ROUND UP ON THE WORK OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE 57TH SESSION:
25 SEPTEMBER TO 16 DECEMBER 2002



The Fifth Committee met from 25 September to 16 December 2002 and held 38 plenary meetings and 76 informal meetings. The Fifth Committee held extensive consultations on the issues before it and adopted all its recommendations (24 draft resolutions and 26 draft decisions), without a vote. Out of the 45 agenda items allocated to the Fifth Committee, it considered twenty items, and had before it 212 reports during the main part of the 57th session. Forty-four of these reports were deferred to the resumed 57th sessions. It should be noted that the Fifth Committee – for the first time -- concluded its work a week before Christmas. Regrettably, negotiations on the draft resolutions on two of its major items namely, Human resources management and Pattern of Conferences were deferred to the resumed sessions.
Accordingly, the Committee adopted a preliminary draft resolution on Pattern of Conferences. In its resolution 57/283, the Assembly would approve the calendar of conferences for 2003, and would continue its negotiations on the substantive issues related to pattern of conferences prior to the start of the first resumed session scheduled to be held from 3 to 28 March 2003.

 

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

Under this agenda item, the General Assembly, based on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee, adopted resolution 57/4A whereby, the Assembly would approve the request for exemptions under article 19 of Comoros, Guinea Bissau, the Republic of Moldova, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Tajikistan and Burundi. In its resolution 57/4B, the Assembly would fix the rates of assessment in 2003 for Afghanistan at 0.001% and for Argentina at 0.969%, as ad hoc adjustments. In the same resolution, the Assembly would consider the outstanding assessed contributions of the Former Yugoslavia at its 58th session.

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

Based on the recommendations of the Fifth Committee, the Assembly adopted resolution 57/279 on procurement reform; resolution 57/280 on the proposed programme budget outline for the biennium 2004-2005; resolution 57/281 on Gratis personnel and decision 57/556 on “Action taken on certain Items” and decision 57/555 on “ Biennial programme of work of the Fifth Committee.” In its resolution 57/280, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to prepare his proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005 on the basis of a preliminary estimate of U.S. $2,876 million at revised 2002-2003 rates, and the level of the contingency fund remaining at 0.75 per cent of the preliminary estimates.

Programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003.

During the main part of the 57th session, the Committee considered a total of 36 reports including seven statements on programme budget implications and recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of six draft resolutions and 25 draft decisions. In its resolution 57/292 on the First performance report for the biennium 2002-2003, the Assembly would approve a net increase of 176,866,900 in the appropriations approved for the biennium 2002-2003 and a net increase of 2,807,300 in the estimates of income for the biennium to be apportioned among expenditures and income sections, as indicated in the report of the Secretary-General. In the same resolution, the Assembly would appropriate 25.5 million dollars to the special account for the capital master plan for the biennium 2002-2003 in accordance with the relevant resolutions on the scale of assessments applicable for the biennium 2002-2003, for design and related project management and management of pre construction services for the baseline scope and scope options. In addition, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitment of up to 26 million dollars for the biennium 2004-2005 to provide for the remaining work, related project management and management of pre-construction services for the baseline scope and scope options.
The Fifth Committee also recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of twelve procedural draft decisions. In its decision 57/571 on the question of development account, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to clearly indicate the role of projects funded from the Development account vis-à-vis those funded from section 21, Regular programme of technical cooperation, of the programme budget.
In its decision 57/580 on the strengthening of the DPI web site, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to proceed with the implementation of his proposal on strengthening the web site through the redeployment of resources within the Department of Public Information, giving priority to the language posts required, and to report on the status of implementation to the General Assembly at its 58th session.

United Nations Common system

Based on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee, General Assembly, in its resolution 57/285 would reaffirm that the range of 110 to 120 for the margin
between the net remuneration of officials in the Professional and higher categories of the United Nations in new York and officials in comparable positions in the comparator civil service should continue to apply, on the understanding that the margin would be maintained at the desirable midpoint of 115 over a period of time. Consequently, General Assembly would approve with effect from 1 January 2003, a revised scale of gross and net salaries for staff in the Professional and higher categories.

Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)

Due to the complexity of issues involved in the thematic reports of OIOS, the Committee was unable to complete its consideration on all of them during this part of the session. Similarly, owing to the lack of time, the Committee decided to resume its consideration of the annual report of OIOS at its first resumed session in March 2003. However, on the recommendations of the Fifth Committee, the Assembly in its resolution 57/287, would take note of a number of reports of the Office for Internal Oversight Services submitted to the Assembly at its 56th session.

Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of peacekeeping operations.

Based on the recommendation of the Committee, General Assembly in its resolution 57/290 would decide that Switzerland would be assigned to Level II and Timor Leste would be assigned to Level I under the system of adjustments used for establishing rates of assessments for peacekeeping operations.

Financing of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)

In its resolution 57/288 on the Financing of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Assembly would decide that for the biennium 2002-2003, the amount of US$248,926,200 gross should be increased by US$13,727,500 gross, resulting from the recosting and the establishment of one additional trial team and should be drawn from the unencumbered balance available in the Special Account for the ICTY as of 31 December 2001. The Assembly would decide to apportion for the year 2003 the amount of US$64,275,950 gross including US.$ 6,863,750 gross being the increase in assessments, among Member States in accordance with the scale of assessments applicable to the regular budget of the UN and with the rates of assessment applicable to peacekeeping operations for 2003.

Financing of the International Tribunal in Rwanda (ICTR)

Also, based on the recommendation of the Committee, General Assembly in its resolution 57/289 on the financing of the International Tribunal in Rwanda (ICTR), the Assembly would decide that for the biennium 2002-2003, the amount of US$197,127,300 gross approved in GA resolution 56/248B for the budget of the ICTR, should be adjusted by the amount of US $4,657,600 dollars gross arising for ad litem judges in respect of Security Council resolution 1431. The Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments, when necessary, in an amount not to exceed US$ 2,177,700 gross for the resource requirements of the ICTR to support the recosting of resources for the biennium 2002-2003, and would request the Secretary-General to report on the impact thereof in the context of the second performance report for the biennium. The Assembly would also decide to apportion for 2003 the amount of US$53,047,600 gross including US$ 5,202,750 dollars gross being the increase in assessments, among Member States in accordance with the scale of assessments applicable to the regular budget of the United Nations and rates of assessments applicable to peacekeeping operations for 2003.

Financing of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL)

Financing of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH)


In its resolution 57/291, on the Financing of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the Assembly would decide to apportion among Member States the additional amount of 90 million dollars at a monthly rate of $7,500,000 dollars for the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003, comprising of 67,500,000 dollars for the period from 1 July 2002 to 31 March 2003 and 22,500,000 dollars for the period from 1 April to 30 June 2003.

As regards UNMIBH, in its decision 57/559, the Assembly would approve the donation of assets to the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina as proposed by the Secretary-General in his report on the matter (A/57/449).

Other items and issues

In the course of the main part of the session, the Committee also considered the financial reports and audited financial statements and reports of the Board of Auditors, (GA resolution 57/278); United Nations Pension system (GA resolution 57/286); Joint inspection Unit, (GA resolution 57/284) and Programme Planning (GA resolution 57/282). The Committee made recommendations on all of them to the General Assembly.

Future sessions of the Fifth Committee.

The Committee is scheduled to hold two resumed sessions during the first half of 2003. The first part from 3 to 28 March 2003, which will be devoted to
items/issues still under consideration at the end of the main part of the 57th session. The second part of the resumed session will take place from 5 to 30 May 2003. It will be devoted mainly to the financing of peacekeeping operations, as mandated in General Assembly resolution 49/233, and other outstanding issues on the agenda of the Fifth Committee.