BUDGET COMMITTEE CONSIDERS UPDATED TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR INDEPENDENT AUDIT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

27 June 2006
GA/AB/3747

BUDGET COMMITTEE CONSIDERS UPDATED TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR INDEPENDENT AUDIT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

27 June 2006
General Assembly
GA/AB/3747
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixtieth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

64th Meeting (AM)

BUDGET COMMITTEE CONSIDERS UPDATED TERMS OF REFERENCE

 

FOR INDEPENDENT AUDIT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

Also Discusses Political Missions in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Lebanon;

Approves Text on Financial Reports, Appointment of Judges on Yugoslav Tribunal

Continuing its discussion on the issue of United Nations reform and other matters this morning, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) considered updated terms of reference for the recently-established Independent Audit Advisory Committee and took up estimated requirements for the United Nations special political missions in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Timor-Leste.

Introducing a detailed report on the updated terms of reference for the Independent Audit Advisory Committee -- established by the General Assembly last December -– United Nations Controller Warren Sach said there was much preparatory work to be done in setting up a functioning committee and an office to support it.  In that regard, the Secretary-General requested the Assembly to approve the proposed terms of reference and associated preparatory arrangements, including resource requirements of some $956,600 for the 2006-2007 biennium.  While the provisional terms of reference for the Committee had been first presented in document A/60/568, further clarifications had since been made, regarding the number of members, the appointment criteria, the terms and compensation of members, and operational matters.

Welcoming the updated terms of reference, Austria’s representative, on behalf of the European Union, noted that the consideration of the terms was related to the reports on governance and oversight, which were not in front of the Committee.  The Union was, therefore, willing to defer consideration.  As the Assembly had already established the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, however, the Union would allow for the Commission to begin its work, once the terms of reference had been established.

Supporting the Audit Committee’s establishment, the United States representative said the need for improved oversight had been identified last year at the September Summit as a critical component of reform.  Other entities, including the Volcker Panel, had underlined the importance of strengthening the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).  The proposal for creating an Independent Audit Advisory Committee had been an important step in that regard.  The best course would be to proceed with recruitment of experts to fill positions, while the terms of reference were further developed.

Japan’s representative also welcomed the updated terms of reference, recalling that the Audit Committee had been established pending adaptation of the terms of reference.  Such an issue required careful consideration and should be dealt with in the context of broader consideration of oversight review.  Further delay, however, would delay the Committee becoming operational.  Resource requirements should, therefore, be appropriated.

Turning to the financing of special political missions, Brazil’s representative said such missions were valuable instruments in the pursuit of peace.  Noting that the issue of Timor-Leste was a priority for his country, he underlined the need to provide the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) with the means to fulfil its mandate adequately, until a decision on a further United Nations presence was taken.

Calling for the strengthening of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Pakistan’s representative said the Mission had been critical in providing support to the implementation of the Bonn Agreement, and had several achievements to its credit, including the holding of provisional and presidential elections.  Instability in the country continued, however, and inadequate international support, including in economic and security terms, had been critical factors in the ongoing situation.  He hoped the establishment of a joint mission analysis centre would provide the objective information needed to strengthen stability in the country.  He wondered, however, how its role would overlap with the Mission’s existing political unit.

In other business this morning, the Committee took action on a two texts, and deferred action on a third text on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Approving, without a vote, a draft resolution on financial reports and audited financial statements and reports of the Board of Auditors, the Committee accepted the audited financial statements on United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, and endorsed the recommendations contained in the report of the Board of Auditors on the accounts of United Nations peacekeeping operations for the financial period ending 30 June 2005.

Adopting, also without a vote, a draft decision on revised estimates in respect of Security Council resolution 1660 (2006) on the appointment of reserve judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Committee requested the Secretary-General to report on any additional requirements arising from the appointment of three reserve judges, in the context of the second performance report for the 2006-2007 biennium.

Introducing the draft resolution on UNIFIL, South Africa’s representative, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, noted that, as far back as resolution 51/233, the Assembly, in its resolutions on the matter, had stressed that Israel should pay for damages resulting from an incident in 1996.  The draft resolution would, therefore, reiterate the previous request, as contained in operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 17.

