BUDGET COMMITTEE APPROVES $4.72 BILLION FOR 13 ACTIVE PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS

30 June 2006
GA/AB/3749

BUDGET COMMITTEE APPROVES $4.72 BILLION FOR 13 ACTIVE PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS

30 June 2006
General Assembly
GA/AB/3749
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixtieth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

66th Meeting (PM)

Budget committee approves $4.72 billion for 13 active peacekeeping missions

Also Approves Texts on Capital Master Plan,

Cross-Cutting Issues, Peacekeeping Operations

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this evening approved some $4.72 billion for 13 active peacekeeping missions, addressed cross-cutting issues of peacekeeping operations and approved a draft resolution on the Capital Master Plan, referring consideration of the matter to the next session of the General Assembly.

The Committee customarily devotes its late spring session to assisting the budgetary and administrative needs of peacekeeping for the coming financial year, which runs from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007.  Most of the texts approved today address various aspects of peacekeeping, including budgets of individual missions, the financing of the Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy, and the peacekeeping Support Account.

The Committee also approved a text on cross-cutting issues, intended to help the Organization deal with the surge in peacekeeping operations and provide policy guidance at Headquarters and in the field.  The 16-part text addresses all aspects of peacekeeping, ranging from high vacancy rates in peacekeeping missions to accountability and fraud, procurement opportunities and quick-impact projects.

On accountability, fraud, corruption, mismanagement, misconduct and conflict of interest, the Committee recommended that the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that United Nations staff are held accountable for any proven wrongdoings.  It would further request the Secretary-General to ensure that the application and enforcement of accountability be carried out impartially at all levels and without exception.  Regarding use of consultants, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure full utilization of synergies present in the United Nations system.

In addressing procurement, the Assembly, by the text, would request the Secretary-General to increase efforts to improve procurement opportunities for vendors from developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

As for quick-impact projects, the Assembly would emphasize the need for a comprehensive policy, including on resource allocations, for such projects, and request the Secretary-General to address such matters as definition of projects, the duration of them and how administrative costs could be minimized.

Acting on the individual mission budgets for 2006-2007, the Committee approved the following amounts:

MINURSO ( Western Sahara)

$44,460,000

MINUSTAH ( Haiti)

$510,394,700

MONUC ( Dem. Republic of the Congo)

$1,138,533,000

ONUB ( Burundi)

$82,386,000

UNOCI ( Côte d’Ivoire)

$438,366,800

UNDOF (Israel-Syria Disengagement)

$41,588,400

UNFICYP ( Cyprus)

$46,770,000

UNIFIL ( Lebanon)

$97,579,600

UNOMIG (Georgia)

$34,827,000

UNMEE ( Ethiopia and Eritrea)

$182,237,800

UNMIK (Kosovo)

$227,400,400

UNMIL ( Liberia)

$745,572,300

UNMIS ( Sudan)

$1,126,295,900

Total

$4,716,411,900

The appropriation for each mission includes a prorated share for the Support Account and the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi.  The total requirements for the Support Account amount to some $183.19 million, and for the Logistics Base, $35.48 million.

All but one of the peacekeeping drafts -- that on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) -- were adopted without a vote.  That text was approved by a vote of 144 in favour to 3 against ( Israel, United States and Palau), with 1 abstentions ( Australia).  (See Annex II.)

A separate vote was held on several paragraphs of the text referring to earlier Assembly resolutions that called on Israel to pay for damages resulting from an Israeli assault on the UNIFIL base at Qana in southern Lebanon on 18 April 1996.  The Committee approved those paragraphs by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 5 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Palau and United States) and 49 abstentions.  (See Annex I.)

All the texts on specific peacekeeping missions included provisions by which the General Assembly would express, among other things, concern at the delays the Secretary-General has faced in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peace missions, particularly those in Africa.  The Assembly would emphasise that all future and existing peacekeeping missions shall be given “equal and non-discriminatory” treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements, and that all operations shall be provided with adequate resources for the effective and efficient discharge of their respective mandates.

