Budget Committee Takes Up Additional Financing for Three Political Missions

2 March 2010
GA/AB/3941

Budget Committee Takes Up Additional Financing for Three Political Missions

2 March 2010
General Assembly
GA/AB/3941
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

24th Meeting (AM)

Budget Committee Takes Up Additional Financing for Three Political Missions

Assistant Secretary-General and United Nations Controller Jun Yamazaki today presented the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) with the Secretary‑General’s request for an additional $1 million for three special political missions -- the United Nations Representative on the International Advisory and Monitoring Board of the Development Fund for Iraq (IAMB), the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and the Monitoring Group on Somalia.

Mr. Yamazaki, introducing the Secretary-General’s report, said the requirements totalled $1.04 million (net) for the three missions

He said the mandate of the Iraq Fund Monitoring Board had been extended by the Security Council to 31 December 2010, resulting in the need for an additional $82,200 to cover travel costs for representatives of the Secretary-General to attend four meetings of the Board.

Regarding the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, he said an Office of the Ombudsperson had been established by the Security Council in 2009 to assist the Committee while it considered delisting requests from individuals and entities seeking removal from the sanctions list.  Established for an initial period of 18 months, the Office of the Ombudsperson would be supported by the Department of Political Affairs using existing resources, but fees and related expenses incurred by the Ombudsperson would require an additional $192,800.

As for the Monitoring Group on Somalia, he said Council resolution 1907 (2009) had expanded its mandate to encompass new measures against Eritrea.  Additional requirements of $769,000 would be needed to cover fees for three additional experts for nine months and one local-level position to provide research and admin support.  The amount would also cover other expenditures that might be incurred.

A representative of the Department of Political Affairs, Steven Siqueira, offered clarifications from Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe that, while security considerations had originally led to suggestions of a temporary relocation, no such move was anticipated following constant security reviews.

He said the Department intended for the base to be maintained in Nairobi through 2010.  But, should security conditions warrant, the Monitoring Group might be temporarily based in New York, or their homes for certain periods of time.  The United Nations Department of Safety and Security would continue to provide advice.

The representative of Japan, who spoke before the Committee moved to informal consultations, remarked that a substantial portion of the programme budget was now being devoted to special political missions, reflecting a significant increase in its volume.  As such, Japan had repeatedly encouraged the Secretary-General to propose budgets for special political missions that were sufficient, but not larger than necessary.

Even if the resources requested were relatively modest, a revised budget should meet the same criteria, he said, welcoming the fact that the Security Council and the Secretary-General, in the revised budget, had demonstrated the need for budgetary restraint.

As for the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime, he commended the Secretariat’s efforts to utilize the existing mechanism and encouraged it to continue such practices, in that way reinforcing budgetary discipline on special political mission activities, while also working to ensure full implementation of the mandates conferred on those missions.

He stressed that, if the Council were to consider establishing similar ombudspersons on delisting for other sanctions regimes, it would be the ombudsperson established under Security Council resolution 1904 (2009) who should have the mandate to do so in all instances, to avoid institutional overlap.

Introducing its related report on the needs for the three missions, Susan McLurg, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), said the Committee recommended approval of the requirements, adding that the $1 million should be accommodated from the provision of $569.5 million already approved by the Assembly at the close of its main session in December 2009.

The Committee will meet again on Friday, 5 March, to take up the financing of ad litem judges of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

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