Also speaking today were the representatives Egypt, Argentina and Nigeria.

Rajat Saha, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introduced several reports.

Sharon Van Buerle, the Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the Secretary-General’s reports on estimates in respect of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) and on the situation in Timor-Leste.

The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. tomorrow to continue its work.

Background

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to continue consideration of some reform measures, as well as financing of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) and the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC).  The Committee is also expected to take action on financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the International Tribunal in the Former Yugoslavia and financial reports and reports of the Board of Auditors.

Regarding the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), according to addendum 3 on estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council (document A/60/585), resource requirements for the period from 1 April to 31 December 2006 would total $54.89 million net ($59.84 million gross).  An unencumbered balance from the previous period of $2.78 million would lower that requirement to $52.11 million net ($57.05 million gross).  Since an unallocated balance of $51.91 million remains in the provision for special political missions established by General Assembly resolutions 60/248 and 60/255, it is proposed that the difference, amounting to $201,200 net, be treated in accordance with the procedures provided for in General Assembly resolution 41/213.

The General Assembly is requested to approve the budget for UNAMA for the period from 1 April to 31 December 2006, amounting to $54.89 million net ($59.84 million gross), and take note that part of it will be met from the unencumbered balance of $2.78 million.  The Assembly should approve a charge of $52.91 million, corresponding to the unassigned balance in the provision for special political missions, and appropriate $201,200 under section 3, political affairs, and $4.94 million under section 35, staff assessment, to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the programme budget for 2006-2007.

Commenting on the UNAMA estimates, the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), in a related report (document A/60/7/Add.39), recalls that, following several previous appropriations, the remaining unallocated balance in the provision for special political missions for 2006-2007 currently amounts to about $51.91 million.  The Advisory Committee also recalls that the Secretary-General had proposed a budget for UNAMA at the maintenance level for the three initial months of 2006, as it had been anticipated that the mandate would change after its expiry on 24 March.  The resources approved by the Assembly in its resolution 60/255 for UNAMA amounted to some $13.62 million for the period from 1 January to 31 March 2006.  The actual expenditure out of that amount is estimated at $10.84 million, leaving an unencumbered balance of $2.78 million.

Upon enquiry, the Advisory Committee was informed that the under-expenditure resulted mostly from reduced requirements under military and police personnel, in view of the absence of death and disability claims, and savings related to clothing allowance and travel for rotation, as those were not required by all personnel during the first three months of the year.  The reduced requirements under civilian personnel resulted from higher than budgeted vacancy rates at the Professional level and above, savings under operational costs reflected the deterioration of the security situation, leading to travel restrictions and decreases in the costs for vehicles, fuel and air transport, as well as lower requirements than anticipated under information and communication technology.  Bad weather had resulted in the postponement of construction and alteration of premises.

The Advisory Committee points out that the persistence of high vacancy rates calls into question the ability of missions to carry out the mandated functions effectively.  It also makes it difficult to analyse the request for the continuation and creation of posts.  The Personnel Management and Support Service in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations should provide support, in order to expedite the recruitment of personnel and the filling of vacancies.  There should be an improvement in this regard in the next budget.  Also, welcoming some positive trends in this regard, the Advisory Committee stresses that the use of national staff and the gradual replacement of international staff with national staff, wherever feasible and cost-effective, should be encouraged.  Regarding the use of consultants, the Advisory Committee recommends that the consultancy be used in such a way as to ensure that knowledge and expertise is passed on to staff who can take over these functions.

ACABQ also makes detailed recommendations on the post requests presented in the Secretary-General’s report, and comments on the presentation of the budget.  The Advisory Committee notes, for example, that the basis for the budget is the initial three months of 2006, making it difficult to analyse and compare the resources proposed.  ACABQ requests that information analysing the growth or decrease in resources proposed for special political missions, as compared to both the previous biennium and the previous year, be included in future budget presentations.

