Harmonizing Staff Working Conditions, Strengthening UN Information Technology among Issues, as Budget Committee Approves 18 Texts, Concludes Session

23 December 2010
GA/AB/3980

Harmonizing Staff Working Conditions, Strengthening UN Information Technology among Issues, as Budget Committee Approves 18 Texts, Concludes Session

23 December 2010
General Assembly
GA/AB/3980
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

27th Meeting (Night)


Harmonizing Staff Working Conditions, Strengthening UN Information Technology


among Issues, as Budget Committee Approves 18 Texts, Concludes Session

 


Vote Required on Resolution funding 29 Special Political Missions;

Recommends Funds for UN Women, Extra Finance for UN Assistance to Sudan Referendum


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today wrapped up the main part of a sixty-fifth session that aimed to boost the Organization’s efficiency by overhauling how tens of thousands of staff around the globe are hired, trained and paid, while continuing to modernize its outdated information and communications technology system.


The Committee dealt with two thorny management issues, the granting of continuing contracts and revisions in conditions of service.  The harmonization of the conditions of service, outlined in the latest report of the International Service Commission, would shape more equal working conditions for staff across the United Nations common system in order to curb unnecessary competition among the numerous United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies, as well as Secretariat staff at home and abroad.


The Committee also decided to send the Assembly a draft resolution that would advance the ongoing improvement of information and communications technology that already commands an annual budget of $774 million and covers more than 4,200 workers.  The Committee also moved to strengthen the enterprise resource planning system, called Umoja, the Swahili word for unity.  This enterprise resource planning system is already under way, and means to transform how the United Nations delivers its mandates by using best practice business processes, accountability throughout the system and improved staff skills.


As always, the Committee scrutinized the budget numbers as the first year of the 2010-2011 budget cycle came to a close and sent the Assembly a resolution that noted the Secretary-General’s report and approved a net decrease of $15.3 million in the appropriation for the biennium 2010-2011.


Another contentious issue was the appropriation of funds to keep 29 special political missions running in the coming year.  After days of negotiating, the Fifth Committee finally agreed on language that urged the Assembly to authorize an outlay of $634.1 million in 2011 for these 29 special political missions, which include everything from the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).  During its consideration of the issue earlier in the month, several delegates said they were unhappy at the way the missions kept growing in size, needs and scope even through they were backed with regular budget resources.  The text was approved by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 1 against, with 3 abstentions.  (Annex V)


Prior to action on the resolution as a whole, Iran and Venezuela proposed amendments to section XIII of the text, and each was rejected by recorded votes.  Also, section XIII was voted on separately.


The funding of peacekeeping operations also received the Committee’s attention this session and it backed the spending of $58.35 million to help the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) carry out the 9 January referendums in 10 states of Southern Sudan and the oil-rich Abyei region.  The Committee also appropriated $853.83 million for the operation and rebuilding of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) after the devastating earthquake in January that would cover the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.


To ensure that that UN Women, or the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, could be ready for action by 1 January 2011, the Committee decided to approve the creation of three new posts, including one Under-Secretary-General.  It approved an additional outlay of $430,100 for the biennium 2010-2011, which would be charged against the contingency fund.


In another organizational effort to improve the lives of women around the globe, the Committee moved on providing funding for the newly created Office of Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.  It decided to appropriate $1.72 million under the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 for this Office as it created several new posts, including an Under-Secretary-General.


Though not tasked with approving a budget this session, the Committee did set in motion the process for the 2012-2013 biennium by approving a budget estimate and a strategic plan that enveloped the usual eight priorities laid out by the Committee for Programme and Coordination.


The Committee also advanced the development of the Organization’s system of administering justice — which envelopes informal and formal mechanisms to resolve disputes for tens of thousands of employees around the world.


As the Assembly Committee charged with overseeing the Organization’s spending of money, the Fifth Committee also considered several issues that carried budget implications.