By the texts, the Assembly would emphasize that no peacekeeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peacekeeping missions.  The texts would reiterate the Assembly’s request to the Secretary-General to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, in order to minimize the costs of procurement.  The Assembly would further request the Secretary-General to continue efforts to recruit local staff.

Turning its attention to the Capital Master Plan, the Committee approved a draft resolution that would have the Assembly revert to consideration of the matter at its sixty-first session and request the Secretary-General to ensure that no action is taken that would preclude any decision that the Assembly might take on the construction of a new permanent building on the North Lawn at some future date.

Further by the text, the Assembly would approve, effective 1 July, Strategy IV for the implementation of the Capital Master Plan -- the phased approach -- as recommended by the Secretary-General, including the phasing, swing space and cost, and would decide to review the updated projected costs at the main part of the sixty-first session.  It would revert consideration of the Funding Plan to its sixty-first session. The Assembly would further decide to convert the existing commitment authority of $77 million into an appropriation with assessment on Member States in 2006 on the basis of the regular budget scale of assessment in effect.

Acting on special political missions, good offices and other political institutions authorized by the Assembly and the Security Council, the Committee recommended the appropriation of some $85.40 million for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) and the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL).

The Committee further approved a draft decision on additional office accommodation in Geneva for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, authorizing the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to $4.98 million under the 2006-2007 programme budget.

Statements were made by the representatives of South Africa (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Israel, Canada, Viet Nam, United States, Australia, Syria, Lebanon, Austria (on behalf of the European Union) and New Zealand.

The Fifth Committee will meet again to consider reform measures at a date and time to be announced.

Action on Texts

The Committee first took up a 16-part text on Cross-cutting issues (document A/C.5/60/L.60) that covers issues ranging from high vacancy rates to accountability, fraud, corruption, mismanagement, misconduct and conflict of interest, procurement opportunities and quick-impact projects.

By the terms of the text addressing budget presentation, the Assembly, expressing regret at the late issuance and receipt of budgets for some operations, would request the Secretary-General to improve timely submission of peacekeeping budgets.  It would further request the Secretary-General to continue to undertake the review of staffing requirements, function and level of posts that would reflect evolving mandates, changing operational requirements, actual responsibilities and functions performed.

Regarding the use of consultants, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure full utilization of synergies present in the United Nations system and to develop an effective evaluation mechanism for the use of outside expertise.  Addressing the issue of high vacancy rates, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to intensify efforts, including through innovative approaches, to ensure the expeditious filling of all vacant post and to continue to ensure greater use of national staff.

On accountability, fraud, corruption, mismanagement, misconduct and conflict of interest, the Assembly would note with concern observations by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), the Board of Auditors and the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and request the Secretary-General to ensure that United Nations staff are held accountable for any proven wrongdoings.  It would further request the Secretary-General to ensure that the application and enforcement of accountability be carried out impartially at all levels and without exception.

In addressing procurement, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to increase efforts to improve procurement opportunities for vendors from developing countries and countries with economies in transition, making information on procurement opportunities available utilizing the United Nations Information Centres as appropriate.

As for quick-impact projects, the Assembly would stress that they are an integral part of mission planning and development, as well as of the implementation of comprehensive strategies to meet the challenges facing complex peacekeeping operations.  It would emphasize the need for a comprehensive policy, including on resource allocations, for such projects and request the Secretary-General to address such matters as definition of projects, the duration of them and how administrative costs could be minimized.

Turning to the staffing of field missions, including the use of 300-series and 100-series appointments, the Assembly would decide to continue to suspend the application of the four-year maximum limit for appointments of limited duration until 31 December.  It would authorize the Secretary-General to reappoint, under the 100 series of the Staff Rules, those mission staff whose service under 300-series contracts has reached the four-year limit by 31 December and request him to continue the practice of using 300-series contracts as the primary instrument for the appointment of new staff.

