|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
31st Meeting (PM)
Budget Committee Approves Texts on Financing for Burundi Political Office, Capital
Master Plan, Joint Inspection Unit, Concludes First Part of Resumed Session
Drafts Also Address Iraq Fund, Convention on Disappearances, Air Travel Standards,
Service Conditions for Civil Service Commission, Budget Advisory Committee Officials
Concluding the first part of its resumed sixty-fifth session, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this afternoon approved by consensus and recommended to the General Assembly resolutions on the Capital Master Plan, Joint Inspection Unit and various aspects of the programme budget for the 2010-2011 biennium.
By the text on the Capital Master Plan (document A/C.5/65/L.28), the General Assembly, stressing the importance of effective oversight, transparency and accountability in the management of the renovation project, will endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) in its report related to the Plan. It will approve the recommendations in the Board of Auditors’ report, note with concern its findings and emphasize the importance of fully implementing its recommendations.
Furthermore, the Assembly will reiterate its request that the Secretary-General make every effort to avoid budget increases through sound management practices and to ensure by all means that the Plan was completed within the budget as approved in General Assembly resolution 61/251.
On procurement and sustainability, the Assembly will ask the Secretary-General to continue reviewing all expression of interest notices and bid invitations issued by the construction manager, and to continue his thorough review of the project’s contractors.
Concerning security, the Assembly will authorize a security enhancement estimated at $100 million, as reflected in paragraph 6 of the ACABQ report, and decide that all related costs, including those resulting from the delay in the Capital Master Plan caused by the enhancement, would not result in additional assessments to Member States.
Regarding associated costs, the Assembly will reiterate its decision that such approved costs would be financed from the approved budget of the Plan and ask the Secretary-General to make every effort to absorb the 2011 associated costs from within that budget in the total amount of $58.87 million (net), and authorize him to enter into commitment authority of up to $286,300 and to report on expenditures in the context of the next report on proposals for financing the associated costs.
The text on special subjects relating to the programme budget for the 2010‑2011 biennium (document A/C.5/65/L.27) comprised four parts. By the first, the Assembly will endorse the conclusions and recommendations in the ACABQ report relating to revised estimates from the entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. It will also decide to establish one P-4 and one General Service level post under section 23, Human Rights, and decide that the additional amount of $815,625 required by the entry into force should be met from within the resources already appropriated under the programme budget for the 2010-2011 biennium.
In part two of that resolution, concerning estimates for United Nations special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives, the Assembly will endorse the conclusions and recommendations in the ACABQ report on the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) and the United Nations Representative to the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) of the Development Fund for Iraq. It will underscore the need for a smooth transition from the Burundi Office’s predecessor, the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), and approve $22.14 million (net) for BNUB for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011, as well as $24,600 (net) for the United Nations Representative to IAMB for the period from 1 January to 30 June 2011.
It will also decide to appropriate $7.5 million under section 3, Political Affairs, and $624,800 under section 36, Staff Assessment, to be offset by an equivalent amount under income section 1, income from staff assessment, of the programme budget for the 2010-2011 biennium, taking into consideration the $14.64 million already approved for BINUB. It further decided to use the unencumbered balance of BINUB to offset part of the required additional appropriation for BNUB.
Under part three, relating to the conditions of service and compensation for members of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and the ACABQ Chair, the Assembly will again endorse the ACABQ conclusions and recommendations. It will decide to discontinue the use of the price index as the basis for annual net compensations for those officials, and decide that the annual net compensation of the ICSC Chair and the ACABQ Chair be set at $224,833, including the special allowance, effective 1 January 2011, and to adjust accordingly the pensionable remuneration to $264,320.
It will further decide that the annual net compensation of the ICSC Vice-Chair be set at $214,833, effective 1 January 2011, and to adjust accordingly the pensionable remuneration to $264,320. It will decide that, beginning 1 January 2012, the annual net compensation for the three officials would be adjusted subject to a cost-of-living adjustment equivalent to the annual change at the midpoint net base salary of Undersecretaries-General and Assistant Secretaries-General.
By part four, which covered standards of accommodation for air travel, the Assembly will regret that the Secretary-General did not present the comprehensive report, on the basis of a review by the United Nations Chief Executive Board for Coordination and specific proposals, on harmonizing standards for United Nations staff travel. Recognizing the need for efficient, effective air travel, the Assembly will endorse the conclusions and recommendations in the related ACABQ report, and ask the Secretary-General to ensure that the procurement process for all air travel management services contracts was conducted in full compliance with the general procurement policies stated in the United Nations Financial Regulation 5.12.
The Assembly will also ask the Secretary-General to present at the first part of its resumed sixty-sixth session proposals to more effectively and efficiently use resources for air travel and for him to entrust the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to conduct a comprehensive audit of all air travel activities.
By the text approved on the Joint Inspection Unit’s 2010 report and its 2011 programme of work (document A/C.5/65/L.29), the Assembly will stress the need for the Unit to continuously update and improve its medium- and long-term strategy for the 2010-2019 period, as well as reiterate its request for appropriate resources to implement relevant portions of the strategy in the context of the proposed programme budget for the 2012-2013 period.
The Assembly will also ask the Unit — an independent external oversight body that carries out evaluations, inspections and investigations across the United Nations system aimed at helping legislative organs of the participating organizations meet their governance responsibilities — to make every effort to ensure future funding requests were made in the context of the established regular budget cycle.
The Assembly, noting the ongoing progress in developing a web-based follow-up system to track the Unit’s recommendations, such as status of acceptance, implementation and impact, will authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitment authority of $71,300 from the 2010-2011 programme budget for that system and to report on expenditures in the context of the second performance report.
Further, the Assembly, stressing the importance of optimizing the Unit’s capacity to complete its reports in a timely way, will ask it to improve its future work programmes and prioritize projects in them, so that Member States can easily track each project’s progress in future annual reports. The Assembly will urge the Unit to strengthen interaction with the focal points of the participating organizations to discuss how they were considering and acting on the Unit’s recommendations.
At the close of the meeting, Angela Kane, Under-Secretary-General for Management, and Committee members bid farewell to outgoing Committee Secretary Movses Abelian and expressed their appreciation for his eight years of service. Representatives from Argentina (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Hungary (on behalf of the European Union), Chile (on behalf of the Rio Group), Côte d’Ivoire, Australia (also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand), Japan, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Mexico, Antigua and Barbuda, United States, Russian Federation, Egypt and Kenya made statements in that regard.
It was announced that Sharon van Buerle, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, would replace Mr. Abelian.
The Committee will reconvene on 2 May to begin the second part of the resumed sixty-fifth session.
* *** *