GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES FINANCING FOR UNITED NATIONS MISSIONS IN LEBANON, TIMOR-LESTE

2 April 2007
GA/10584

GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES FINANCING FOR UNITED NATIONS MISSIONS IN LEBANON, TIMOR-LESTE

2 April 2007
General Assembly
GA/10584
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

Plenary

92nd Meeting (PM)

GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES FINANCING FOR UNITED NATIONS

 

MISSIONS IN LEBANON, TIMOR-LESTE

 

Two Votes Held Regarding Funding of Force in Lebanon

Acting on the recommendations of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the General Assembly this afternoon provided financing for the United Nations missions in Lebanon and Timor-Leste.

The Secretary-General received commitment authority from the Assembly following the expansion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and establishment of the follow-up United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) by the Security Council last year.  After the Fifth Committee considered those missions’ full budgets during its first resumed session, the Assembly appropriated some $403.1 million for UNIFIL and $184.82 million for UNMIT today.

The draft resolution on UNMIT (document A/61/644/Add.1) was adopted without a vote.  The amount of $184.82 million for the period from 25 August 2006 to 30 June 2007 includes some $170.22 million previously authorized for the period ending on 31 March.

The resolution on UNIFIL (document A/61/657/Add.1) was adopted by a vote of 135 in favour to 3 against ( Israel, Palau, United States), with 1 abstention ( Australia) (see annex II).  The amount of $403.1 million for the 2006-2007 financial year includes some $257.34 million previously authorized for the period ending on 31 March, in addition to the amount of $97.6 million apportioned for the Force prior to its expansion.

Further, the use of the current commitment authority for the Force’s financing was extended until 30 June 2007, with actual expenditures to be reported in the performance report.  The Secretary-General was requested to provide an analysis of the capacity required to implement the Force’s mandate, and resources were approved for the Strategic Military Cell, pending rejustification of requirements in the context of the next budget.

Prior to the vote on the text as a whole, the Assembly acted separately on the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 20, adopting them by a recorded vote of 82 in favour to 5 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Palau, United States), with 50 abstentions (see annex I).  Those paragraphs refer to several previous resolutions that called for Israel to pay some $1.12 million for the damage resulting from a 1996 incident at UNIFIL headquarters in Qana, Lebanon.

Syria’s representative, speaking in explanation of position before the vote, said he would vote in favour of the text, based on the principle that financial responsibility must be borne by Israel, the aggressor party.  He also expressed concern about the conceptual framework of UNIFIL’s 2006-2007 budget and the drafting of expected accomplishment 1.1, which referred to the establishment of a “stable and secure environment in southern Lebanon”.  That phrase was inconsistent with UNIFIL’s mandate and could be misconstrued as giving Israel the right of interference on security grounds in southern Lebanon without time limits.  It could also justify Israel’s continued maritime, air and land violations, pending the establishment of a secure and stable environment in southern Lebanon. 

The expected achievement, moreover, did not refer in any way to the two basic objectives of the Force’s establishment under resolution 1701 -- to monitor the complete respect of the Blue Line and to monitor the cessation of hostilities, he continued.  He cautioned against the possibility of Israel’s using that phrase to continue with its non-compliance with resolution 1701 and erosion of UNIFIL’s credibility in southern Lebanon.  The Force’s achievements, including expected achievement 1.1, should be measured in a manner that was fully consistent with its mandate.  He expected the Secretariat to take his concerns with complete seriousness when preparing the proposed budget for 2007-2008, as well as the Mission’s financial performance report for 2006-2007.  He hoped that expected accomplishment 1.1 would be redrafted in order to bring it in line with the Council’s clear mandate, through reference to full respect of the Blue Line and cessation of hostilities.

Germany’s representative, on behalf of the European Union, said he was pleased that the Assembly had approved UNIFIL’s financing.  As with all peacekeeping missions, it was essential to provide the Force with sufficient resources to fully implement its mandate.  As the resolution -- and the level of funding provided –- recognized, the Force’s mandate, size and area of operation had been significantly increased by Council resolution 1701.  In budgetary terms, the Force was working in a new strategic framework, with new expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement, that flowed directly from the Council’s mandate.  Paragraph 12 of the resolution made clear the wish that the Secretary-General continue to measure the Force’s accomplishments in that way.  It was that understanding that had allowed the paragraph to receive the Fifth Committee’s support.

Lebanon’s representative said that he highly appreciated the important role of UNIFIL in accordance with Security Council resolution 1701.  As for operative paragraph 12 of today’s text, he expected the Secretary-General to continue to implement the mandate given by resolution 1701.  The logical framework put forward by the Secretary-General in his budget report was in line with the mandate that had been given to the Mission by the Security Council.

The representative of the United States said that his country strongly supported UNIFIL, which was implementing an important mandate.  However, the use of a funding resolution to pursue claims against individual Member States was procedurally not correct.  That was why his delegation had opposed similar texts in the past and was going to oppose the draft presented today.  In response to the statement by Syria, he said that it was the Secretariat’s proper role to develop the logical framework contained in the budget -– it was not the role of the General Assembly to alter the results-based elements.

Following the conclusion of the Fifth Committee’s first resumed session this morning, the Assembly will act on its reports at 3 p.m. Wednesday, 4 April.

ANNEX I

Vote on Financing of UNIFIL

Preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 20 of the draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (document A/61/657/Add.1) were approved by a recorded vote of 82 in favour to 5 against, with 50 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

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

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, 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, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Angola, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia.

ANNEX II

Vote on Financing of UNIFIL

The draft resolution, as a whole, on financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (document A/61/657/Add.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 3 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

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

Against:  Israel, Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Australia.

Absent:  Angola, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia.

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