One contentious issue was the approval of additional funding for follow-up activities related to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, which were part of a resolution that emerged from the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) earlier in the session.  By the Third Committee’s text, the Assembly will hold a one-day high-level meeting to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the second day of the general debate of the sixty-sixth session.


Less controversial budget implications revolved around other issues, for example, the expansion of the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment from 10 to 25 members.  The Committee approved funding of $791,800 against the contingency fund for the 2010-2011 programme budget.


Among other issues, the Committee sent recommendations to the Assembly regarding the financing of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia; the report of the activities of the Office of the Internal Oversight Services; the financing of the peacekeeping activities at United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), and the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT); and increased regular budget funding for Sierra Leone Tribunal.


Yemen (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), the United States, Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), United Kingdom, France, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Canada and the Netherlands spoke in explanation of vote.


At the end of the meeting, the Committee adopted its draft report for the session.


Action on Drafts


The Committee first turned to an 11-part draft resolution on human resources management (document A/C.5/65/L.15).  Part I covered human resources management reform; part II covered recruitment and staffing; part III covered the United Nations Young Professionals Programme; part IV covered performance management; part V career development and staff well-being; part VI covered contractual arrangements; part VII covered comprehensive assessment of the system of geographic distribution; part VIII covered gender representation; part IX consultants, individual contractors, gratis personnel and employment of retired staff; part X, provisional staff rules and amendments to the staff regulations; and part XI, other matters.


By that resolution, the General Assembly would express regret that the Secretary-General was of the view that an all-encompassing workforce planning for the Secretariat was of limited value and that he had not presented an Organization-wide strategic workforce plan.  It would request the Secretary-General to report on progress achieved in this regard at its sixty-seventh session in the context of his report on human resources management.  The Assembly would further express deep concern at the persistently high vacancy rates in the Organization, particularly in the field missions, and the high turnover of staff.  It would request the Secretary-General to ensure a seamless and well-functioning interface between the new United Nations careers portal “Inspira” and the enterprise resource planning system “Umoja”.  Regarding the United Nations Young Professionals Programme, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report to it on progress made in implementing the Programme, including in reducing the time required to mark the recruitment exam and to place successful candidates.


Also by that text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General at its sixty-seventh session to report on the implementation of a new talent management system, on efforts to enhance the understanding and implementation of the principles of work-life balance and on the implementation of the continuing appointments regime.  The Assembly would further approve the granting of continuing contracts as of 1 January 2011 to eligible staff members on the basis of the continuing needs of the Organization.  It would decide to set the initial level of the post envelopes at 75 per cent of the total number of continuing posts identified in the present resolution, and to include permanent contracts within the post envelope.  Finally, the Assembly would express concern over the increase in the use of consultants, especially in the core activities of the Organization, and would request the Secretary-General to make the greatest possible use of in-house capacity and to report to the Assembly at its sixty-seventh session on the measures taken to that effect.


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


In another management issue that aimed to curb unnecessary competition among the numerous United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies, as well as Secretariat staff at home and abroad, the Committee acted on a draft resolution on the United Nations common system (document A.C.5/65/L.16).  By that resolution, the Assembly would approve various recommendations made in the International Civil Service Commission’s report for the year 2010 (document A/65/30), including on conditions of service applicable to both categories of staff, separation payments, conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories, children’s and secondary dependant’s allowances and other related matters.  In the area of conditions of service in the field, in particular the harmonization of the conditions of service for staff serving in non-family duty stations in the common system, the Assembly would approve the recommendations contained in the Commission’s report.  It would further decide that, six months after the adoption of the present resolution, all new staff assigned to non-family duty stations would be under the non-family hardship element, and that organizations of the United Nations common system should cover only the travel costs of the rest and recuperation framework, until a further decision of the Assembly during its sixty-seventh session.