Other sections of the draft address such issues as integrated missions; regional cooperation; fuel management; costing structure for air operations; spare parts; better use of technology; disaster recovery and strategic deployment stocks.

The Committee approved the draft, as orally amended, without a vote.

Also without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the Financing of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy (document A/C.5/60/L.59), as orally amended, by which the Assembly would approve the cost estimates for the base amounting to $35.48 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007 and take note of the Secretary-General’s proposal to establish at the Base during the fiscal year 2007-2008 a strategic air operations centre, an aviation quality assurance programme, a central design unit and a geographical information system centre.  The Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ and request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide it at its sixty-first session detailed information on the efficiency and effectiveness of all Department of Peacekeeping Operations training programmes to be implemented at the Base, drawing a comparison with training programmes provided at other facilities and United Nations offices.  The Assembly would reiterate the need to implement, as a matter of priority, an effective inventory management standard, especially in respect of peacekeeping operations involving high inventory value.

The Committee then approved a draft resolution without a vote on the Support account for peacekeeping operations (documents A/C.5/60/L.62), by which the Assembly would approve the support account requirements in the amount of $183.19 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, including 734 continuing and 56 new temporary posts and their related post and non-post requirements.

Those requirements would be financed with the unencumbered balance of $3.58 million and other income of $2.12 million of the financial period ended on 30 June 2005, the amount of $15.80 million in excess of the authorized level of the Peacekeeping Reserve fund of the period ended 30 June 2005, the balance of $161.68 million to be prorated among the budgets of the active peacekeeping operations, and the net estimated staff assessment income of $18.19 million, to be set off against the balance, to be prorated among the budgets of the individual active peacekeeping operations.

While it would approve several posts, the Assembly would decide not to approve the P-4 post of Security Coordinator Officer in the Department of Safety and Security and request the Secretary-General to re-justify the requirement for that post.  The Assembly would approve $23.27 million in general temporary assistance and an amount of $4.42 million in non-post resources for the African Peacekeeping Capacity in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, OIOS, Procurement Service, Headquarters Contracts Committee in the Department of Management, procurement related functions in the Office of Legal Affairs and in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and conduct and discipline capacity in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  The Assembly would not approve $154,200 under consultancy.

The Assembly would note with concern that the financial provision for consultants has steadily increased in recent years and would request the Secretary-General, when proposing resources for consultancies, to include a trend-analysis comparing the requested resource levels with the approved resource levels in the previous five years.

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report in the sixty-first session on efforts made in support of African Union capacity-building, taking into account the functions and contributions to be provided by the United Nations entities and all external partners.

The Committee then turned its attention to a note by the Secretary-General contained in document A/C.5/60/31, which indicated the amounts to be apportioned in respect of each peacekeeping mission including the prorated share of the support account and of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi.

CATHERINE POLLARD, Director, Peacekeeping Financing Division, introducing the document, said the note presented the apportionments among the budgets of the active peacekeeping operations.  The amounts would be inserted in the current draft resolutions.

The Committee then took note of the document.

The Committee then approved a draft resolution on the Financing of the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) (document A/C.5/60/L.53), by which the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for the period from 1 July to 31 October an amount not exceeding $78.96 million for the maintenance of the operation, some $2.83 million (gross) for the support account and $596,400 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Operation as at 30 April, including outstanding contributions of $47.3 million (some 7 per cent of total assessments), and would note with concern that only 39 Member States had paid their contributions in full.  The Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ.

The Committee also approved a draft resolution on the Financing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (document A/C.5/60/L.55), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate some $438.4 million to the Special Account for the Operation, inclusive of $420.18 million for the Operation’s maintenance, $15.02 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations and $3.2 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Operation as at 30 April, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $80.7 million (some 9 per cent of total assessments), and would note with concern that only 28 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.

The Committee took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/C.5/60/L.49), adopting the text without a vote.

