United Nations

A/RES/41/213


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

19 December 1986

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                       A/RES/41/213
                                                       19 December 1986
                                                       102nd plenary meeting
 
             Review of the efficiency of the administrative and
             financial functioning of the United Nations
 
     The General Assembly,
 
     Recalling its resolution 40/237 of 18 December 1985, by which it decided
to establish the Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts to Review the
Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United
Nations, 
 
     Having considered the report of the Group and the related report of the
Fifth Committee, as well as the comments on the report of the Group made by
the Secretary-General and the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination,
 
     Expressing its appreciation to the Group for its report,
 
     Taking fully into account the views expressed during the consideration of
this item at the current session,
 
     Recognizing the need for measures to improve the efficiency of the
administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations with a view to
strengthening its effectiveness in dealing with political, economic and social
issues,
 
     Recognizing the need to improve the planning, programming and budgeting
process in the Organization,
 
     Reaffirming the requirement of all Member States to fulfil their
financial obligations as set out in the Charter of the United Nations promptly
and in full,
 
     Recognizing the detrimental effect of the withholding of assessed
contributions on the administrative and financial functioning of the United
Nations, 
 
     Recognizing further that late payments of assessed contributions
adversely affect the short-term financial situation of the Organization,
 
                                      I
            Recommendations of the Group of High-level Intergovernmental
            Experts to Review the Efficiency of the Administrative and
                 Financial Functioning of the United Nations
 
     1.   Decides that the recommendations as agreed upon and as contained in
the report of the Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts to Review the
Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United
Nations should be implemented by the Secretary-General and the relevant organs
and bodies of the United Nations in the light of the findings of the Fifth
Committee and subject to the following:
 
     (a)  The implementation of recommendation 5 should not prejudice the
implementation of projects and programmes already approved by the General
Assembly;
 
     (b)  The percentages referred to in recommendation 15, which were arrived
at in a pragmatic manner, should be regarded as targets in the formulation of
the Secretary-General's plans to be submitted to the General Assembly for
implementation of the recommendation; further, the Secretary-General is
requested to implement this recommendation with flexibility in order to avoid,
inter alia, negative impact on programmes and on the structure and composition
of the Secretariat, bearing in mind the necessity of securing the highest
standards of efficiency, competence and integrity of the staff, with due
regard to equitable geographical distribution;
 
     (c)  The Secretary-General should transmit to the International Civil
Service Commission those recommendations having direct impact on the United
Nations common system (recommendations 53 and 61), with the request that it
report to the General Assembly at its forty-second session, so as to enable
the Assembly to make a final decision; the expertise of the Commission should
be availed of in dealing with the other recommendations over which the
Commission has a mandate to advise and make recommendations;
 
     (d) The Secretary-General should take into consideration the relevant
provisions of General Assembly resolution 35/210 of 17 December 1980, in
implementing recommendations 55 and 57, to the extent they are agreed upon;
 
     (e)  The Economic and Social Council, assisted as and when required by
relevant organs and bodies, in particular the Committee for Programme and
Co-ordination, should carry out the study called for in recommendation 8;
 
     (f)  The Committee for Programme and Co-ordination, assisted as required
by the Joint Inspection Unit and other bodies, shall evaluate the
implementation of the recommendations relating to the intergovernmental
machinery and its functioning, as indicated in recommendation 70;
 
     (g)  In the implementation of recommendation 24, the provisions of
General Assembly resolution 41/201 of 8 December 1986 should be duly taken
into account;
 
     2.   Requests the Secretary-General and the Committee for Programme and
Co-ordination to report to the General Assembly as indicated in
recommendations 69, 70 and 71 of the Group;
 
                                      II
                 Planning, programming and budgeting process
 
     1.   Decides that the planning, programming and budgeting process shall
be governed, inter alia, by the following principles:
 
     (a)  Strict adherence to the principles and provisions of the Charter of
the United Nations, in particular Articles 17 and 18 thereof;
 