Also by the draft text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to identify offsets that could be used to implement the International Civil Service Commission’s proposals on a harmonized subsistence allowance or a lump sum during the rest and recuperation break in a cost-neutral way without impacting on operational costs and without undermining the implementation of mandated programmes or activities.  It would express regret that the “special operations” approach had led to significant variations in the compensation package of staff of the organizations of the United Nations common system in non-family duty stations.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


The Committee then took action on a two-part draft resolution on the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on its activities (document A/C.5/65/L.9).  The first part of that resolution took note of the Office’s report on its activities for the 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 period, and asked the Secretary-General to implement the Office’s outstanding and recurring accepted recommendations that dealt with systemic issues.


The Committee also requested the Secretary-General to ensure the full implementation of the Office’s accepted recommendations, including those related to cost avoidance, recovery of overpayments, efficiency gains and other improvements, in a prompt and timely manner and provide detailed justifications in cases where recommendations of the Office were not accepted.  Expressing concern over the Office’s persistently high vacancy rates, particularly at senior levels, the Committee reiterated its request that the Secretary-General made every effort to fill these vacancies and ensure that future appointments of the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services fully conformed with paragraph 5 (b) of resolution 48/218 B.


In part II of the draft resolution, the Committee noted the work of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee, after considering its annual report from 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2010, and stressed that any modification to the Audit Advisory Committee’s terms of reference remained the Assembly’s sole prerogative.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


It then took up a draft resolution on the administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/C.5/65/L.17), by which the Assembly would stress the importance of ensuring access for all staff members to the new system of administration of justice, regardless of their duty station, and would note the increase of approximately 70 per cent from 2009 to 2010 in the number of cases received from United Nations Secretariat staff in field operations.  It would decide to fix the term of the United Nations Ombudsman at five years with the possibility of renewal for one additional term and request the Secretary-General to expeditiously conclude interagency negotiations on the revised terms and to report on the matter to the Assembly at its sixty-sixth session.  It would further recognize that the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services had limited capacity to respond to crises and would request for in-person interventions of its current work in the field, and request the Secretary-General to address that limitation in future budget proposals.


Also by the text, the Assembly would request the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services to provide an informal briefing to the Assembly at its sixty-sixth session on the financial and administrative implications resulting from settlements reached through informal dispute resolution.  It would welcome the establishment of the Trust Fund for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance and would request the Secretary-General to consider in his proposals on mixed funding opt-in and opt-out mechanisms, as well as system fees proportionate to salary levels.  It would defer until its sixty-sixth session a review of the statutes of the administration of justice Tribunals, and would decide to approve one legal assistant (GS-OL) for one year, to be funded through general temporary assistance for the service of United Nations Appeals Tribunal.  It would further request the Secretary-General to include in his report to the Assembly at its sixty-sixth session data related to the usage of the system of justice.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


Turning to the financing of the international Criminal Tribunals, the Committee first took up a draft resolution on the financing of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (document A/C.5/65/L.18).


By the draft text, the Assembly would decide on a revised appropriation to the Special Account for the International Criminal Tribunal of a total amount of $257.80 million gross for the biennium 2010-2011.  It would further decide, for the year 2011, to apportion among Member States the amount of $67.58 million gross, including $6.25 million gross being the increase in assessments.


Further, for the year 2011, it would apportion among Member States the amount of $67.58 million gross, including $6.25 million gross being the increase in assessments.  It would decide that there should be set off against the apportionment among Member States their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund in the amount of $13.45 million, including $4.43 million being the increase of the estimated staff assessment income approved for the Tribunal for the biennium 2010-2011.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


It then took up a draft resolution on the financing of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (document A/C.5/65/L.19).


By that draft resolution, the Assembly would decide on a revised appropriation to the special account for the International Tribunal of a total amount of $320.51 million gross for the biennium 2010-2011 and, for the year 2011, to apportion among Member States the amount of $87.61 million gross, including $15.11 million gross being the increase in assessments.  It would further decide, for the year 2011, to apportion among Member States the amount of $87.61 million, including $15.11 million gross being the increase in assessments.  In would also decide that there should be set off against the apportionment among Member States the amount of $19.41 million, including $8.4 million for the International Tribunal for the biennium 2010-2011.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


Regarding the financing of the Organization’s peacekeeping operations, the Committee first took up a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (document A/C.5/65/L.11).