By the terms of the text, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as of 30 April 2006, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $16.9 million, representing about 6 per cent of the total assessed contributions.  It would decide to finance resources for conduct and discipline equivalent to $253,900 under general temporary assistance.

Also according to the draft, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the financial performance for the Force for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005.  It would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNFICYP the amount of $46.77 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, including $44.83 million for the Force’s maintenance, $1.6 million for the peacekeeping support account and $337,400 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly would, by the terms of the text, note with appreciation that a one-third share of the net appropriation will be funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus and the amount of $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.  It would decide, taking into account its voluntary contribution for the financial period ending 30 June 2005, that the prorated share of the net unspent balance in the amount of $331,400 for the period ending 30 June 2005 shall be returned to the Government of Cyprus.  Also, taking into account its voluntary contribution for the period ending 30 June 2005, it would decide that that prorated share of the net unspent balance in the amount of $130,989 shall be returned to Greece’s Government.

The Committee then approved a draft resolution on the Financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document A/C.5/60/L.56), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission the amount of some $1.14 billion for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, inclusive of $1.1 billion for the Mission’s maintenance, $39.1 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations and $8.23 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions as of 30 April, including outstanding contributions of $172.1 million (some 5 per cent of total assessments), noting with concern that only 57 Member States have paid their contributions in full.  It would also note with concern the late submission of the reports related to the financing of the Mission.  It would welcome the establishment and development of the logistics base for the Mission at Entebbe, Uganda, as a regional hub for common use by missions in the region.

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that the recommendations of the consultant’s report on the comprehensive review of staffing and structure of the Mission be fully analysed by the Mission itself and that its results be reflected in the next budget.  Requesting the Secretary-General to ensure that quick-impact projects are implemented in compliance with the original intent of such projects, the Assembly would decide to approve the requested resources for the projects in the interim.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the Financing of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (document A/C.5/60/L.57) by which the Assembly would decide on the unencumbered balance and other income amounting to $16.78 million in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2005.  The Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the final disposition of the Mission’s asset (document A/60/703).

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the United Nations Mission of support in East Timor as at 30 April, including outstanding contributions amounting to $36.1 million (some 2 per cent of total assessments), noting with concern that only 105 Member States have paid their contributions in full.

The Committee then approved a text on Financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) (document A/C.5/L.61) by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Mission’s Special Account amount for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007 that would include $174.7 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $6.23 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $1.31 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.  It would also decide to finance resources for conduct and discipline capacity equivalent to $622,300 under general temporary assistance.

Taking note of the status of contributions to the UNMEE as at 30 April, including outstanding contribution of $29 million (some 2.6 per cent of total assessed contributions, the Assembly would note with concern that only 18 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.

Next before the Committee was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) (document A/C.5/60/L.50), by which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 30 April 2006, including outstanding contributions of some $16.8 million, representing about 6 per cent of the total assessed contributions and note with concern that only 33 Member State have paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would also take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Observer Mission’s performance for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005.

The Assembly would, by further terms, decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNOMIG the amount of $34.83 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, including $33.4 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $1.2 million for the Support Account and $252,200 for the Logistics Base.  It would decide that for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission there shall be set off against their apportionment their respective share of the unspent balance of $1.85 million in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005.  For Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations, there shall be set off against their outstanding obligations their respective share of the unspent balance of $1.85 million for the financial period ending 30 June 2005.

Next before the Committee was a draft resolution on the Financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/C.5/60/L.58) by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate $510.4 million to the Mission’s Special Account, inclusive of $489.21 for its maintenance, $17.5 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations and $3.7 million for the Logistics Base.

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as at 30 April, including outstanding contributions of $66.8 million (some 11 per cent of total assessments), noting with concern that only 35 Member States had met their obligations in full.  It would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ and request the Secretary-General to ensure that future budget submissions include clear information regarding mandated disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities, as well as to review the use of consultants in that area.

