resulting from the work of the Economic and Social Council; programme planning; pattern of conferences; the contingency fund; and financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors.


Prior to action concerning the former Yugoslavia Tribunal, the Committee — in a recorded vote of 59 against to 17 in favour, with 58 abstentions — rejected an amendment proposed by the Russian Federation and Serbia to include in the draft language endorsing the call by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) to have the Tribunal’s extra resource requirements absorbed within existing resources and to replace the Tribunal’s biennial budget cycle with an annual cycle, among other things.


Lastly, the Committee approved a consensus text asking the Assembly to defer until the first part of its resumed sixty-seventh session consideration of several Secretary-General and ACABQ reports concerning such items as civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict, organizational resilience management, retired staff, consultants and individual contractors, activities of the Ethics Office, sick leave, activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), and the review of arrangements for funding and backstopping special political missions and the related ACABQ report.


After that action, several representatives, including from the United States, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Cameroon and the Russian Federation, expressed disappointment over the postponement of specific items.  The request by the representatives of Algeria, on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, and of India and Cameroon, for more time to resolve outstanding matters was rejected by the Committee Chair, Miguel Berger (Germany).


The representatives of Switzerland, Sweden, Iran, Denmark, Canada, Cyprus (also on behalf of the European Union), Cuba (also on behalf of Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua), and Nicaragua (also on behalf of Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Iran) also spoke today.


Background


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


Action on Drafts


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.5/67/L.8).  By its terms, the Assembly would accept the financial statements and the report and audit opinions of the Board of Auditors on the United Nations and a number of funds, agencies, programmes and other bodies for the year ended 31 December 2011.  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 decide to consider further the reports of the Board of Auditors on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.


By other terms, the Assembly would reiterate its request to the Secretary-General and executive heads of United Nations funds and programmes to ensure full implementation of the recommendations of the Board and the Advisory Committee, as well as for the Secretary-General to provide a full explanation for the delays in the implementation of the Board’s recommendations.  It would note with deep concern the reoccurrence of systemic problems identified by the Board related to accounting for expandable and non-expandable properties, cash funds management, procurement and contact management.


It would note with concern that in the financial statement on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the biennium ended 31 December 2011, the Board identified matters reflecting the impact of low funding on the body’s internal control.  It also would note with concern that the Board had identified, in the financial statement for UN-Women, emphasis of the matter reflecting that the internal control system for operations, projects and programmes oversight had not fully matured to ensure consistent application.  It would note with concern that the successful implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards at the United Nations remained at high risk and request the Secretary-General to take measures to mitigate those risks.  It would further regret the significant deficiencies found by the Board in the implementation of results-based budgeting in the United Nations and urge the Secretary-General to address them as a matter of priority.


Speaking after action, Switzerland’s delegate was confident the Secretary-General would not fail to take into account the Board’s recommendations when developing large-scale projects.  In informal discussions on paragraph 17, the Committee had been unable to consider the institutional restructuring being prepared by the Secretariat.  The institutional restructuring concerned a large part of training capacity, research and of the United Nations library, which aimed to consolidate seven entities.  Several delegates expressed their concern about the project, including Switzerland.  The Secretariat’s “hasty” approach did not seem appropriate.


He expressed concern over how little transparency the Secretariat had used during that restructuring.  Switzerland could not support the project at this stage, since the reasons for it were unclear.  A cost-benefit analysis was needed.  He encouraged the Secretary-General to take the Board’s recommendations into account, consult with stakeholders and submit a report to States to help them make an informed decision on such a major project.


Next, the Committee approved, without a vote, a draft submitted by its Chair on programme planning (document A/C.5/67/L.10), which would have the Assembly endorse the recommendations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination on the proposed strategic framework for 2014-2015, contained in that body’s report on its fifty-second session.  It would decide not to take a decision on the content of part one:  plan outline of the proposed strategic framework for the period 2014-2015.  The Secretary-General would be requested to ensure in the future that the proposed strategic frameworks fully take into account the guidelines provided by the Assembly.


By other terms, the Assembly would decide that the priorities for 2014-2015 shall include the promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development; maintenance of international peace and security; development of Africa; promotion of human rights; effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts; promotion of justice and international law; disarmament; and drug control.  As regards the programme performance report, the Assembly would endorse the recommendations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination for the 2010-2011 biennium, requesting the Secretary-General to replace the names of Arab countries in paragraph 48 with the words “…some Arab countries…”.  Regarding evaluation and coordination questions, the Assembly would endorse the recommendations of the Committee in its report; on the annual overview report of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination for 2011/2012; and on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).