The Advisory Committee recommends that the Assembly approve the budget for the Mission for the period from 1 April to 31 December 2006 in the amount of $59.65 million gross ($54.74 million net), as proposed by the Secretary-General.  Noting that part of the requirements would be met from the unencumbered balance of $2.78 million, ACABQ recommends that the Assembly approve resources of $51.91 million, to be charged against the unassigned balance in the provision for special political missions of the 2006-2007 budget. In addition, it recommends that, under the provision of resolution 41/213, an amount of $54,700 be appropriated under section 3, political affairs, and $4.9 million under staff assessment, to be offset by a corresponding amount under income from staff assessment, of the budget.

The Secretary-General’s report on estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council (document A/60/585/Add.4), which is submitted in the context of the Council’s anticipated action on the Secretary-General’s report on the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) and on the situation in Timor-Leste.

[Based in Lebanon, the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) was established pursuant to Council resolution 1595 (2005) for an initial period of six months to assist the Lebanese authorities in their investigation of all aspects of the 14 February 2005 bombing in Beirut.  By its resolution 1644 (2005), the Council decided to extend the Commission’s mandate, initially until 15 June 2006, and also authorized the Commission to extend technical assistance as appropriate to the Lebanese authorities with regard to the investigations of the 14 other attacks perpetrated in Lebanon since 1 October 2004.  On 15 June, IIIC was extended for one year, until 15 June 2007, by Security Council resolution 1686 (2006).

By its resolution 1599 (2005), the Council established UNOTIL, which would remain in Timor-Leste until 20 May 2006, as a follow-on mission to the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).  In its resolution 1677 (2006), the Council, expressing deep concern over the incidents of 28 and 29 April as well as the ensuing situation in Timor-Leste, extended the Mission’s mandate until 20 June 2006.  In view of the current conditions in Timor-Leste, the United Nations future role in Timor-Leste remains under consideration, the report notes.]

The report contains the proposed resource requirements for IIIC for the period 16 June to 31 December 2006, and for a technical rollover of the existing mandate of UNOTIL for the period from 21 June to 31 August 2006.  The estimated requirement for the two missions for the respective periods amount to $22.44 million net ($25 million gross).  After taking into account the estimated savings of $3.3 million realized against the appropriations for these missions, the additional requirements amount to $19.2 million net ($21.7 million gross).

The report states that the Assembly is requested to approve the budgets for IIIC for the period from 16 June to 31 December 2006, and for UNOTIL for the period from 21 June to 31 August 2006, in the amounts of some $17.2 million net ($19.2 million gross) and $5.25 million net ($5.77 million gross), respectively, totalling $22.44 million net ($25 million gross).  The Assembly is also asked to take note of the unspent balances of $3.01 million and $256,300, respectively, remaining in the amounts already appropriated for IIIC and UNOTIL, totalling some $3.3 million.

The Assembly is requested to appropriate, under the provisions of Assembly resolution 41/213, an amount of $19.2 million under section 3, political affairs, and $2.51 million under section 35, staff assessment, to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the 2006-2007 programme budget.

In its related report (document A/60/7/Add.41), the ACABQ notes that the Secretary-General proposes to treat the requirements related to IIIC and UNOTIL, totalling some $21.7 million gross, in accordance with the procedures provided for in Assembly resolution 41/213.  In that connection, the Advisory Committee points out that, in accordance with paragraph 11 of annex I to that resolution, 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 continue to be treated in accordance with established procedures and under the relevant provisions of the Financial Regulations and Rules.

On resource requirements for IIIC, the report notes that the proposed resources would provide for civilian personnel costs (about $13.86 million), including a staffing component of 229 civilian staff and operational costs.  ACABQ expresses its concern regarding the large number of vacant posts, as well as their high grade level, and welcomes the establishment of rosters of qualified staff with the support of Member States.

The report notes that the Investigations Division performs the core of IIIC’s work.  Besides the Office of the Chief of Investigations, the Division includes a Case Linkage Section, a Case Crime Scene Section and an Operational Support Section, which is proposed to be expanded into two integrated, but distinct, sections.  The Operational Support Section and the Information and Communication Technology Section will together provide support to the Hariri case, technical assistance to the Lebanese authorities in the investigation of the 14 other cases, integrated electronic system support, forensics support and witness protection services for the different investigation projects.  ACABQ notes that the Commission is currently reviewing the possibility of developing a witness protection programme and that Member States are being approached to explore the extent to which they may be able to offer support.   ACABQ expects to see relevant information included in the next budget.