The Assembly would also decide to approve the resources requested of quick-impact projects in the proposed budget, and request the Secretary-General to ensure full implementation of the projects for the financial period 2006/07.  The Assembly would note that full information for the need for the establishment of an offsite, in-theatre secondary disaster recovery and business continuity centre for the Mission has yet to be provided.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the text.

The Committee next took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) (document A/C.5/60/L.45), by which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 30 April 2006, including outstanding contributions of some $3.9 million, representing about 1 per cent of the total assessed contributions, and note with concern that only 141 member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would express its continued appreciation to Kuwait’s Government to defray two thirds of the cost of the Observation Mission, effective 1 November 1993.

Endorsing the ACABQ’s recommendations, the Assembly would also decide that, taking into account Kuwait’s voluntary contributions, two thirds of the cash balance available as of 30 June 2005 in the amount of $27.84 million shall be returned to the Government.  It would also decide that for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission there shall be credited their respective share of the remaining balance as of 30 June 2005 in the amount of $13.92 million.  It would further decide that for Member States that had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, their respective share of the remaining balance as of 30 June 2005 shall be set off against their outstanding obligations.

The Committee also approved a draft resolution on the Financing of United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/C.5/60/L.51) by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Mission’s Special Account the amount of $227.4 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, inclusive of $217.96 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $7.8 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $1.64 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.  The Assembly would also decide to finance capacity for conduct and discipline the equivalent of $601,300 under general temporary assistance.

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 30 April, including outstanding contributions of $58.7 million (some 2 per cent of the total assessed contributions), noting with concern that only 83 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ, subject to the provisions of the present resolution.

The Committee took up next a draft resolution on the Financing of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/C.5/60/L.52), which it approved without a vote.  By the terms of the text, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Mission’s Special Account the amount of $745.6 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, inclusive of $714.61 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $25.6 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $5.4 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as at 30 April, including outstanding contributions of $212.9 million (some 8.9 per cent of the total assessed contributions), noting with concern that only six Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ, subject to the provisions of the present resolution.

The Assembly would further decide to provide $1 million for quick-impact projects for the period 2006-2007 in the interim, and would request the Secretary-General to utilize resources in strict compliance with the original intent of that type of project.

The Committee also approved, again without a vote, a draft resolution on the Financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/C.5/60/L.54) by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Force’s Special Account $41.6 million, inclusive of $39.87 million for the maintenance of the Force, $1.42 million for the Support Account for peacekeeping operations and $299,900 for the United nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force as of 30 April, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $20.1 million (some 1 per cent of the total assessments), noting with concern that only 40 Member States had paid their contributions in full.  The Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ.

The Committee then turned its attention to a draft resolution on the “Financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/60/L.42) by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Force’s Special Account the amount of $97.58 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, inclusive of $93.53 million for the maintenance of the Force, $3.35 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $705,400 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

Expressing deep concern that Israel did not comply with former Assembly resolutions, the first being 51/233 and the last 59/307, the Assembly would stress once again that Israel should comply with them and request the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure the full implementation of the relevant paragraphs in the resolutions.  [Those paragraphs concern a demand that Israel shall pay the amount of some $1.12 million resulting from a shooting incident at Qana on 18 April 1996.]

The Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Force at 30 April, including outstanding contributions of $71 million, noting with concern that only 30 Member States had paid their contributions in full.  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 the Force was administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy.

South Africa’s representative, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced two oral amendments to the text, which were in line with agreement reached during informals that the Committee would make reference in each of the financing resolutions to the resolution on cross-cutting issues.  In that regard, she introduced amendments to operative paragraphs 1 and 12.

Committee Chairman JOHN ASHE ( Antigua and Barbuda) informed the Committee that a separate single vote had been requested on preambular paragraph 4, and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 17.

The Committee then adopted preambular paragraph 4, and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 17 were then adopted by a vote of 93 in favour to 5 against ( Israel, United States, Canada, Palau and Australia) and 49 abstentions.  (See Annex I.)