By the resolution, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) as at 1 November 2010, including contributions outstanding in the amount of $91.5 million, and would note with concern that only 47 Member States had paid their assessed contributions in full.  It would express concern at the financial situation with regard to peacekeeping activities, in particular as regards reimbursements to troop contributors that bore additional burdens owing to overdue payments by Member States to the Mission in full.


Also by the draft text, the Assembly would, taking into account the amount of $184.95 million already apportioned among Member States under the terms of General Assembly resolution 64/286, defer its decision on additional apportionment for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011, until its consideration of the final requirements of the Mission reported thereon in the context of the performance report for the same period.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


By the draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC); and financing of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) (document A/C.5/65/L.12), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to entrust the Head of Mission with the task of formulating future budget proposals in full accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 59/296, 60/266, 61/276, and 64/269, as well as other relevant resolutions.  It would take note of the status of contributions to MONUSCO as at 3 December 2010, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $266.4 million, representing some 3 per cent of the total assessed contributions.


The Assembly would further decide to approve the establishment of 39 temporary posts, including 23 United Nations Volunteer positions, to be funded under general temporary assistance, to support the voter registration process in connection with the preparation for the conduct of elections and to support justice-related programmes, in addition to the civilian staffing establishment approved for MONUC for the 2010/11 period under the provisions of Assembly resolution 64/275.  The Assembly would decide, taking into account the amount of $682.50 million already apportioned for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2010 under the terms of its resolution 64/275, to apportion among Member States the additional amount of $682.50 million for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011, in accordance with the levels updated in General Assembly resolution 64/249, and taking into account the scale of assessments for 2010 and 2011.  It would also decide that their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the amount of $15.35 million, representing the estimated additional staff assessment income approved for the Mission for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


The Committee moved to help rebuild the Organization’s peacekeeping operations in Haiti with a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/C.5/65/L.13).  By that text, the Assembly would take note of the status of contributions to MINUSTAH as at 30 November 2010, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of $213 million.  It would decide to appropriate to the special account for the Mission the amount of $853.82 million for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011, inclusive of the amount of $380 million previously authorized for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2010, and in addition to the total amount of $23.04 million previously appropriated for the period from 1 July to 30 June 2011.  It would also decide, taking into account the amount of $380 million already apportioned for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2010, to apportion among Member States the additional amount of $473.83 million for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


It then took action on a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) (document A/C.5/65/L.14).


By that draft resolution, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the special account for UNMIS the amount of $70.03 million for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.  Taking into account the amount of $829 million already apportioned under the terms of its resolution 64/283 for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 April 2011, it would further decide to apportion among Member States the additional amount of $58.36 million for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 April 2011 and would decide that there should be set off against the apportionment among Member States their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the amount of $826,500, representing the increase in the estimated staff assessment income approved for the Mission for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 April 2010.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


The Committee then turned its attention to the draft decision on programme budget implications relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 (document A/C.5/65/L.20), which contained four draft sections regarding budget programme budget resolutions emanating from the General Assembly and its Main Committees.  Section A, situation of human rights in Myanmar, pertained to the programme budget implications of draft resolution A/C.3/65/L.48/Rev.1.  Section B, permanent memorial to and remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, pertained to the programme budget implications of draft resolution A/65/L.36.  Section D, scope, modalities, format and organization of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, referred to the programme budget implications of draft resolution A/65/L.50.


A recorded vote was requested on section C, global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.  This section informed the Assembly that if it adopted draft resolution A/C.3/65/L.60, as orally revised, total additional resources of $206,400 would be required for the biennium 2010-2011.


