|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-second General Assembly
91st Meeting (AM)
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTS ON FINANCING FOR POLITICAL MISSIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL,
FIELD MISSIONS OF PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION, SALARIES OF TRIBUNAL JUDGES
Texts Also Address Investigations, Conditions of Service in Field Operations;
Procurement, Strengthening Political Affairs Department among Issues Deferred
Acting on the recommendations of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the General Assembly adopted four resolutions and two decisions this morning, dealing with such issues as financing of special political missions and missions of the Peacebuilding Commission, financial implications of the decisions of the Human Rights Council, strengthening investigations within the United Nations, work of the Joint Inspection Unit, conditions of service of international courts’ judges, and human resources management.
The Assembly approved additional 2008 budgets in the amount of $48.95 million net for several special political missions, including the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Lord’s Resistance Army-affected areas, the United Nations Representative to the International Advisory and Monitoring Board and the Office of the Special Envoy for the future status process for Kosovo, as well as revised 2008 budgets for the United Nations Mission in Nepal and the Political Office for Somalia. Taking note of the balance of $17.32 million in the overall provisions for special political missions in the 2008-2009 budget, an additional amount of $31.63 million would be appropriated under the procedure provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 41/213.
The Assembly also decided to maintain the staffing for the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Lord’s Resistance Army-affected areas at the level currently funded, under the provisions of its resolution 62/239 on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses. The staffing and resource allocation for that mission will be reviewed in the context of the 2009 budget proposal for special political missions during the Assembly’s sixty-third session. The Assembly also decided to redeploy 22 local-level positions from the electoral assistance office of the United Nations Mission in Nepal, according to the needs of the Mission.
In connection with the financing of field missions of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Assembly took note of the preliminary estimate of $676,300 for that purpose under the 2008-2009 budget and endorsed the conclusions and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on the matter.
Addressing revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions of the Human Rights Council, the Assembly took note of the preliminary estimated requirements of $2.92 million for 2008-2009, with some $2.45 million already included in the programme budget for the biennium. The balance of $466,700 was to be considered in the context of a consolidated statement of requirements arising from a continuing Human Rights Council review of its subsidiary machinery. The Assembly endorsed the conclusions and recommendations contained in a related report of the ACABQ and requested the Secretary-General to submit proposals to improve the procedure for presenting the financial requirements arising from resolutions and decisions of the Human Rights Council.
The special political missions, field missions of the Peacebuilding Commission and decisions of the Human Rights Council were addressed in a three-part draft resolution contained in document A/62/563/Add.3, one of six drafts adopted without a vote this morning.
By the terms of another draft contained in that Fifth Committee report, the Assembly set, effective 1 April 2008, the annual base salary of the members of the International Court of Justice and judges and ad litem judges of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda at $158,000, with corresponding multipliers applied, as appropriate, in the Netherlands and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Acting on the proposals to improve the timeliness and quality of investigations within the United Nations, as well as the Secretary-General’s request for a mandate for a comprehensive review of United Nations investigations, the Assembly requested that the Secretary-General provide, in close cooperation with the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), detailed information on the terms of reference with regard to the proposed comprehensive review, before a decision was taken on its necessity, taking into account the role and mandate of OIOS. By the same draft -- contained in document A/62/772 -- the Assembly also requested updated and detailed information on all the entities other than OIOS carrying out administrative inquiries and other aspects of the proposed investigation measure.
While noting with appreciation the efforts of OIOS to improve the conduct of its investigations by applying international best practices and ensuring respect for the due process rights of all United Nations staff, the Assembly also stressed that the lack of explicitly written rules and regulations for investigation procedures negatively affected fairness and due process. It also expressed concern that the current investigations manual of the OIOS appeared to lack useful and practical information for investigators compared with similar manuals in other international organizations and also appeared not to contain sufficient instructions for conducting investigations.
Acting on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit for 2007 and its programme of work for 2008, the Assembly, by another draft resolution (contained in document A/62/536/Add.1), welcomed progress in the Unit’s reform process and encouraged further efforts on the part of participating organizations to consider its recommendations. Among other things, the Assembly also requested the executive heads of organizations to submit their comments and distribute reports in time for consideration by legislative organs and fully assist the Unit with timely provision of all requested information.
The Unit was further requested to study the feasibility of using a web-based system to monitor the status of its recommendations and receive updates from individual organizations, and provide a detailed explanation of the nature and scope of the investigations it envisioned. The Assembly expressed its readiness to apply the follow-up system to review recommendations of the Unit requiring its action, and affirmed that oversight was a shared responsibility among Member States, organizations and internal and external oversight bodies.
By the draft resolution on human resources management (document A/62/772), the Assembly decided to continue its consideration of the issues of contractual arrangements and conditions of service, including in United Nations field operations, as a matter of priority, at the main part of its sixty-third session, taking into account the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ, with a view to the implementation of the new arrangements and conditions on 1 July 2009.
And finally, adopting a draft decision in document A/62/604/Add.1, the Assembly deferred to either its second resumed, or sixty-third session, consideration of several reports on the Fifth Committee’s agenda, including those on procurement activities, strengthening of the Department of Political Affairs, some aspects of human resources management reform, and a comprehensive proposal on incentives to retain staff of the International Tribunals.
Immediately following action on the Budget Committee recommendations, the Assembly continued its thematic debate on the Millennium Development Goals.
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