The Committee then adopted the draft, as orally amended, by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 3 against ( Israel, United States and Palau) with 1 abstention ( Australia).  (See Annex II.)

Speaking after the vote, the representative of Israel expressed his delegation’s continued support for UNIFIL and the important peacekeeping mission it undertook each day.  On the financing of the Force, Israel had paid its regular assessments to the Force on time and without condition and would do so in the future, in contrast to some of the sponsors of the divisive resolution that had been consistently delinquent in paying their full UNIFIL assessment.  The attempt to treat UNIFIL differently was politically motivated, unwarranted and singled out Israel in an unfair manner.  The principle of collective responsibility should continue to prevail.

As in previous years, Israel was disappointed by the polarization of the item, he said.  Despite the fact that the resolution was of a technical nature, politically motivated paragraphs had been inserted, undermining the resolution’s effectiveness, as well as the Committee’s credibility, in direct violation of the principle of collective responsibility for the Organization’s expenses.  There was no precedent for demanding that a Member State bear sole responsibility.  Israel could not gloss over inappropriate language, forcing it to vote against the resolution.  The practice of including four decisive paragraphs ran counter to the Committee’s principles.  He hoped productivity and not politics would guide the Committee’s work in the future.

Canada’s representative also regretted that a consensus resolution on the force had not been possible due to the addition of inappropriate paragraphs, which undermined the understanding that political considerations did not have a place in a resolution of a technical nature.  Neutrality was one of the core aspects of peacekeeping, and any attempt to politicize it should be opposed.  He urged the proponents of that language to evaluate its actions and withdraw the paragraphs in question.

Viet Nam’s representative informed the Committee that he had voted in favour of the text, although it had not been reflected in the recorded vote.

The representative of the United States said her delegation strongly supported UNIFIL, which was implementing an important mandate.  The use of a funding resolution to pursue claims against a Member State procedurally was not correct.  That was why the United States had opposed the resolutions on the item in previous years as they contained sections which required Israel to pay for costs stemming from the 1996 Qana incident.  Since shortly after the United Nations inception, the procedure followed was that the Secretary-General presented and pursued the settlement of the Organization’s claims against a State or States.  Using a funding resolution to legislate a settlement was inappropriate.  It politicized the Committee’s work and should be avoided now and in the future.

Australia’s representative noted that, while her delegation supported UNIFIL, it had abstained on the basis of the continued unwarranted political consideration in the resolution.  Introducing political issues only distracted from budget issues, which should remain the focus of the resolution.

The representative of Syria said he had joined the consensus of both resolutions on the basis of the principle that the responsibility of financing should be borne by the aggressor State, which was Israel, the occupying Power.  Israel had yesterday violated the airspace of Syria, which was a violation of international law.

The representative of Lebanon said that those complaining about politicizing the issue were the ones politicizing it.  It was purely a financial issue involving compensating the United Nations and not Lebanon.  Her country complied with the principle of collective responsibility.  That principle did not contradict the general principle of international law of responsibility of a State for its internationally wrongful acts and for the consequences of such acts, including compensation for material damage resulting from such acts.  It was on the basis of that principle of State responsibility that the eight previous resolutions had asked for a compensation to be paid to the United Nations for the damages it incurred as a result of the attack in Qana.

The representative of Austria, on behalf of the European Union, said member States of the Union had abstained in the vote on the separate paragraphs and considered them inappropriate.  The broader political aspects had been debated in the Assembly at the time and a resolution on that matter had been adopted.  The Union underlined that it would have wished that consultation could have been confined to the budgetary aspects.

The representative of New Zealand regretted that consensus was again not possible.  He said that, as the political elements should not be included in a financing resolution, his delegation had abstained in the vote on separate paragraphs.

The representative of Israel said that impertinence from certain delegations had no limits.  Certain nouns seemed to receive new semantic meanings.  He reminded the Committee and the representative of Syria that the reason there was a Force in the Golan Heights was because on 6 October 1973 his country had been attacked by the Syrian army.  It was mind-boggling to hear the representative of one of the most oppressive regimes of the region, if not of the world, preach to him.  He invited the Committee to consider the personality of the State, which was involved in financing and sponsoring terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah.