Speaking before the vote on section C, the representative of Yemen, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the Group reaffirmed the relevance and validity of the 10-year anniversary of the commemoration of the adoption of the Durban process, as mandated by the Assembly.  The Group of 77 fully supported the programme budget implications for the tenth anniversary event, arising from resolution A/C.3/65/L.60/Rev.1.  It reaffirmed the rules of procedures, particularly rule 153.  It expressed its disappointment at the attempts to block the implementation of the Durban Declaration, and it regretted that undue pressure was placed on the Secretariat.


The Committee then approved section C by a recorded vote of 102 in favour to 17 against, with 33 abstentions.  (For details of the vote, see Annex I.)


Speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States said he had voted against section C because his country had serious concerns about the activities funded by the programme budget implication statement.  Those concerns were detailed in the discussions of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) on the issue.  He believed the costs of the programme budget implication statement could have been absorbed, and regretted that he had to vote in the Fifth Committee.


The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union, was deeply concerned that global efforts to reduce racial discrimination had not been obtained.  The countries of the European Union would fight racism at the national level.  The Union had expressed its concern on the substance of that issue at the Third Committee.  Fifth Committee discussions should focus on budget and administrative matters.  Rule 153 stated that no resolution should be approved without a list of expenditures.  But information on the budgetary implications had not been presented and the European Union assumed the costs would be absorbed.  Now there was a $206,000 charge against the Contingency Fund.  The absorption of those funds should have been possible, he added.


The Committee then approved the entire draft decision, A/C.5/65/L.20, without a vote.


The Committee then moved to a draft resolution on the conditions of service and compensation for officials other than Secretariat officials: 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 (document A/C.5/65/L.21).


By that text, the Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (document A/65/533) and would take note that the review of the pension benefits for the members of the International Court of Justice and the judges of the Tribunals would be reviewed at the Assembly’s sixty-sixth session.  It would further decide that the special allowance for the Presidents and the Vice-Presidents when acting as President of the International Court and the Tribunals would be increased from $15,000 to $25,000 and $156 per day, respectively.  It would further decide to re-establish a three-year cycle for the review of the conditions of service and compensation for the members of the International Court of Justice and the judges and ad litem judges of the two Tribunals, and to undertake the next comprehensive review at its sixty-eighth session.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


The Committee then took up a 19-part resolution on questions relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 (document A/C.5/65/L.22).  By that draft resolution, the Assembly would consider the various financial implications of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund; the Office of the Under-Secretary General for Management under the support account for peacekeeping operation (Enterprise resource planning (Umoja) and International Public Sector Accounting Standards); overseas property management and construction projects related to economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean; after-service health insurance; the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict; the use of regular budget resources for UN Women; the financial implications relating to the administration of justice at the United Nations; and revised estimates resulting from the work of the Economic and Social Council, the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families, the Human Rights Council, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, special political missions, including the Department of Political Affairs and other political initiatives, among other matters.


By that text, the Assembly, among other financial decisions, would decide to approve an additional amount of $430,000 under sections 37 (UN Women) and 36 (staff assessment), to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section I, income from staff assessment, of the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011.  It would further approve budgets totalling $643.1 million gross for the 29 special political missions authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council. It would also note that a balance of $40 million remained in the contingency fund.


Speaking before the vote, Iran’s representative said his country wished to propose an oral amendment to draft resolution A/C.5/65/L.22.  By that amendment, in section XIII, after operative paragraph 2, on page 12 of the resolution, a new proposed paragraph would read “decides not to approve the requested posts and financial resources for the Panel of Experts on the Islamic Republic of Iran”.  As explained in frequent statements during the Fifth Committee’s deliberations, Iran considered all General Assembly resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran to be unlawful.  His delegation could therefore not allow consensus on such an issue.


The delegate of the United Kingdom said his delegation was against the proposed amendment and called for a recorded vote.  It called on all delegates to vote against the proposed amendment.


The delegate of France said it was also against the proposed amendment and called for a recorded vote, asking all delegations to vote against the amendment.


