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    SUMMARY OF THE WORK OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE

WEEKS OF 16 TO 27 OCTOBER 2000
 

    During the course of these two weeks, the Fifth Committee continued its negotiations on the two scales of assessments. - the regular budget scale and the peacekeeping scale, and pattern of conferences. As to the scale of assessments for the regular budget, the Committee devoted its first three rounds of informal consultations to clarifications from the Chairman of the Committee on Contributions. The discussions centered on questions relating to rates of exchange used by the Committee on Contributions.
The Committee is currently examining the first two annexes of the report of the Committee on Contributions regarding the methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments as well as the elements of the 12 scale proposals as requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 54/237D.

    Based on the general discussion held on the peacekeeping scale of assessments, it was  clear that (1) special responsibility should be borne by the permanent members of the Security Council;
(2) agreement should be reached on the regular budget scale before reaching an agreement on the peacekeeping scale;
(3) current groupings of Member States falling under the four categories (A, B, C, and D)may not be enough in the current world economic situation;
(4) countries voluntarily requesting to move from group C to group B may require further transitional group; and
(5)capacity to pay must be the basic principle.
The first two rounds of its informal consultations were devoted to the history of the peacekeeping scale and the principles on which the present peacekeeping scale is based.
There is convergence of views that any decision on the peacekeeping scale would have to be based on the results achieved on the scale of assessments for the regular budget.
To date, proposals under the peacekeeping scale have been received from the US who proposed to increase the number of groups, and by France (on behalf of the European Union).
The Rio Group also proposed that a request be made to the permanent members of the Security Council to submit joint proposals regarding the responsibility they would assume.

  The Committee also began its consideration of the question on procurement reform and outsourcing services in the United Nations under the item entitled "Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the UN. "The report on the procurement reform was welcomed by delegations that participated in the discussion. They commended the progress achieved in the procurement practices in the UN. The item is now the subject of informal consultations and the Committee is presently negotiating a draft resolution on the matter.

  On Tuesday, 17 October, the Committee began its consideration of the item entitled "Improving the financial situation of the United Nations." As in the past, the Under-Secretary-General for Management presented his 15th progress report on the financial situation of the Organization.The report depicted a gloomy picture of the financial situation at a time when the Organization is faced with major challenges in peacekeeping financing and other major initiatives, such as the capital master plan, that need massive financial resources.Sixteen delegations participated in the discussion.

  On 23 October, the Committee adopted a draft resolution on the review of reimbursement to troop contributing countries and on 25 October, after eight rounds of informal consultations, the Committee adopted a draft resolution under item 122:Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of UN", by which it recommended to the Assembly the granting of exemption to seven countries from the application of Article 19 of the UN Charter. Those countries are:Burundi, the Comoros, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Sao Tome and Principe, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.It may be noted that the Committee on Contributions had recommended the granting of such an exemption to only four countries. The other three applications were directly considered in the Fifth Committee.To balance the granting of exemption to all seven countries, the Fifth Committee provided for the tightening in future of the application of Article 19. The draft resolution on the item was adopted without a vote.

 


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