Budget Committee Considers Financing of United Nations Operations in Chad, Central African Republic as Mission Enters ‘Wind Down’ Period

4 November 2010
GA/AB/3967

Budget Committee Considers Financing of United Nations Operations in Chad, Central African Republic as Mission Enters ‘Wind Down’ Period

4 November 2010
General Assembly
GA/AB/3967
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

13th Meeting (AM)

Budget Committee Considers Financing of United Nations Operations in Chad,

 

Central African Republic as Mission Enters ‘Wind Down’ Period

 

African Group, Uneasy at View that Extra MINURCAT Assessment Not Required,

Seeks More Information; Possible Need for Technical Consultancy Services is Cited

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today considered the financing needs of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), as the Mission prepared to wind down its operations by year’s end and liquefy millions of dollars in assets.

The Mission was established just over three years ago to create a safe environment for refugees and displaced persons returning to eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic, as well as set favourable conditions for the area’s reconstruction and economic and social development.

In introducing the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), its Vice-Chairperson, Collen Kelapile, recommended that the General Assembly appropriate $239.1 million for the Mission’s maintenance and liquidation.  That would cover the maintenance of the Mission during the last six months of 2010 and its liquidation during the first four months of 2011.  The Advisory Committee believed an additional assessment was not needed beyond what already had been assessed for the 1 July to 31 December 2010 time period, since the cash on hand as of 1 October 2010 was sufficient.  He urged the Secretary-General to reduce operational expenditures as much as possible in view of the Mission’s pending closure.

Later in the meeting, Mr. Kelapile said he would address the African Group’s concern about the Advisory Committee’s opinion that an additional assessment was not needed.  The representative of Côte d’Ivoire, on behalf of the Group had asked for more information on that aspect of the Advisory Committee’s report.  As the Mission was drawing down and liquefying its activities, consultancy services were being sought to carry out some technical tasks, the representative noted.

Assistant Secretary-General and United Nations Controller Jun Yamazaki introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the Mission’s financing and said the Assembly had approved a commitment authority of $215 million for the Mission for the six-month period ending 31 December 2010 and had decided to assess Member States for $184.95 million gross, or $182.2 million net.

The proposed budget of $239.1 million for 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 was made up of $205.75 million for the Mission’s maintenance from the beginning of July to the end of December 2010, and $33.35 million for the liquidation period, which ran from 1 January to 30 April 2011.  The proposed budget was down 65.4 per cent, or $451.7 million, from the resources approved for the 2009/10 period, he added.

The Mission’s budget included the average monthly deployment of 23 military observers, more than 1,900 military contingent personnel and 117 United Nations police officers, as well as a civilian staff of nearly 1,000, for the July to December 2010 maintenance period.  During the liquidation period, the proposed budget included the average monthly deployment of nearly 275 civilian staff.

In other business, Sharon van Buerle, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on revised estimates for the expansion of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.  Mr. Kelapile introduced the related Advisory Committee report.  Ms. Van Buerle said the cost of the increase in the Committee’s membership from 10 to 14 members was estimated at $122,000.  The amount would be met within the overall approved appropriations under section 23, human rights, of the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011.  In the biennium 2012-2013, she estimated the added requirements would total $135,400, and would be considered with the proposed programme budget for the 2012-2013 biennium.

The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, 5 November), to discuss appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs.

Background

Concerning the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) had before it two reports: a report of the Secretary-General, Budget for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 (document A/65/487) and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) report, Proposed budget for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (document A/65/549).

The Secretary-General’s report was released on 4 October 2010 and contains the budget for MINURCAT for the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.  This budget amount totals $239.1 million gross, comprising $205.75 million for the maintenance of the Mission and $33.34 million for its liquidation.

The proposed budget provides for the average monthly deployment of 23 military observers, 1,909 military contingent personnel, 117 United Nations police officers, 356 international staff, 546 national staff, 119 United Nations Volunteers, 18 Government-provided personnel and 2 temporary positions for the period from 1 July 2010 to 31 December 2010.  The proposed budget also provides for the average monthly deployment of 118 international staff, 153 national staff and 32 United Nations Volunteers for the liquidation period, which runs from 1 January 2011 to 30 April 2011.

The total resource requirements for MINURCAT for the financial period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 are linked to the Mission’s objectives, which include security and the protection of civilians, human rights and the rule of law, and support.  The support component is separated into two frameworks, the first reflects the drawdown phase and the second reflects the liquidation period.

The Secretary-General asks the General Assembly to take the following actions relating to the Mission’s financing: (a) reduce the commitment authority granted under the terms of Assembly resolution 64/286 from $215 million to $205.75 million; (b) appropriate $239 million, inclusive of $205.75 million for the Mission’s maintenance for the six-month period from 1 July to 31 December 2010, as reduced in subparagraph (a) above, and $33.34 million for the administrative liquidation of the Mission for a four-month period from 1 January 2011 to 30 April 2011; (c) assess an additional $20.8 million, taking into account the $184.9 million assessed for the period 1 July to 31 December 2010 under terms of Assembly resolution 64/286; and (d) assess $33.35 million, as reflected in subparagraph (b) above.

The Committee also had before it the related ACABQ report (document A/65/549).  The actions to be taken by the General Assembly in connection with the financing of MINURCAT for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 are indicated in paragraph 68 of the proposed budget (A/65/487).  The Advisory Committee recommends that, subject to its comments and observations, the Assembly appropriate an amount of nearly $239.1 million for the maintenance and liquidation of the Mission from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.  It believes that no assessment is required at this time beyond the amount of $184.9 million already assessed for the period 1 July to 31 December 2010, as the cash now available to the Mission should be sufficient to meet envisaged requirements.  Final requirements should be reported in the context of the performance report.