Next, the Committee approved a consensus text on the pattern of conferences (document A/C.5/67/L.5), by which the Assembly would approve the draft revised calendar of United Nations conferences and meetings for 2013, as submitted by the Committee on Conferences, taking into account its observations and subject to provisions of the present text, as well as authorize the Committee on Conferences to make any adjustments to that calendar that may become necessary as a result of actions and decisions made by the Assembly at its sixty-seventh session.  Noting that the overall utilization factor at the four main duty stations in 2011 was 85 per cent, as in 2010, and 86 per cent in 2009 — 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 to and adjust their programmes of work on the basis of their actual actualization of conference-servicing requests in order to improve their efficient use of conference services. 


Regarding the impact of the Capital Master Plan on meetings held at Headquarters, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to continue to provide adequate information technology support for conference services, within existing resources of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, and to ensure continued maintenance of the Department’s information technology facilities, implementation of the global information technology initiative and delivery of high-quality conference services.  Concerning integrated global management, the Assembly, noting with concern that the Secretary-General did not include in his related report information about the financial savings achieved through implementation of integrated global management projects, would reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to redouble efforts to include that information in his next report. 


In the area of documentation and publications, the Assembly would emphasize the paramount importance of the equality of the six official languages, reaffirm its decision in section IV of resolution 64/230 that all reports adopted by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council shall be issued as documents in all the official languages in a timely way prior to their consideration by the Council, and reiterate with concern its request for the Secretary-General to ensure that all rules concerning the simultaneous distribution of documents in all six official languages be strictly respected.  Noting with concern that only 65 per cent of author departments reached the 90 per cent compliance rate in terms of submitting their reports to the Department on time, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to enforce the slotting system more rigorously.  Regarding translation and interpretation, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to redouble efforts to ensure the highest quality of interpretation and translation services in all six official languages. 


Next, the Committee took action on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations (document A/C.5/67/L.6), by which the Assembly would decide that the scale for the period 2013-2015 be based on several criteria.  They would included estimates of gross national income; average statistical base periods of three and six years; conversion rates based on market exchange rates, except where that would cause excessive fluctuations and distortions in the income of some Member States, when price-adjusted rates of exchange rates or other appropriate conversion rates should be employed, taking due account of its resolution 46/221B; the debt burden approach employed in the scale of assessments for the period 2010-2012; a low per capita income adjustment of 80 per cent, with a threshold per capita income limit of the average per capita gross national income of all Member States for the statistical base periods; a minimum assessment rate of 0.001 per cent; a maximum assessment rate for the least developed countries of 0.01 per cent; and a maximum assessment rate of 22 per cent.


Furthermore, the Assembly would note that the application of the current methodology reflected changes in the relative economic situation of Member States, and it would recognize the need to study the methodology effectively, expeditiously and in depth, taking into account Member States’ views.  The Assembly would ask the Committee on Contributions, in line with its mandate and Assembly rules of procedure, to review and make recommendations on the elements of the assessment scale in order to reflect Member States’ capacity to pay, and to report thereon to the Assembly by the main part of its seventieth session. 


The draft included a list of the exact scale for the period 2013-2015 for each of the Organization’s 193 Member States that the Assembly would approve.  The Assembly would set the scale for South Sudan, which was admitted to the United Nations on 14 July 2011, at 0.003 per cent for 2011 and 2012; decide that South Sudan shall contribute at the rate of 1/12 of that percentage for each full month of membership in 2011; decide that South Sudan’s assessment for those years be taken into account as miscellaneous income under regulation 3.13 of the United Nations financial regulations and Rules; and decide that in accordance with financial regulation 3.7 the advance of South Sudan to the Working Capital Fund shall be calculated by the application of its 2011 assessment rate to the authorized level of the Fund and should be added to the Fund, pending its incorporation in a 100 per cent scale.


The Assembly would also resolve that, notwithstanding the terms of financial regulation 3.9, the Secretary-General shall be empowered to accept, at his discretion and after consulting with the Chairman of the Committee on Contributions, a portion of Member States’ contributions for the calendar years 2013, 2014 and 2015 in currencies other than the United States dollar.  Further, it would resolve, in accordance with financial regulation 3.8, that the Holy See shall be called upon to contribute towards the Organization’s expenses for 2013, 2014 and 2015 on the basis of a notional assessment rate of 0.001 per cent, which would represent the basis for calculating the flat annual fees to be charged to the Holy See in accordance with Assembly resolution 44/197B of 21 December 1989. 