The delegate of Cuba said it supported the amendment submitted by the delegate of Iran.


The Committee then took action on the oral amendment submitted by the representative of Iran, rejecting it by a recorded vote of 79 against to 11 in favour, with 36 abstentions.  (Annex II)


Speaking in explanation of position after the vote, the representative of Belgium, on behalf of the European Union, said the Committee’s discussions should focus on administration and budget issues.  The Panel of Experts had been established through Security Council resolution 1929 (2010) to carry out the tasks of the resolution.  The Budget Committee should insure that the Panel was adequately funded.  The amendment would deprive the Panel of any resources.  For that reason, the Union had voted against the amendment.


Venezuela’s delegate said her delegation wished to submit a new paragraph in section XIII of the resolution.


During informal consultations, Venezuela had expressed concerns that the Office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide had sought to include concepts that did not enjoy international agreement.  That was a serious failure, she said, requesting a review of the logical framework of the Office of the Special Adviser.  Just over a year ago, she said, the first substantive debate on the responsibility to protect had been held in the General Assembly.  Delegates had agreed on only one point — the need to continue to consider the responsibility to protect.  The presentation of a logical framework by the Special Adviser implemented the recommendations from the Secretary-General’s report (document A/64/874), which had not received any action by the Assembly.  Venezuela was concerned that that was included as a fait accompli, and presumed the existence of concepts regarding the responsibility to protect.  There must be a “detailed and profound debate” that distinguished the work of the General Assembly and the United Nations.  Venezuela reiterated that the primary responsibility to protect lay with the States.


The representative of Canada said he was against the proposed amendment and requested a recorded vote.  He urged all Member States to vote against the proposed amendment.


The representative of the Netherlands said she was against the proposed amendment and wanted a recorded vote.  The Fifth Committee was charged with budget and administration issues and the substance of the proposed amendment went beyond those responsibilities.


The delegate of Cuba said that section XIII of draft resolution A/C.5/65/L.22 contained proposals for resources for special political missions that his delegation could not support, as had been reiterated repeatedly.  He was dissatisfied with the way he had been compelled, possibly, to adopt those proposals.  During consultations, some delegations had focused on lobbying developing countries to adopt those proposals, he said.  Further, in no existing Assembly resolution had there been agreement that the responsibility to protect was part of the Office of the Special Adviser.  That responsibility could easily fall into the hands of manipulative delegations, he said.


Nicaragua’s delegate said he joined Venezuela and Cuba in denouncing the “trampling” on the part of the Secretariat of the legislative and intergovernmental mandates of the United Nations Organization.  The report of the Secretary-General under consideration had not been the subject of action by the Assembly, he said, adding that the Secretariat was therefore “self-mandating”.  For that reason, he supported the amendment presented by the delegation of Venezuela.


The representative of Belgium, again on behalf of the European Union, said the discussions in the Fifth Committee should refrain from topics that belonged in other United Nations forums.  The European Union considered the activities of the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report, were fully justified based on both Assembly and Security Council actions.  The European Union would therefore vote against the amendment, and requested other delegations to do the same.


The Committee then, by a recorded vote of 68 against to 17 in favour, with 51 abstentions, rejected the amendment submitted by the representative of Venezuela.  (Annex III)


Cuba’s delegate then requested a recorded vote on the whole section XIII of the draft resolution.


In explanation of position before the vote, the representative of Brazil said the Office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide corresponded to the mandate given by the Assembly.  Brazil shared the concerns on the framework of the political missions and the lack of review by intergovernmental processes.  It was necessary to formulate an adequate framework.  There should be more consistency for the budgets of all special political missions.


Nicaragua’s delegate said he would vote against section XIII because of the non-adoption of Venezuela’s amendment.  Nicaragua was in favour of the rest of the budget items.


The representative of Venezuela said she would vote against section XIII because it did not include a review of a logical framework of the Office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.  It was not against the other political missions.


