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Questions relating to the programme budget

Excerpt from A/68/250, Section J, paragraphs 43-48:

43. With regard to rule 153 of the rules of procedure and paragraph 13 (d) of decision 34/401, which requires a minimum period of 48 hours before action is taken on a proposal so as to allow the Secretary-General to prepare the programme budget implications of proposals before the General Assembly, the General Committee draws to the attention of the Assembly the fact that, in most cases, more than 48 hours are required for the Secretary-General to review the programme budget implications of proposals before the Assembly.

44. The General Committee also draws to the attention of the General Assembly paragraphs 12 and 13 of its decision 34/401 (A/520/Rev.17, annex V), which read:

12. It is imperative that Main Committees should allow sufficient time for the preparation of the estimate of expenditures by the Secretariat and for its consideration by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and the Fifth Committee and that they should take this requirement into account when they adopt their programme of work.

13. Furthermore:

(a) A mandatory deadline, not later than 1 December, should be established for the submission to the Fifth Committee of all draft resolutions with financial implications;

(b) The Fifth Committee should, as a general practice, consider accepting without debate the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions on the financial implications of draft resolutions up to a prescribed limit, namely, $25,000 on any one item;

(c) Firm deadlines should be set for the early submission of the reports of subsidiary organs which require consideration by the Fifth Committee;

(d) A minimum period of 48 hours should be allowed between the submission and the voting of a proposal involving expenditure in order to allow the Secretary-General to prepare and present the related statement of administrative and financial implications.

45. The General Committee further draws to the attention of the General Assembly regulation 5.9 of the Regulations and Rules Governing Programme Planning, the Programme Aspects of the Budget, the Monitoring of Implementation and the Methods of Evaluation (ST/SGB/2000/8; first adopted in resolution 37/234, annex; the rules in the present revised edition are issued pursuant to resolutions 53/207 and
54/236 and decision 54/474). Regulation 5.9 reads:

No council, commission or other competent body shall take a decision involving either a change in the programme budget approved by the General Assembly or the possible requirement of expenditure unless it has received and taken account of a report from the Secretary-General on the programme budget implications of the proposal.

46. Furthermore, the General Committee draws to the attention of the General Assembly paragraph 6 of its resolution 35/10 A, which reads:

6. Decides that all proposals affecting the schedule of conferences and meetings made at sessions of the General Assembly shall be reviewed by the Committee on Conferences when administrative implications are being considered under the requirements of rule 153 of the rules of procedure of the
Assembly.

47. The General Committee also draws to the attention of the General Assembly section VI of its resolution 45/248B on procedures for administrative and budgetary matters, in which the Assembly:

  1. Reaffirms that the Fifth Committee is the appropriate Main Committee of the General Assembly entrusted with responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters;
  2. Reaffirms also the role of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions;
  3. Expresses its concern at the tendency of its substantive Committees and other intergovernmental bodies to involve themselves in administrative and budgetary matters;
  4. Invites the Secretary-General to provide all intergovernmental bodies with the required information regarding procedures for administrative and budgetary matters.

48. The General Committee further draws the attention of the General Assembly to the views expressed by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions on the use of the phrase “within available resources”* and to the report in which the Committee emphasized the responsibility of the Secretariat to inform the Assembly thoroughly and accurately about whether there are enough resources to implement a new activity**.


*Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 7A (A/38/7/Add.1-23), document A/38/7/Add.16.

** Ibid., Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 7 (A/54/7).