The Committee approved that text without a vote.


Then, it took up a draft on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/C.5/67/L.7), by which the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on that matter and of the updated composition of contribution levels for peacekeeping operations for the period 2013 to 2015 contained thereon.  It would decide that South Sudan should be assigned to level 1 for 2011 and 2012 and note that, pursuant to its resolution 47/217 of 23 December 1992, the assessment of South Sudan to the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund would be calculated by the application of its first rate of assessment for peacekeeping operations to the authorized level of the Fund.  It would also decide that, as of 1 January 2013, the rates of assessment for peacekeeping should be based on the 10 levels of contribution and parameters set forth in the table listed in the resolution.   The Assembly would also reaffirm that, for the purpose of determining Member States’ eligibility for contribution in particular levels during the 2013-2015 scale period, the average per capita gross national income of all Member States would be $8,338 and the per capita gross national income of Member States would be the average of 2005 to 2010 figures. 


Further, the Assembly would endorse the updated composition of levels to be applied in adjusting regular budget scale rates to establish Member States’ rates of assessment for peacekeeping operations for the period from 2013 to 2015.  The Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to continue updating the composition of the levels described above on a triennial basis, in conjunction with the regular budget scale of assessment reviews, in line with the criteria set forth in the resolution, and to report thereon to the Assembly.  The Assembly would recognize the need to reform the current methodology for apportioning the expenses of peacekeeping operations and decide to review the structure of the assessment scale during its seventieth session.


The Committee approved that text without a vote as orally revised.


The Committee then approved without a vote a draft submitted by the Chair on the United Nations Pension System (A/C.5/67/L.9), which would have the Assembly endorse the recommendations of the ACABQ.  It would note with deep concern the results of the actuarial valuation of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, which had revealed a deficit of 1.87 per cent of pensionable remuneration as at 31 December 2011, the second such deficit.  It would note that the Board of Auditors had issued an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund for the biennium ended 31 December 2011.


By other terms, it would authorize the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board to increase the normal retirement age to 65 for new participants, with effect not later than from 1 January 2014, unless the General Assembly had not decided on a corresponding increase in the mandatory age of separation.  It would approve new article 45 bis, as set out in annex XI of the Board’s report, which allowed the Fund, in specific circumstances, to pay a portion of a retiree’s benefit directly to the retiree’s former employing organization, towards making restitution to the organization in cases where amounts had been embezzled by the staff member.  The Secretary-General would be requested, as fiduciary for the Fund’s assets, to continue to diversify investments between developed, developing and emerging markets, wherever that served participants’ and beneficiaries’ interests.


The Committee then approved without a vote a draft on administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/C.5/67/L.11), submitted by the Chair, a multipart text covering the informal system, the formal system, financial implications and cost-sharing arrangements and other issues.  By its terms, the Assembly would decide that the Secretary-General’s proposal for conducting an interim independent assessment of the formal justice administration system, as requested in the ACABQ report, should be conducted within existing resources.


By other terms, the Assembly would encourage the Secretary-General to ensure that management responded to requests of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services in a timely manner.  It would decide to consider the continued requirement for the P-3 Legal Officer position in the Office of Staff Legal Assistance in Nairobi, as well as that the overall resources for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance should be maintained until the Assembly made a decision on a staff-funded scheme.  It also would express concern that the agreement on a cost-sharing arrangement for the internal justice system had not been finalized.


The Committee then approved without a vote a draft on financing of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) (document A/C.5/67/L.4).  By its terms, the Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).  It would decide, taking into account the $78.39 million already apportioned for the 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2012 period, to apportion among States an additional amount of $11.59 million for the Mission’s maintenance during the same period.  It would also decide that there shall be set off against the apportionment States’ respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of $414,900, representing the estimated staff assessment income approved for the mission.


By other terms, the Assembly would decide to apportion among States an additional $13.48 million for the 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2013 period, inclusive of the $10.09 million for the Mission’s anticipated administrative liquidation, subject to a Security Council decision for the 1 January 2013 to 30 April 2013 period, and $3.21 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, and $175,600 for the United Nations Logistics base in Brindisi, Italy, for the 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2013 period.  It would decide that there shall be set off against the apportionment States’ respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of $827,750, comprising:  the estimated staff assessment income of $436,900 approved for the Mission; the prorated share of $322,600 of the estimated staff assessment income approved for the support account; and the prorated share of $68,250 of the estimated staff assessment income approved for the United Nations logistics base.