The representative of Syria said the representative of Israel did not know the history of the region.   Israel had attacked Arab States and occupied Syrian territory in 1967.  The war was a war of liberation.  The occupier was killing Syrians every day and using policies of terrorism against defenceless people.  Israel was based on terrorism.  It had created terrorism.

The representative of Lebanon said Israel was complaining about the politicization of the resolution while at the same time politicizing it.  He pointed out that Hizbollah had members in the Parliament and ministers in the Government.  It had exercised resistance against an aggressive force that had stayed in Lebanon for 25 years.  He further pointed out that all things said about Hizbollah were a distortion of reality.

Next was a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) (document A/C.5/60/L.47), by the terms of which the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Observation Mission in Sierra Leone and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone as of 30 April 2006, including the contributions in the amount of $42.6 million, representing some 2 per cent of the total assessed contributions and note with concern that only 83 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.

Taking note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, the Assembly would decide that, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, there shall be credited their respective share of the unspent balance in the amount of some $99.3 million in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005.  For Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, their share of the unspent balance shall be set out against their outstanding obligations.  It would further decide that the decrease of $1.34 million in the estimated staff assessment income in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005 shall be set off against the credits from the amount of $99.3 million.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the text.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) (document A/C.5/60/L.46), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to entrust the Head of the Mission with the task of formulating future budget proposals in full accordance the provisions of Assembly resolution 59/296 of 22 June 2005 and others.  Taking note of the status of contributions to UNMIS as of 30 March 2006, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $52.9 million, representing some 4 per cent of the total assessed contributions, the Assembly would note with concern that only 60 Member States have paid their contributions in full, and urge all other Member States to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

By other terms, the Assembly would welcome the use of the installation in Entebbe, Uganda, to enhance the responsiveness of its logistical support operations for peacekeeping missions in the region.  Endorsing the ACABQ’s recommendations, subject to the provisions of the text, it would request the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.

The Assembly would also decide to establish a Planning Officer post (at the P-4 level) in the Strategic Planning Unit.  It would request the Secretary-General to enhance coordination and provision of technical advice and operational demining in support of the Mission’s full deployment.  He would also be requested to provide clear information on the budget provision for mine detection and clearing services, including staffing and operational costs in the Mission’s next budget submission.  Noting the considerable reliance on air assets for transportation, it would request the Secretary-General to ensure that the Mission use and, where possible, increase the available road, rail and inland waterway transport modes where they are reliable, cost-effective and safer than air transportation.

Also according to the draft, the Assembly would decide to approve the resources requested for quick impact projects in section IV of the proposed budget for the Mission for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007 and request the Secretary-General to ensure the fullest implementation of the quick impact projects in 2006-2007 in light of the Mission’s capacity to undertake these activities.

Taking note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, the Assembly would decide to appropriate for the Special Account for UNMIS the amount of $1.13 billion for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, including about $1.1 billion for the Mission’s maintenance, $38.62 million for the support account and $8.14 million for the Logistics Base.

By other terms, the Assembly would further decide that, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, there shall be set off against their apportionment their respective share of the unspent balance and other income in the amount of $2.8 million in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005.  It would also decide that the net increase of $455,200 in the staff assessment income in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005, representing the difference between the additional staff assessment income of $678,100 previously approved under the terms of resolution 60/122 for the period from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005 and the decrease in the staff assessment income of $222,900 in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005, shall be added to the credits from the amount of $2.8 million.

The Committee approved the draft resolution, acting without a vote.

The Committee then approved, also without a vote, a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/C.5/60/L.48).  By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the Mission as of 30 April 2006, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $45.5 million, representing some 8 per cent of the total assessed contributions and note with concern that only 71 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full.