Regarding administration, the Advisory Committee notes the proposal for an increase of four Field Service support staff to strengthen the finance, personnel and communications areas, replacing services previously provided by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).  Insisting on the need for cooperation among United Nations entities, ACABQ recommends against the approval of the posts, as it is of the opinion that the Secretary-General should ensure cooperation from UNIFIL and/or the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in that regard. 

The Advisory Committee recommends that the Assembly approve a budget for the IIIC in the amount of $18.97 million gross ($17.02 million net) for the period from 16 June to 31 December 2006, and $5.77 million gross ($5.25 million net) for UNOTIL for the period from 21 June to 31 August 2006.  Noting that part of the requirements would be met from the unspent balances of $3.01 million and $256,300 remaining in relation to the amounts already appropriated for IIIC and UNOTIL, respectively, totalling $3.26 million, the Advisory Committee recommends that the Assembly appropriate an additional $19.01 million for IIIC and UNOTIL, under section 3, political affairs and $2.5 million under section 35, staff assessment, to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the 2006-2007 programme budget.

United Nations Reform

WARREN SACH, Assistant Secretary-General and Controller, introducing the Secretary-General’s detailed report on updated terms of reference for the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, noted that the Assembly, by its resolution 60/248 of 23 December 2005, had decided to establish an Independent Audit Advisory Committee, and had requested the Secretary-General to present terms of reference for that Committee and related resource requirements to the Assembly at the current session.  The report before the Committee (document A/60/846/Add.7) responded to that request.

He said the terms of reference had been presented following a review by the independent external evaluation of governance and oversight, undertaken by the Steering Committee as requested by resolution 60/1.  Provisional terms of reference had been first presented in document A/60/568.  Further clarifications had since been made, with respect to the number of members, the appointment criteria, the terms and compensation of members, and operational matters.

The establishment of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee required administrative and logistical support for its work, he said.  A support unit was proposed to assist the Committee with the preparation and follow-up of quarterly meetings, as well as to liaise between the Audit Committee, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), the Board of Auditors, management, other oversight bodies and the General Assembly.  There was much preparatory work to be done in setting up a functioning committee and an office to support it.  The process of identifying candidates would need to begin shortly, if the Assembly was to be able to approve the appointment of the Audit Committee’s members at its sixty-first session.

The Assembly was requested to approve the Audit Committee’s proposed terms of reference and associated preparatory arrangements, including the provision of resource requirements of some $956,600 for the 2006-2007 biennium, he said.

RAJAT SAHA, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introducing that body’s related report, noted that, as the report on governance and oversight was not available to ACABQ, it would reserve comment on the proposed terms of reference for the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, including its mandate, composition, selection process and qualification of experts.  Similarly, ACABQ was not yet in a position to pronounce itself on the Secretary-General’s specific staffing proposals.  Once the terms of reference had been approved, however, and before the Independent Audit Advisory Committee members took up their duties, some organizational and preparatory work might be necessary to organize support arrangements for the Audit Committee, pending the Assembly’s decision on the number and grade levels of staff of the Audit Committee Secretariat.  ACABQ recommended, therefore, approval at the current stage of temporary assistance equivalent to six months at the P-5, P-3 and General Service levels.

He recommended that consideration of non-post requirements be deferred, pending the necessary decisions by the Assembly on the Independent Audit Advisory Committee.  That stated, ACABQ believed that identification of potential candidates by the Secretary-General, in consultation with Member States, would be a useful exercise, in order to avoid undue delay in putting the Audit Committee into operation once the Assembly had taken the relevant decisions.  ACABQ did not believe, however, that the Secretary-General needed an additional appropriation to commence work at the current stage.

MARKUS WEIDINGER ( Austria), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said he welcomed the updated terms of reference.  The consideration of those terms was related to the reports on governance and oversight, which were not in front of the Committee.  The European Union was, therefore, willing to defer consideration.  However, since the Assembly already had established the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, the Union would allow for the Committee to begin its work, once the terms of reference had been established.