The Committee then approved section XIII of draft resolution L.22 by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 9 against (Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Zimbabwe), with 4 abstentions (Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria and Yemen).  (Annex IV)


Speaking after the vote, the representative of Iran asked to take a recorded vote on the entire draft resolution.


The Committee then approved draft resolution A/C.5/65/L.22 as a whole by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 1 against (Iran), with 3 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Syria).  (Annex V)


Speaking after the vote, the representative of Israel disassociated himself from the section XIII of the resolution.


Cuba’s representative said its support of resolution A/C.5/65/L.22 did not mean that Cuba supported the mandate of the Office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.


Turning to a report of the Secretary-General on the contingency fund: consolidated statement of programme budget implications and revised estimates (document A/C.5/65/L.14).  Committee Chairperson Gert Rosenthal noted that a balance of $22.41 million remained in the contingency fund.


The Committee then considered its draft report contained in document A/C.5/65/L.23.  The draft report was divided into two parts.  Part I contained the narrative of the action taken by the Fifth Committee.  It had been earlier adopted by the Committee.  The Committee then approved draft resolution II, programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 without a vote.


The Committee then approved the second draft decision on the Capital Master Plan (document A.C.5/65/L.10).  With that draft decision, the Assembly would authorize the rollover into 2011 of the unspent funding for associated costs approved in 2010.  That would let the Secretary-General continue the projects that had been deferred and avoid interrupting the ongoing Capital Master Plan projects.  It was decided that the Secretary-General’s report on proposals to finance the 2011 associated costs, from within the approved budget for the Capital Master Plan, would be considered during the first part of the resumed sixty-fifth session.


The Committee approved the draft decision without a vote.


The Committee then adopted the draft report of the Fifth Committee on the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 contained in document A/C.5/65/L.23.


By a draft resolution (document A/C.5/65/L.24) on the review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations: Procurement.  It would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to submit an updated comprehensive report on procurement activities for consideration at its resumed sixty-seventh session.


By a draft resolution on the proposed programme budget outline for the biennium 2012-2013 (document A/C.5/65/L.25), the Assembly would endorse the observations and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (document A/65/611).  It would further decide that the priorities for the biennium 2012-2013 should be promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development; maintenance of international peace and security; development in Africa; promotion of human rights; effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts; promotion of justice and international law; disarmament; drug control, crime prevention; and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  It would request the Secretary-General to reflect upon those priorities in future budget submissions.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


ANNEX I


Vote on Budget Implications of Durban Commemoration


Section C of the draft decision concerning the programme budget implications of the General Assembly commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Durban Declaration (document A/C.5/65/L.20 [PBI]), was approved by a recorded vote of 102 in favour to 17 against, with 33 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine.


Absent:  Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


ANNEX II


Vote on Oral Amendment to Section XIII/Iran Expert Panel


An oral amendment to section XIII, which would have the Assembly not fund the Panel of Experts on the Islamic Republic of Iran, in draft resolution A/C.5/65/L.22 was rejected by a recorded vote of 79 against to 11 in favour, with 36 abstentions, as follows:


Against:  Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay.


In favour:  Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Swaziland, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia.


Absent:  Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Nauru, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen.


ANNEX III


Vote on Oral Amendment to Section XIII/Special Adviser


An oral amendment to section XIII, concerning the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, in draft resolution A/C.5/65/L.22 was rejected by a recorded vote of 68 against to 17 in favour, with 51 abstentions, as follows:


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay.


In favour:  Algeria, Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Qatar, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Nauru, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Section XIII as a Whole


Section XIII of the draft resolution on questions relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 (document A/C.5/65/L.22) was approved by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 9 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Viet Nam.


Against:  Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria, Yemen.


Absent:  Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia.


ANNEX V


Vote on Questions Relating to 2010-2011 Programme Budget


The draft resolution on questions relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 (document A/C.5/65/L.22) was approved by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 1 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Iran.


Abstain:  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Syria.


Absent:  Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.


* *** *

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