Next, the Committee approved a consensus text on the United Nations common system (document A/C.5/67/L.14), by which the Assembly, having considered the 2012 report of the International Civil Service Commission, would ask the Commission to maintain the current New York post-adjustment multiplier to 31 January 2013 with the understanding that the normal operation of the post-adjustment system would resume on 1 February 2013. 


Turning to the financing of the International Tribunals, the Committee first took up a draft resolution on the financing of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens Responsible for Genocide and Other Such Violations Committed in the Territory of Neighbouring States between 1 January and 31 December 1994 (document A/C.5/67/L.15).  By the draft text, the Assembly would decide on a revised appropriation to the Special Account for the Rwanda Tribunal of a total of $182.16 million gross ($169.51 million net) for the biennium 2012-2013.  It would decide for the year 2013 to apportion among Member States $48.18 million gross ($44.87 million net), including $5.27 million gross ($4.99 million net), being the increase in assessments. 


It would also decide that there should be set off against the apportionment among Member States their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund in the amount of $6.61 million, including $568,300, being the increase of the estimated staff assessment income approved for the Tribunal for the biennium 2012-2013.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


Continuing, the Committee then approved a draft resolution without a vote on financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (document A/C.5/67/L.17), by which the Assembly would endorse the ACABQ’s recommendations and urge the Secretary-General to ensure that the recruitment for the Residual Mechanism was completed in a timely matter.  It would decide to defer further consideration of that matter, as well as of adjustments to standard costs relating to payroll, common staff costs and vacancy rates for 2013, to the second performance report on the programme budget for the 2012-2013 biennium to ensure appropriation in line with actual post-related expenditure.


By other terms, it would decide on a revised appropriation to the Special Account for the Residual Mechanism of $53.67 million gross ($51.08 million net) for the 2012-2013 biennium.  For 2013, it would decide to apportion among States — in accordance with assessment rates for the regular budget — $13.64 million gross ($12.96 million net), including $1.2 million gross ($1.13 million net) being the increase in assessments.  It also would decide to apportion — in accordance with the assessment rates for peacekeeping operations — $13.64 million gross ($12.91 million net), including $1.20 million gross ($1.13 million net) being the increase in assessments.


Finally, the Assembly would decide that — in accordance with resolution 973 (X) — there shall be set off against the apportionment their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund in the amount of $1.36 million, including $144,300 being the increase of the estimated staff assessment income approved for the Residual Mechanism for the 2012-2013 biennium.


Next, the Committee took up a draft on the financing of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 (document A/C.5/67/L.16).  By its terms, the Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations in the ACABQ’s report and ask the Secretary-General to ensure that the Tribunal prepare and present as appropriate, by 15 April 2013, a consolidated action plan to manage completion of its work and transition to the Residual Mechanism by the end of 2014, as well as ask him to submit proposals for an independent expert evaluation of the efficiency of the Tribunal’s functioning.  The Assembly would decide to defer further consideration of that matter, as well as of adjustments to standard costs relating to payroll, common staff costs, and vacancy rates for 2013, to the second performance report on the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 in order to ensure appropriation in line with actual post-related expenditure.  It would decide on a revised appropriation to the Special Account for the Tribunal of $283.07 million gross ($252 04 million net) for the biennium 2012-2013, as detailed in the annex to the present resolution, as well as decide to apportion $71.27 million gross ($63.31 million net), including $1.1 million gross among Member States for 2013, in line with the scale of assessments applicable to the regular budget for the year.


Finally, the Assembly would decide that, in accordance with the provisions of resolution 973 (X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment of Member States, as provided for in paragraphs 4 and 5 in the present text, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund in the amount of $15.9 million, including $809,500, being the increase of the estimated staff assessment income approved for the Tribunal for the biennium 2012-2013.


Before action, the representative of Russian Federation regretted that it was not possible to reach consensus on that text.  The Russian Federation had demonstrated maximum flexibility and had altered its proposal on strengthening fiscal discipline, but its modest proposals were not reflected in the draft submitted by the Chair.  He supported the ACABQ’s recommendation to absorb the modest additional requirements due to recosting from within existing resources.  He pointed to double standards by some Member States to ask for a review of the administration of justice of the Organization as a whole, but not for the International Tribunals.  He supported the initiative to reinstate an annual budget cycle for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.  He was forced to introduce, also on behalf of Serbia, an oral amendment to the present draft.