By other terms, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financial performance for the period from 1 July to 30 June 2005.  It would also decide to appropriate to the Special Account for MINURSO the amount of $44.46 million for the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, including $42.62 million for the Mission’s maintenance, $1.52 million for the peacekeeping support account and $320,300 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly would decide further that, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, there shall be set off against their apportionment their respective share of the unspent balance and other income in the amount of $1.48 million in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005.  For Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, there shall be set off against their outstanding obligations their respective share of the unspent balance and other income in the total amount of $1.48 million in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2005.

Also without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution onspecial political missions, good offices and other political institutions authorized by the Assembly and the Security Council (document A/C.5/60/L.63) by which the Assembly would approve the budget for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) of $59.65 million gross ($54.74 million net) for the period of 1 April-31 December 2006, the budget for the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) of $18.97 gross ($17.02 net) for the period from 16 June through 31 December 2006, and the budget for United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) of $5.78 million gross ($5.25 million net).

Taking note of the unencumbered balance in the amounts already appropriated for the three missions totalling $6.04 million, the Assembly would approve a charge of $51.91 million, corresponding to the unassigned balance in the provision for special political missions appropriated under section 3, Political Affairs, of the 2006-2007 programme budget, and to appropriate, under the procedures provided for in resolution 41/213 of 19 December 1986, an amount of $19.07 under section 3, Political affairs, and $7.38 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.

The Committee then took up draft decision A/C.5/60/L.65 on additional office accommodation in Geneva, adopting the decision without a vote.

By the terms of the draft decision, the Assembly would have the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to $4.98 million under the 2006-07 programme budget for additional office accommodation in Geneva of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  That amount would comprise $2.19 million under section 28E, Administration, Geneva, $1.59 million under section 32, Construction, Alteration, Improvement and Major Maintenance, $1.19 under section 33 Safety and Security, and $232,000 under section 35, Staff Assessment, to be offset by an equal amount under income section 1, Income from Staff Assessment.

The Assembly, by the decision, would welcome with appreciation the intention of the host Government to contribute financial resources towards meeting the initial rental obligations, as well as the cost of exterior perimeter security protection.

The Committee then adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution on the Capital Master Plan (document A/C.5/60/L.66).

According to the text, the Assembly, reiterating its serious concern at the hazards, risks and deficiencies of the current conditions of the United Nations Headquarters building that endanger the safety, health and well-being of staff, visitors, tourists and delegations, including high-level delegations, would take note of several Secretary-General reports on the issue and would revert to the consideration of the reports at the main part of its sixty-first session.

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that no action is taken that would preclude any decision that the Assembly might take on the construction of a new permanent building on the North Lawn at some future date.  The Assembly would request that a comprehensive study on the feasibility of the proposed construction on the North Lawn be made.

Further by the text, the Assembly would approve, effective 1 July, Strategy IV for the implementation of the Capital Master Plan, the phased approach, as recommended in the Secretary-General’s report A/60/550, Corr. 1-2 and Add.1, including the phasing, swing space and cost, and would decide to review the updated projected costs at the main part of the sixty-first session.

The Assembly, recognizing that the cash payment option based on a one-time assessment or multi-year special assessments would be the simplest and the most cost-effective approach for meeting the cost of the Capital Master Plan, would decide to revert to the issue of the Funding Plan for the Capital Master Plan, to the sixty-first session.

The Assembly would further decide to convert the existing commitment authority of $77 million into an appropriation with assessment on Member States in 2006 on the basis of the regular budget scale of assessment in effect.

Mr. ASHE, Committee Chairman, informed the Committee that it would meet again from 5 to 7 July, starting with informal consultations on the issue of management reform.

ANNEX I

Vote on UNIFIL Financing

Preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 17 of the draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/60/L.42) was adopted by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 5 against, with 49 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia.

ANNEX II

Vote on Financing of UNIFIL

The draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/60/L.42) was adopted by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 3 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour:  Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Israel, Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Australia.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iran, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Zambia.

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