Summary of the  work of the Fifth Committee

during the first part of the resumed 56th session

4 to 19 March 2002

 

The Fifth Committee held the first part of the resumed 56th  session from 4 March to 19 March 2002.   In accordance with decision 56/458, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee decided to defer consideration of  a number of items to the May session of the Committee.  

 

Human resources Management

 

Due to incomplete documentation on issues dealt with under human resources management, this item was deferred to the first part of the resumed 56th session.   Although, a number of reports on human resources management had been issued for this part of the session, particularly, the most awaited report of the Secretary-General on the mandatory retirement age of 62, the Committee, taking into account the views expressed by the Rio Group, Japan and the Republic of Korea, decided to defer the consideration of this question to the 57th session.   Agenda item 169:  entitled “Administration of Justice” was also deferred to the second part of the resumed 56th session, as well as,  the report of the Secretary-General on the monitoring capacity in the Office of Human Resources Management of all relevant activities in the Secretariat (Draft decision A/C.5/56/L.54/Rev.1).

 

Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations

 

Under this agenda item, the Fifth Committee considered a letter dated 27 December 2001 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly regarding the arrears of the Former Yugoslavia.   Owing to the shortness of the session, the Committee decided to recommend to the General Assembly draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.42, whereby the Assembly would request the Committee on Contributions to consider the issues raised in the Secretary-General’s letter and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its 57th session.

 

Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations.

 

The Committee adopted two  draft resolutions under this agenda item.  Draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.41  on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on Common Services at Geneva, and draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.45 on the proposed regulations  governing the status, basic rights and duties of officials other than the Secretariat officials and experts on mission and regulations governing the status, basic rights and duties of the Secretary-General.

 

Programme budget for the biennium 2000-2001.

 

The Committee resumed its consideration of this item and recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of five draft resolutions.   By draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.46 on the report on the Integration Management Information System (IMIS), the Assembly would approve the utilization of an amount of $5,634,700 of interest accrued under the IMIS Fund from the investment income available at 30 June 2001, to meet the requirements of the IMIS relating to the activities detailed in the report of the Secretary-General.  It would request the Secretary-General to continue to report to the General Assembly, in the context of the proposed programme budget, under the corresponding section of the budget, on progress in the development and implementation of the IMIS.   As regards draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.43 on the Construction of Office space facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa, the Assembly would decide to approve the utilization of an amount of $7,711,800 for the construction of additional office facilities at the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, to be financed within the available balance of the construction-in-progress account.   In draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.60 on the Standards of accommodation for air travel, the General Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue to submit annual reports on standards of accommodation for air travel to the General Assembly through the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.  It would call upon the Secretary-General to improve coordination among the various departments in order to expedite settlement of travel reimbursement claims and would emphasize that all travel reimbursement claims must, to the extent possible, be settled within thirty (30) working days of their submission.

 

In connection with the second performance report:  Final appropriation for 2000-2001, the Committee recommended for adoption by the General Assembly draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.53, whereby the Assembly would resolve that for the biennium 2000-2001,  the revised appropriations and commitment authority totalling 2,561,578,000 United States dollars approved in the resolution 56/240 A of 24 December 2001 shall be decreased by 391,100 dollars, resulting in a final appropriation of 2,561,186,900. dollars).

 

As regards draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.55 on the comprehensive study of the question of honorariums payable to members of organs and subsidiary organs of the United Nations, the General Assembly would decide, with effect from 6 April 2002, to set at a level of $1 (one dollar) per year, all honorariums currently payable on an exceptional basis to the members of the International Law Commission, the International Narcotics Control Board, the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.  The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report on the appropriation of the adjustments required as a consequence of the present decision and the related transfers in respect of the provision of Internet services to Member States.   