By that amendment, operative paragraph 3 of the text would endorse the conclusions and recommendations in the ACABQ’s report.  The phrase “subject to the provisions of this resolution” would be deleted.  The calculation for the revised appropriations for 2012-2013 and respective apportionment would be revised and brought in line with compliance with the level, as recommended by ACABQ.  Four new operative paragraphs would be added as well.  In the first, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General, recalling its resolution A/RES/55/225, to submit proposals for an independent expert evaluation of efficiency of the Tribunal’s functioning, with the objective of ensuring timely downsizing of the workforce and transition to the Residual Mechanism.  In the second, the Assembly would decide not to take note of the base for the proposed budget for the biennium 2014-2015 as requested in paragraph 19 of the relevant Secretary-General report A/67/595.  In the third, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to ensure the transition from a biennial budget cycle to an annual cycle for the Tribunal in connection with upcoming completion of its work and transition to the Residual Mechanism.  In the fourth, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to submit his next budget proposal for the Tribunal only for 2014 on the basis of the approved appropriations for 2012. 


The representative of Sweden, saying said he would object to the amendments proposed by the Russian Federation, requested a vote. 


By a recorded vote of 59 against to 17 in favour, with 58 abstentions, the amendment to draft A/C.5/67/L.16 was rejected.


The delegate of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines then said she had meant to abstain from the vote, not vote against it, as was recorded.


The representative of the Russian Federation then called for a vote on the draft as a whole.


By a recorded vote of 135 in favour to zero against, with 12 abstentions, the draft as a whole was approved by the Committee.


The Committee then turned to a draft on special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/67/L.18), which concerns estimates concerning special political missions, additional facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa, the enterprise resource planning project, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards, the Capital Master Plan, the Economic and Social Council session, Human Rights Council meetings, the Conference on Sustainable Development meeting in Rio, and the Administration of Justice.  It also contains the first performance report on the Biennium Budget for 2012-2013.


By its terms, the Assembly would approve budgets totalling $566.47 million for the 33 special political missions listed in table I of the Secretary-General’s report.  It would also approve a charge of $442.77 million net corresponding to the undistributed balance in the provision for special political missions for the 2012-2013 biennium, deciding to appropriate $124.81 million under section 3 (political affairs) and $7.47 million under section 37 (staff assessment) to be offset by the corresponding amount under income section 1 (income from staff assessment) of the programme budget.


By other terms, the Assembly would take note of the revised requirement for the Umoja project for 2012 in the amounts of $65.24 million and approve the proposed requirement for 2013 in the amount of $69.64 million.  As regards financing of the Capital Master Plan project, the Assembly would approve the extension of the approved commitment authority for 2012 into 2013, and decide to authorize the Secretary-General to enter into additional commitments of up to $167.77 million for resources required for that project, including its associated costs, through 2013.  It would approve a net amount of up to $3.66 million for associated costs in 2013, after taking into account the estimated unutilized balance of $11.89 million for the 2008-2012 period.


As for the revised estimates resulting from the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the Assembly would approve $8.77 million in additional appropriations under the programme budget for the 2012-2013 biennium, including:  $1.79 million under section 2 (General Assembly and economic and social affairs and conference services); $3.48 million under section 9 (economic and social affairs); $1.4 million under section 18 (economic and social development in Africa; and $636,800 under section 19 (economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific).


Also included would be $819,600 under section 21 (economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean); $345,400 under section 22 (economic and social development in Western Asia); $98,500 under section 29D (Office of Central Support Services); and $183,000 under section 37 (staff assessment), offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1 (income from staff assessment).  The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to make every effort to absorb the additional requirements.  As regards the contingency fund, the Assembly would note that $3.03 million remained in the fund.


Before action, Cuba’s delegate, speaking also on behalf of Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua, said the draft considered the approval of resources for activities by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.  The General Assembly had not legislated on the responsibility to protect.  She recalled that the Assembly, through resolution 63/308 (2009), had decided to continue its consideration on the responsibility to protect.  Subsequent to that, no formal meetings had been held on it, nor had a definition on the responsibility to protect been formulated.  That violated programme planning rules, as well as successive Assembly resolutions on programme planning and programme budget.