     (b)  Full respect for the prerogatives of the principal organs of the
United Nations with respect to the planning, programming and budgeting
process; 
 
     (c)  Full respect for the authority and the prerogatives of the
Secretary-General as the chief administrative officer of the Organization;
 
     (d)  Recognition of the need for Member States to participate in the
budgetary preparation from its early stages and throughout the process;
 
     2.   Reaffirms the need to improve the planning, programming and
budgeting process through, inter alia, the following:
 
     (a)  Full implementation of regulation 4.8 of the Regulations Governing
Programme Planning, the Programme Aspects of the Budget, the Monitoring of
Implementation and the Methods of Evaluation, which governs co-ordination
between the Committee for Programme and Co-ordination and the Advisory
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions;
 
     (b)  Implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 25
to 54 of the report of the Committee for Programme and Co-ordination on the
work of its twenty-sixth session;
 
     (c)  Ensuring follow-up of implementation of the recommendations of the
Committee for Programme and Co-ordination;
 
     (d)  Improvement of the representation of Member States in the Committee
for Programme and Co-ordination in conformity with the provisions of
paragraph 46 of the annex to General Assembly resolution 32/197 of
20 December 1977;
 
     3.   Resolves to achieve improvement in the consultative process for the
formulation of the medium-term plan through:
 
     (a)  Full implementation of the Regulations Governing Programme Planning,
the Programme Aspects of the Budget, the Monitoring of Implementation and the
Methods of Evaluation pertaining to the medium-term plan, as contained in the
annex to General Assembly resolution 37/234 of 21 December 1982 and of the
related Rules;
 
     (b)  Submission of the introduction to the medium-term plan, which
constitutes an integral element in the planning process, to Member States for
wide consultations;
 
     (c)  Consultations in a systematic way regarding the major programmes in
the plan with sectoral, technical, regional and central bodies in the United
Nations; 
 
     (d)  Drawing up by the Secretary-General, in consultation with the
Committee for Programme and Co-ordination and the Advisory Committee on
Administrative and Budgetary Questions, of a calendar for such consultations;
 
     4.   Approves the budget process set forth in annex I to the present
resolution;
 
     5.   Reaffirms that the decision-making process is governed by the
provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the rules of procedure of
the General Assembly;
 
     6.   Agrees that, without prejudice to paragraph 5 above, the Committee
for Programme and Co-ordination should continue its existing practice of
reaching decisions by consensus; explanatory views, if any, shall be presented
to the General Assembly;
 
     7.   Considers it desirable that the Fifth Committee, before submitting
its recommendations on the outline of the programme budget to the General
Assembly in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and the rules of
procedure of the Assembly, should continue to make all possible efforts with a
view to establishing the broadest possible agreement;
 
     8.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly,
through the Committee for Programme and Co-ordination and the Advisory
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, such supplementary rules
and regulations as may be deemed necessary for the improvement in the
planning, programming and budgeting process;
 
     9.   Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General
Assembly at its forty-second session a proposal on the date for submission of
the outline of the programme budget and also on the date for final approval of
the outline by the Assembly;
 
     10.  Further requests the Secretary-General to report to the General
Assembly at its forty-second session on the implementation of the present
resolution.
                                   ANNEX I
                                Budget process
                             A.  Off-budget years
 
1.   The Secretary-General shall submit an outline of the programme budget for
the following biennium, which shall contain an indication of the following:
 
     (a)  Preliminary estimate of resources to accommodate the proposed
programme of activities during the biennium;
 
     (b)  Priorities, reflecting general trends of a broad sectoral nature;
 
     (c)  Real growth, positive or negative, compared with the previous
budget;
 
     (d)  Size of the contingency fund expressed as a percentage of the
overall level of resources.
 
2.   The Committee for Programme and Co-ordination, acting as a subsidiary
organ of the General Assembly, shall consider the outline of the programme
budget and submit, through the Fifth Committee, to the Assembly its
conclusions and recommendations.
 
3.   On the basis of a decision by the General Assembly, the Secretary-General
shall prepare his proposed programme budget for the following biennium.
 