THOMAS A. REPASCH ( United States) said the need for improved oversight had been identified last year at the September Summit as a critical component of reform.  Other entities, including the Volcker Panel, had underlined the importance of strengthening OIOS.  The proposal for creating an Independent Audit Advisory Committee had also been an important step.  While continuing to support the Audit Committee’s establishment, he said the report had raised questions that merited clarification.  The best course would be to proceed with recruitment of experts to fill positions, while terms of reference were further developed.  He supported the ACABQ recommendation to authorize the Audit Committee, in order to give it greater independence, to submit its budget through the ACABQ.

HITOSHI KOZAKI ( Japan) welcomed the updated terms of reference, recalling that the Independent Audit Advisory Committee had been established pending adaptation of the terms of reference.  Such an issue required careful consideration and should be dealt with in the context of broader consideration of oversight review.  Further delay, however, would delay the Audit Committee becoming operational.  Resource requirements should therefore be appropriated.  He endorsed the ACABQ recommendations.

YASSER ELNAGGAR ( Egypt), noting that the Committee was currently looking at A/60/846/Add.7, asked what had happened to addenda 5 and 6?  When would they be introduced?  He asked for clarity in that regard, so that he could be prepared to make remarks on some milestone proposals.

Responding, Committee Chairman JOHN ASHE ( Antigua and Barbuda), said that document A/60/846/Add.6 was a “work in progress”.  Addendum 5 would be introduced tomorrow afternoon.

Special Political Missions

SHARON VAN BUERLE, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the reports of the Secretary-General on estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or Security Council, including the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC).

Mr. SAHA, introducing the ACABQ’s reports, said the Advisory Committee had by and large recommended acceptance of the Secretary-General’s estimate.  UNAMA had had a persistently high vacancy rate, which called into question the ability of missions to effectively carry out their mandates.  The Advisory Committee noted that most of the proposed staff increase related to national staff, an approach it welcomed.

Concerning the transformation of the Counter Narcotics Unit into a separate entity, he said there was a lack of information on the function of that Unit and on the interaction between UNAMA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.  The Advisory Committee had indicated the need to identify the division of labour among partners and the cooperation of other United Nations funds, programmes and agencies. 

On IIIC, he said that ACABQ had expressed concern at the large number of vacant positions, as well as their high grade levels.  The Advisory Committee recommended approval of the requested additional positions and the reclassification for the Investigations Division.  It also recommended approval of additional positions for support services, including language services and security.

He said that, regarding administration, however, ACABQ recommended against the approval of additional Field Service positions.  The Committee had repeatedly insisted on the need for cooperation among United Nations entities in the region.  The Secretary-General should, therefore, ensure cooperation from UNIFIL and ESCWA in that regard.

On UNOTIL, he said the Advisory Committee recommended acceptance of the Secretary-General’s request for resource requirements for a technical rollover of the existing mandate for the period from 21 June to 31 August 2006.

Mr. WEIDINGER ( Austria), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Union recognized the important functions performed by the special political missions and stood ready to appropriate the necessary resources.  He underlined the importance of resources for UNOTIL at present, and was willing to allow for more resources, if requested.

KHUSHALI SHAH ( United States) said the special political missions in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and Lebanon were playing vital roles.  Although her country was encouraged by their activities to date, there was clearly much more to be done in each of the missions.  The resource requests would be reviewed in that regard.  She was pleased to note UNAMA’s efforts to use existing facilities in the establishment of additional regional offices, and of its efforts to cost-share facilities and services.  She also welcomed the voluntary contributions of the Government of Lebanon to the office of IIIC and encouraged additional contributions from Member States.

PAULO TARISSE DA FONTOURA ( Brazil) said the special political missions were valuable instruments in the pursuit of peace.  The issue of Timor-Leste was a priority for his country and he, therefore, underlined the need to provide UNOTIL with the means to fulfil its mandate adequately, until a decision on a further United Nations presence was taken.  His country had supported the efforts of the United Nations through several missions and had assisted the Portuguese-speaking nations. 

