10 May 2013
General Assembly
GA/11368

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

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

Plenary

76th Meeting (AM)


General Assembly Adopts Recommendations of Senior Advisory Group

 

on Reimbursement Rates for Peacekeeping Troops

 


Also Adopts Texts on Civil Service Commission Recommendations,

Deferred Items; Elects Members to Committee for Programme and Coordination


Acting on the recommendation of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the General Assembly this morning decided to adjust for the first time in a decade reimbursement rates to countries contributing troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations as part of a broad package to create a credible, predictable and equitable reimbursement system.


Adopting by consensus a text to that effect, the Assembly approved a series of recommendations by the Secretary-General’s Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations aimed at rectifying the flaws in the current system for collecting and analysing data on Governments’ costs to deploy uniformed personnel to peacekeeping missions.  Fifth Committee delegates had argued over the details of the package for several weeks, and had ultimately reached a compromise on agreed language earlier in the week.


The recommendations encompassed a variety of changes to the reimbursement structure, including authorizing the Secretary-General to pay a premium to peacekeepers and to troop-contributing countries that provided critical enablers that were in short supply, and providing for peacekeeping enhancements and incentives to improve missions’ ability to achieve difficult mandates.  They set a new standard 12-month rotation period, to take effect from 1 April 2013, with certain exemptions, to provide greater continuity on the ground and conserve scarce resources.


The Assembly decided to continue its current policy of approving supplemental payments for troop costs until a revised survey to establish a new base rate could be carried out.  In cases when major equipment was absent or non-functional, hindering a contingent’s performance ability, the Assembly decided, with certain exceptions, to reduce the reimbursement rate proportionally.


The immediate steps — including continuing the current supplementary payment equal to 6.75 per cent of the current base rate of $1,028 per person per month from 1 April 2013 to 30 June 2014 — would add $17.7 million to the peacekeeping budget for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, and another $42.4 million for the period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.


The Assembly approved additional funding for the support account for peacekeeping operations to conduct the revised survey, as recommended by the Senior Advisory Group, in order to establish a new base rate by June 2014.


By another consensus text adopted this morning, the Assembly endorsed ACABQ’s (Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions) conclusions and recommendations concerning the administrative and financial implications of the decisions and recommendations contained in the 2012 report of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC).


By a third text, also adopted without a vote, the Assembly deferred until the second part of its resumed sixty-seventh session consideration of the Secretary-General’s and ACABQ’s reports on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict, as well as deferred until its sixty-eighth session several reports on procurement, and the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Office for Partnerships.


Also today, the Assembly decided to include as an agenda item of its sixty-seventh session the financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali under Heading I, organizational, administrative and other matters.


At the outset of the meeting, the Assembly, on the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council, elected by consensus the United Kingdom and the United States as members of the Committee for Programme and Coordination effective 10 May 2013 until 31 December 2014.


Background


The General Assembly met today to elect members to the Committee for Programme and Coordination and to take action on draft resolutions tabled in its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) related to the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013; administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations; and review of the efficiency of the administrative and budgetary functioning of the United Nations.


Action on Draft Resolutions


Assembly Vice-President ABULKALAM ABDUL MOMEN ( Bangladesh) introduced the texts for the Assembly’s action.


First, the Assembly adopted by consensus a text on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/67/673/Add.2).  By its terms, the Assembly decided to defer until the second part of its resumed sixty-seventh session consideration of the report of the Secretary-General on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict (document A/67/312) and the related ACABQ report (document A/67/583).  Further, it deferred until its sixty-eighth session the following documents:  the Secretary-General’s comprehensive reports on United Nations procurement activities (document A/64/284), procurement governance arrangements within the United Nations (document A/64/284/Add.1), and sustainable procurement (document A/64/284/Add.2); the related ACABQ report (document A/64/501); and the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the audit of procurement management in the Secretariat (document A/64/369).


Also deferred were the Secretary-General’s notes transmitting the report of the Joint Inspection Unit entitled “Offshoring in United Nations system organizations:  offshore service centres” and his comments and those of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) thereon (document A/65/63 and Add.1); the Secretary-General’s notes transmitting the Joint Inspection Unit report entitled “Environmental profile of the United Nations system of organizations” and his comments and those of the CEB thereon (document A/65/346 and Add.1); the Secretary-General’s reports on United Nations procurement activities (document A/67/683) and the independent procurement challenge system (document A/67/683/Add.2); and his report on the United Nations Office for Partnerships (document A/67/165 and Corr.1).


Next, the Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution on the administrative and financial implications of the decisions and recommendations contained in the report of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) for 2012 (document A/67/677/Add.2).  By its terms, the Assembly, taking note of the Secretary-General’s related statement, endorsed the conclusions and recommendations contained in the related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.


Lastly, the Assembly took up a text on the report of the Senior Advisory Group established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 65/289 to consider rates of reimbursement to troop-contributing countries and other related issues (document A/67/858).


In regards to that text, Mr. MOMEN said the statement by the Fifth Committee Chair to that Committee’s twenty-seventh formal meeting, as well as the supplementary information provided by the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, as reflected in the Committee’s official records, on implementation of paragraphs 9 through 12 of the draft, formed part of the decision.  He then read out the Fifth Committee Chair’s statement, which stated that it wasthe General Assembly’s understanding that the notion of existing rotation arrangements included in paragraph 5 of the draft text included financial arrangements and that in cases where the Secretary-General determined that operational circumstances and requirements demanded rotation other than every 12 months, the determined rotation would be at the expense of the United Nations.  Further, it was the Assembly’s understanding that the provisions of paragraph 108 of the Senior Advisory Group’s report, including the continuation of supplementation of payment equal to 6.75 percent of the base rate per month, would apply from 1 April 2013, subject to the draft’s implementation.


That text was then adopted by consensus.  By its terms, the Assembly endorsed the ACABQ’s related conclusions and recommendations, approved those of the Senior Advisory Group’s report and asked the Secretary-General to ensure their implementation in line with the provisions of the present resolution set forth in section I and II.


By the terms of section I on rotation, the Assembly decided, upon the request of any troop-contributing or police-contributing country that currently contributed less than 3 per cent of contingent personnel as of 31 December 2012 to United Nations peacekeeping, to exempt from the application of the recommendations in paragraph 108 (b) of the Senior Advisory Group’s report on individual units currently deployed with rotation periods shorter than 12 months, and permit those units to maintain their existing rotation arrangements with the United Nations until 30 June 2015.  Further, the Assembly decided to exempt the rotation of naval forces from the recommendation in paragraph 108 (b), upon the request of individual troop-contributing countries.


By the terms of section II on absent or non-functional major equipment, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to implement recommendation 108 (b), with several considerations, namely that no deduction would be applied until after two consecutive unsatisfactory quarterly contingent-owned equipment verification reports, and in any case not before 31 October 2013, in order to provide contributing countries with sufficient opportunity to address shortfalls.


Further by its terms, no deduction was made for major equipment that was absent or non-functional for reasons deemed by the Secretariat to be beyond the control of the troop-contributing or police-contributing country.  No deduction was related to absent or non-functional vehicles unless over 10 per cent of the vehicles specified in relevant memorandums of understanding were absent or non-functional.  Deductions on account of absent or non-functional contingent-owned equipment would not exceed 35 per cent of reimbursements for any unit in any case.


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For information media • not an official record