Regarding operational costs, ACABQ recommends approval of the requested resources under operational costs and urges the Secretary-General to take all necessary steps to reduce operational expenditures to the extent possible, in light of the Mission’s pending closure.

Regarding the agenda item of revised estimates to the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011, the Committee had before it two reports on the issue of the rights of migrant workers.  The first was a report of the Secretary-General on revised estimates arising in relation to the expansion of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (document A/65/85) which details the additional budgetary requirements for the biennium 2010-2011 stemming from an increase in the Committee’s membership from 10 to 14.

In accordance with article 72, paragraph 1 (b), of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the Committee shall consist of 10 members at the time of the entry into force of the Convention and 14 experts after the forty-first State party ratifies the Convention.  The number of States parties to the Convention now stands at 42.  In his report, the Secretary-General states that the additional budgetary requirements would be $122,000 for 2010-2011, and would be met within the appropriation approved under section 23, human rights, of the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011.  For the biennium 2012-2013, an estimated $135,400 at full cost would be considered in the proposed programme budget.

On this issue, the Committee also had before it the related report of ACABQ (document A/65/541).  In this report, released on 25 October 2010, the Advisory Committee concurs with the Secretary-General’s proposal contained in document A/65/85.

The Advisory Committee notes that the Migrant Workers Committee held its first meeting in its expanded form during its twelfth session, from 26 to 30 April 2010.  The Committee’s expansion entailed additional costs, consisting of travel, daily subsistence allowance and terminal expenses for the four new experts, including expenses related to a one-day induction course held in Geneva.  The costs associated with the course also included travel and daily subsistence allowance for the Chair of the Committee.  The Secretary-General notes that the expanded Committee is not expected to generate additional conference servicing costs.

Introduction of Reports

JUN YAMAZAKI, Assistant Secretary-General and United Nations Controller, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the proposed budget for the financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT).  He said the Assembly had approved the commitment authority for the Mission, for the period from 1 July 2010 to 31 December 2010, in an amount of $215 million.  The Assembly had decided to assess Member States for $184.9 million gross, or $182.2 million net.  The proposed budget from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 totalled $239.1 million, comprising $205.75 million for the Mission’s maintenance for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2010, and $33.35 million for the liquidation period from 1 January to 30 April 2011.  The proposed budget represented a decrease of $451.7 million, or 65.4 per cent, compared to the approved resources for the 2009/10 period.

The overall reduced requirements reflected the gradual drawdown and subsequent liquidation of the Mission, he said.  Those overall reduced requirements were partly offset by increased requirements for national staff costs, due to the payment of termination indemnity for staff members in line with staff regulations and rules.  The actions requested from the Assembly were set out in paragraph 68 of the report.

COLLEN KELAPILE, Vice-Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, introduced the Advisory Committee’s report on MINURCAT, noting that the proposed budget for the Mission for 2010/11 amounted to some $239.1 million.  That would cover the maintenance of MINURCAT from 1 July to 31 December 2010 and its liquidation from 1 January to 30 April 2011.  ACABQ thus recommended that the General Assembly appropriate an amount of $239.1 million.  The Committee was of the opinion, he said, that an assessment was not required beyond what was already assessed for the period 1 July to 31 December 2010, since cash available as at 1 October 2010 was sufficient.  He noted that final requirements should be reported in the context of the performance report and urged the Secretary-General to reduce operational expenditures to the extent possible in view of the Mission’s closure.

BROUZ RALPH COFFI (C ôte d’Ivoire), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said Security Council resolution 1778 of 25 September 2007 had established MINURCAT as a multidimensional presence.  The objective was to help create the security conditions conducive to the voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons by providing humanitarian assistance in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic.  The Mission was also to create favourable conditions for the reconstruction and economic and social development of those areas.  The African Group noted that the proposed budget of $239.1 million had two components.  The first one of $205.75 million was a commitment authority for the Mission’s maintenance from 1 July 2010 to 31 December 2010.  The second component was a liquidation budget for the period from 1 January 2011 to 30 April 2011.

He said the African Group noted the Advisory Committee’s opinion, expressed in paragraph 25 of its report, that an assessment was not required at this time beyond the amount of $184.95 million.  The Group wanted additional clarification on the implication of that approach, he said.  At a time when the Mission was drawing down and liquidating its activities, consultancy services were being sought to carry out certain technical tasks.  The Group would also seek additional information on what other options were explored before the determination was made.

In response, Mr. KELAPILE referred to paragraph 6 of the report.  He said ACABQ had provided details of the cash position existing in the Mission at the time when the Advisory Committee had been producing the report.  The statement in paragraph 25 had taken into account that it may not be necessary to request an assessment, in light of that cash position.

He said the issue could be explored in the future and he would bring it to the attention of the Chair who presided over the issue.

SHARON VAN BUERLE, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the revised estimates arising in relation to the expansion of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.  She noted that the report details the additional resource requirements resulting from the increase in the membership of the Committee by four members, from 10 to 14.  Those was estimated at $122,000, she said, and covered the associated induction of the additional members and Chair of the Committee, as well as the attendance of its members at the two sessions per year in 2010-2011.  It was intended, she added, that the additional requirements be met from within the overall approved appropriations under section 23, human rights, of the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011.

As to the biennium 2012-2013, she estimated that additional requirements would amount to $135,400 and that the amount would be considered in the context of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.

Mr. KELAPILE introduced the related ACABQ report, saying that the Advisory Committee agreed with the Secretary-General’s proposals that the additional requirements for 2010-2011 be absorbed within the overall appropriation of section 23 of the programme budget for biennium 2010-2011 and that the estimated requirements for 2012-2013 be considered in the context of the proposed programme budget for biennium 2012-2013.

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