He said the recent surge of violence in Timor-Leste had stressed the need for a continued United Nations presence in the country.  The events had also strengthened the case against withdrawing.  His country stood was ready to approve the entire budget for UNOTIL until the United Nations would decide on a continued presence.  The United Nations could not fail Timor-Leste and its people.  He recalled that a technical rollover was meant to allow time to plan an adequate response to the current crisis.

ALEJANDRO TORRES LEPORI ( Argentina) expressed concern following the recent events in Timor Leste.  In that regard, he fully supported the remarks made by Brazil’s representative.  Argentina would work constructively in informal consultations to ensure that UNOTIL would have all the necessary resources to effectively carry out its mandate.

IMTIAZ HUSSAIN ( Pakistan) said the Mission in Afghanistan had been critical in providing support to the implementation of the Bonn Agreement.  It had several achievements to its credit, including the holding of provisional and presidential elections, and had played a critical role in the country’s political civilization.  The Mission needed to be strengthened, however.  He remained concerned at instability in the country, which affected neighbouring countries as well.  Inadequate international support, including in economic and security terms, had been critical factors in the ongoing situation.  The continuation of drug problems and regional warlords had kept the country in a state of perpetual instability.

On the establishment of a joint mission analysis centre, he said he hoped it would provide objective information needed to strengthen stability in Afghanistan.  He wondered, however, how its role would overlap with the Mission’s existing political unit.  There seemed to be some kind of overlap with the existing unit.  He would raise such questions during informal consultations.

Action on Drafts

The Committee first took up draft resolution A/C.5/60/L.43 entitled “Financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors”, by which the Committee recommended that the Assembly accept the audited financial statement on the United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005 and endorse the recommendations contained in the report of the Board of Auditors.  It would request the Secretary-General to indicate an expected time frame for the recommendations’ implementation.

Acting without a vote, he Committee adopted the decision.

The Committee then turned to the draft decision entitled “Revised estimates arising in respect of Security Council resolution 1660 (2006) on the appointment of reserve judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia” (document A/C.5/60/L.41), adopting that decision without a vote.

By its terms, the Committee recommended that the Assembly take note of the report of the Secretary-General on revised estimates arising in respect of Security Council resolution 1660 (2006) on the appointment of reserve judges at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (document A/60/844) and that the Assembly request the Secretary-General to report on any additional requirements arising from the appointment of the three reserve judges in the context of the second performance report for the biennium 2006-2007.

Lebanon Force

The Committee then turned its attention to a draft resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/60/L.42).

By the text of that draft, the Committee would recommend that the General Assembly appropriates, to the Special Account of the Mission, an amount that would include $93.53 million for the maintenance of UNIFIL for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007.

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to entrust the Head of the Mission with the task for formulating future budget proposals, in accordance with Assembly resolution 59/296.  It would stress, once again, that Israel should comply with relevant Assembly resolutions.

The Assembly would also express concern at the financial situation, with regard to peacekeeping activities, in particular regarding reimbursements to troop contributors, and at the delay experienced by the Secretary-General in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peacekeeping mission, in particular those in Africa.  It would emphasize that all future and existing peacekeeping missions shall be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment.

The Assembly would note with great concern the reported fuel and rations fraud and request the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that UNIFIL was administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy.

NONYE UDO (Nigeria) reported on the informal consultations held on the question, and announced that negotiations had not been able to lead to a consensus text, as in previous years.

KAREN LOCK ( South Africa), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced the draft resolution.  She said that, as far back as resolution 51/233, the Assembly, in its resolutions on the matter, had stressed that Israel should pay for damages resulting from an incident in 1996.  The draft would, therefore, reiterate the previous request, as contained in operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 17.

The Committee was informed that action on the draft would be taken at a future date.

At the closing of the meeting, Ms. LOCK ( South Africa), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, thanked the staff of the Secretariat, who had been working tirelessly with the Committee over the weekend and late into the night.  She was encouraged that the Committee had been able to clean up most of the peacekeeping resolutions.  She understood that, as soon as all peacekeeping-related matters had been cleared, the Committee would move to other matters, so that on the deadline of 30 June, all peacekeeping budgets could be adopted.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.