 

Programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003

 

The Committee adopted five draft  resolutions on questions relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003.  They are:  draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.57 on the availability of documentation in the six official languages on the UN web-site; draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.58 on ESCWA documents and publications; draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.59 on the Review of public information activities in the United Nations.  In recommending the adoption of draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.56 to the General Assembly on the implementation of the measures outlined in the note verbale from the Secretary-General dated 28 February 2002 and in information circular ST/IC/2002/13 in relation to the reductions to certain areas which directly affect services provided to Member States, the General Assembly would request the Secretary-General to implement resolutions 56/253, 56/254 and 56/242 in a way that would not adversely affect the services provided to member states, in accordance with the current budgetary procedures and the relevant regulations and rules.  Most importantly, the Assembly would stress the need for the Secretary-General to implement all General Assembly resolutions in a transparent and non-selective manner.   Indeed, the appropriate provision of conference support services to the bodies, and committees of the Organization and to the regional groups was noted; and in that regard, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to minimize the adverse effect of any changes resulting from his implementation of the measures he outlined in the note verbale  dated 28 February 2002 and circulated in ST/IC/2002/13,  from the existing and established practice in provision and availability of conference servicing.  In addition, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to restore immediately the Internet services, including web hosting, e-mail and support services to Permanent Missions, utilizing the resources released as a result of the resolution on the comprehensive study of the question of honorariums payable to members of organs and subsidiary organs of the United Nations, and to reflect the necessary transfers among sections of the budget in the context of the first performance report to be submitted at the 57th session.  The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to present proposals to implement the provisions of resolution 56/242 within the resources specified in resolution 56/254 for its consideration and action during the second part of the resumed 56th session. 

 

Financing of the two International Criminal Tribunals (Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda) 

 

The Committee considered the financing of the International Criminal Tribunal in Former Yugoslavia and  Rwanda and adopted draft resolutions A/C.5/56/L.50 and A/C.5/56/L.51.  Both draft resolutions recommended approval of the resources for the continuation of oversight functions at both Tribunals for the remainder of the biennium 2002-2003 in the amount of $430,300 for ICTY and 493,300 for ICTR.  In both draft resolutions, the Assembly would regret the delay in the issuance of the comprehensive report on the results of the implementation of the recommendations of the Expert Group to Conduct a Review of the Effective Operation and Functioning of the ICTY and ICTR and would reiterate the request for its submission for consideration by the General Assembly at its 57th session.  It would request the Secretary-General to take all necessary steps to address accountability, management and efficiency problems at the ICTY and ICTR and to report thereon to the General Assembly on the measures taken.    The Assembly would decide on a revised appropriation for the Special Account for ICTY of a total amount of $248,926,200 dollars gross ($223,169,800 dollars net)  and for the Special Account for ICTR of a total amount of $197,127,300 dollars gross (177,739,400 net) for the biennium 2002-2003.

 

The Committee also considered, under the items on the Financing of the two International Criminal Tribunals and on the item entitled “Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of Internal Oversight Services,”  a report of the OIOS entitled “Follow-up investigation into possible fee splitting arrangements between defence counsel and indigent detainees at ICTR and ICTY and recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.44, whereby, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to further follow-up on the investigation expeditiously with a view to ensuring that errant officials are held accountable.  

Financing of the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)

 

The Committee recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of draft resolution A/C.5/56/L.62 on the financing of MONUC, whereby the Assembly would decide to appropriate the amount of $56,757,600 dollars (gross ($57,229,300 dollars net) for the maintenance of the Mission for the twelve-month period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, in addition to the amount of $405,739,878 dollars gross ($396,685,872 dollars net) for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2001 to 31 March 2002, inclusive of the amount of $11,634,563 dollars gross ($10,366,479 dollars net) for the support account for peacekeeping operations, the amount of $862,915 dollars gross (774,893 dollars net) for the UN logistics Base appropriated and assessed by the General Assembly in its resolutions 55/275 and 56/252.  In the same resolution, bearing in mind the concerns expressed by member States at the reported award of the air service contract to Pacific Architects and Engineers Inc/Daher and other procurement related issues, the Committee recommended to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General to submit, as a matter of priority, the report of OIOS on the audit it recently conducted regarding the award of the current contract on air services to the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the General Assembly during the second part of the resumed 56th session.

Future session of the Committee

 

The Committee will hold the second part of the resumed 56th  session in May (dates to be determined);  and in accordance with resolution 49/233, the Committee will give priority consideration to the financing of peacekeeping operations and related peacekeeping issues as well as all other outstanding issues on the agenda of the Fifth Committee.