She proposed an amendment to the draft, which read:  “Decides to delete all references to the activities and outputs related to the responsibility to protect, as contained in strategic framework, and the related narratives of the office of the special adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide (document A/67/346/Add.1)”. The next paragraph would read:  “Requests the Secretary-General to issue a corrigendum to his report A/67/346/Add.1”.


Iran’s delegate supported that amendment.


Denmark’s delegate did not agree with the proposed amendment, which fell beyond the Fifth Committee’s duties.  She requested a recorded vote.


Canada’s delegate supported Denmark’s request for a recorded vote on the oral amendment, as such responsibilities should be taken up by other forums.  Canada would vote against the proposed amendment.


Cyprus’s delegate, on behalf of the European Union, said the Committee should refrain from political discussions that belonged in other United Nations forums.  The Committee’s responsibility was to ensure the Special Adviser’s office was adequately funded.  The proposed amendments would reduce the office’s ability to implement its mandate and hamper its collaboration with other United Nations entities.  For such reasons, he would vote against the amendment and called on others to follow suit.


By a vote of 73 against to 14 in favour, with 56 abstentions, the Committee failed to pass the proposed amendment.


The Committee then approved without a vote the draft as a whole.


Cuba’s delegate said that her delegation, in plenary, would call for a vote on the corresponding budgetary section.


Nicaragua’s delegate, speaking also on behalf of Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Iran, expressed concern over the draft resolution and its inclusion of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide’s activities concerning the responsibility to protect.  Resources should only be used for agreed upon intergovernmental mandates.  The United Nations had agreed only to continue to evaluate and consider the definition of the responsibility to protect.  Presentation of the strategic framework for the Special Adviser implemented suggestions from the Secretary-General’s report A/64/864, which the Assembly had not acted upon.


The Committee then approved without a vote a draft submitted by the Chair on programme budget implications relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/67/L.12).  As regards the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/67/L.49/Rev.1), the Assembly would be informed that an additional $1.39 million would be required for the 1 January to 31 December 2013 period, and $122,100, under section 37 — staff assessment — to be offset by the same amount under Income Section I of the programme budget for the 2012-2013 biennium for the continued efforts of the Secretary-General’s good offices.  The Assembly would approve those requirements in the context of the Secretary-General’s report on estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly or the Security Council.


As regards the draft resolution on the Committee against Torture (document A/C.3/67/L.45), the Assembly would be informed that an additional $1.14 million (net) would arise for the 2012-2013 biennium, including $294,600 under section 24 (human rights); $1.14 million under section 2 (General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management); and $6,100 under section 29E (Administration, Geneva), representing a charge against the Contingency Fund and requiring an appropriation.


As regards the draft resolution on the arms trade treaty (document A/C.1/67/L.11), the Assembly would be informed that $134,200 would arise for the biennium under section 4 (disarmament), representing a charge against the Contingency Fund and requiring an appropriation for the 2012-2013 biennium.  The Secretary-General would be requested to make every effort to absorb those requirements under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($380,600), and section 29D, Office of Central Support Services ($49,000).


The Committee then approved by consensus a text on the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/67/L.19).  Part I of that text contained the narrative of action taken by the Committee; part II contained the Committee’s recommendations. 


Committee Chair Miguel Berger ( Germany) noted that draft resolution I of the text, titled questions relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, had been adopted earlier by the Committee.  Draft resolution II was divided into three sections: part A, revised budget appropriations for the biennium 2012-2013; part B, revised income estimates for the biennium 2012-2013; and part C, financing of the appropriations for 2013.


By part A, the Assembly would resolve that the amount of $5.15 billion appropriated by it in its resolution 66/248 A of 24 December 2011 for the biennium 2012-2013 shall be increased by $243.26 million to $5.39 billion.  By part B, the Assembly would resolve that the estimates of income of $507.75 million approved by its resolution 66/248 B of 24 December 2011 for the biennium 2012-2013 shall be increased by $3.99 million to $511.74 million.  By part C, the Assembly would resolve that the budget appropriations of $2.82 million and consisting of $2.58 million, being half of the appropriation initially approved for the biennium 2012-2013 in its resolution 66/248 A of 24 December 2011, and $243.26 million, being the increase approved in resolution A of the present text, shall be financed in accordance with regulations 3.1 and 3.2 of the United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules as follows:  $8.13 million consisting of $26.19 million, being the half of the estimated income other than staff assessment income approved for the biennium in its resolution 66/248 B of 24 December 2011; offset by $18.06 million, being the decrease in income other than staff assessment income approved for the biennium in resolution B above, and $2.81 million, being the assessment on Member States in accordance with its resolution of December 2012.