4.   Throughout this process, the mandate and functions of the Advisory
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions shall be fully respected.
The Advisory Committee shall consider the outline of the programme budget in
accordance with its terms of reference.
 
                               B.  Budget years
 
5.   The Secretary-General shall submit his proposed programme budget to the
Committee for Programme and Co-ordination and the Advisory Committee on
Administrative and Budgetary Questions in accordance with the existing
procedures.
 
6.   The Committee for Programme and Co-ordination and the Advisory Committee
on Administrative and Budgetary Questions shall examine the proposed programme
budget in accordance with their respective mandates and shall submit their
conclusions and recommendations to the General Assembly, through the Fifth
Committee, for the final approval of the programme budget.
 
               C.  Contingency fund and additional expenditures
 
7.   The programme budget shall include expenditures related to political
activities of a "perennial" character whose mandates are renewed annually,
together with their related conference costs.
 
8.   The programme budget shall include a contingency fund expressed as a
percentage of the overall budget level, to accommodate additional expenditures
relating to the biennium derived from legislative mandates not provided for in
the proposed programme budget or, subject to the provisions of paragraph 11
below, from revised estimates.
 
9.   If additional expenditures, as defined in paragraph 8 above, are proposed
that exceed resources available within the contingency fund, such additional
expenditures can only be included in the budget through redeployment of
resources from low-priority areas or modifications of existing activities.
Otherwise, such additional activities will have to be deferred until a later
biennium.
 
10.  A comprehensive solution to the problem of all additional expenditures,
including those deriving from inflation and currency fluctuation, is also
necessary.  It is desirable to accommodate these expenditures, within the
overall level of the budget, either as a reserve or as a separate part of the
contingency fund set up in paragraph 8 above.  The Secretary-General should
examine all aspects related to the question and report, through the Advisory
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and the Committee for
Programme and Co-ordination, to the General Assembly at its forty-second
session. 
 
11.  Pending a decision by the General Assembly on the question dealt with in
paragraph 10 above, the revised estimates arising from the impact of
extraordinary expenses, including those relating to the maintenance of peace
and security, as well as fluctuations in rates of exchange and inflation,
shall not be covered by the contingency fund and shall continue to be treated
in accordance with established procedures and under the relevant provisions of
the Financial Regulations and Rules.  The Secretary-General should
nevertheless make efforts to absorb these expenditures, to the extent
possible, through savings from the programme budget, without causing in any
way a negative effect on programme delivery and without prejudice to the
utilization of the contingency fund.
 
                                   ANNEX II
           Statement made by the President of the General Assembly
              at the 102nd plenary meeting, on 19 December 1986
 
         I have obtained a legal opinion from the Legal Counsel of the United
Nations on three paragraphs of the draft resolution.  The legal opinion reads
as follows:
 
          "You have requested our opinion on the legal consequences of three
     draft paragraphs which are under consideration for inclusion in a
     resolution to be adopted by the General Assembly on the United Nations
     budgetary process.  These three paragraphs read as follows:
 
     5.   Reaffirms that the decision-making process is governed by the
     provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the rules of
     procedure of the General Assembly;
 
     6.   Agrees that, without prejudice to paragraph 5 above, the Committee
     for Programme and Co-ordination should continue its existing practice of
     reaching decisions by consensus; explanatory views, if any, shall be
     presented to the General Assembly;
 
     7.   Considers it desirable that the Fifth Committee, before submitting
     its recommendations on the outline of the programme budget to the General
     Assembly in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and the rules
     of procedure, should continue to make all possible efforts with a view to
     establishing the broadest possible agreement;'.
 
     "It is our opinion that these draft paragraphs read separately or
     together do not in any way prejudice the provisions of Article 18 of the
     Charter of the United Nations or of the relevant rules of procedure of
     the General Assembly giving effect to that Article."
 
     That coincides with the views expressed by all delegations.
 
     I concur with the foregoing, and I take it that the General Assembly also
agrees with it.