Further, there shall be set off against the assessment on Member Sates, in line with Assembly resolution 973 (x) of 15 December 1955, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund in the amount of $263 million, consisting of $227.68 million, being half of the estimated staff assessment income approved by the Assembly in its resolution 66/248 B; $22.06 million, being half of the estimated staff assessment income approved by the Assembly in resolution B of the present text; and $13.26 million, being the increase in income from staff assessment for the biennium 2010-2011, compared with the revised estimates approved by the Assembly in its resolution 66/245 B of 24 December 2011.


The Committee then approved without a vote a draft submitted by the Chair on the proposed programme budget outline for the biennium 2014-2015 (document A/C.5/67/L.13), which would have the Assembly decide that the priorities shall be the following:  promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and recent United Nations conferences; maintenance of international peace and security; development of Africa; promotion of human rights; effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts; promotion of justice and international law; disarmament; and drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.


By other terms, the Secretary-General would be requested to reflect those priorities in the proposed programme budget for the 2014-2015 biennium.  He would also be requested to include proposals stemming from a comprehensive review of the United Nations staffing requirements to ensure that staffing reflected best practices.  The Assembly would decide that the contingency fund shall be set at the level of 0.75 per cent of the preliminary estimate — $40.44 million — and that it shall be used in accordance with the procedures for the use and operation of the fund.


The Committee then approved without a vote a draft on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/67/L.20), which would have the Assembly decide to defer until the first part of its resumed sixty-seventh session a number of documents under the following agenda items:  129 (review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations); 130 (programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013); 136 (human resources management); 140 (reports on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services); and 141 (United Nations common system).


By other terms, the Assembly would also decide to defer until the main part of its sixty-eighth session consideration of the following documents under agenda item 130 (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 report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) (document A/66/7/Add.21).


After action, the representative of the United States said he was deeply disappointed that, again, the Committee had deferred action on reports on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services.  The draft aimed to provide transparency.  He was particularly disappointed because the “burden-sharers” had been close to reaching agreement and could have accomplished that with more time.  He was also disappointed that the Committee had not been able to complete actions related to human resources management.


The representative of Pakistan expressed deep disappointment that the Committee had not reached consensus on human resources management.  Pakistan had coordinated with others.  “We tried our best,” he said, noting that with more time, his Government could have reached conclusion on the agenda item.


Algeria’s delegate, on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, asked for more time to determine whether the coordinators could close the gap.


The Chair said the text had already been adopted by the Committee.  The issue could be taken up at the first resumed session.


The representative of the Republic of Korea said that while he was pleased that some agenda items had been closed, he expressed disappointment that the human resources resolution could not be finished.  His Government attached importance to the issue of mobility and hoped that in the first resumed session, all outstanding issues related to human resources management could be resolved.


Norway’s delegate expressed disappointment at postponing consideration on human resources management.  She hoped that the consensus reached, including on mobility, would provide a strong foundation for resuming discussions in the resumed session.


India’s delegate seconded Algeria’s idea to allow more time.  “We were within a hair’s breath,” he said.  If a way could be found to allow more time, he would be pleased.


Cameroon’s delegate was disappointed that agreement had not been reached on agenda item on 136.  He supported Algeria’s idea to allow more time.


The representative of the Russian Federation regretted the postponement of agenda item 136 to the resumed session.  “But we remain optimistic,” he said, noting that most of the text had been agreed “ad ref”.  He hoped it would be adopted by consensus.


The Chair then said the Senior Advisory Group report cited resolution 65/289, which contained recommendations.  That resolution had been approved by the Senior Advisory Group as a whole.  The Senior Advisory Group was composed of regional groups, major groups, and Eminent Persons.  The Secretary-General was preparing a note to the Fifth Committee on how he planned take forward the recommendations in the report, so that, in line with the timetable in the report, a decision could be taken during the first resumed session.


He then formally concluded the session, saying it had been among the most intense.  Thanks to a spirit of compromise, the Committee had achieved, under enormous time pressure, the needed resolutions.  He then thanked the facilitators for their outstanding job during negotiations, as well as the burden sharers, the Bureau and the Secretariat.


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For information media • not an official record