Budget Committee Takes Up Proposals for New Resources Aimed at Strengthening Two-Year-Old Overhaul of United Nations Justice System

1 November 2011
GA/AB/4011

Budget Committee Takes Up Proposals for New Resources Aimed at Strengthening Two-Year-Old Overhaul of United Nations Justice System

1 November 2011
General Assembly
GA/AB/4011
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Fifth Committee

15th Meeting (AM)

Budget Committee Takes Up Proposals for New Resources Aimed at Strengthening

Two-year-Old Overhaul of United Nations Justice System

 

Also Considers Financing for Nairobi Office; Budget Impact of Economic

And Social Council Decisions; Subvention for Disarmament Research Institute

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today considered the Secretariat’s request for more than 26 new posts and $8 million in new resources to maintain the overhaul of the Organization’s system of administering justice begun more than two years ago.  If approved by the General Assembly, the additional resources would kick in on the first of January along with the upcoming 2012-2013 budget cycle.

Andrei Terekhov, Executive Director of the Office of the Administration of Justice, introduced the Secretary General’s report on the administration of justice.  Covering a year-long period that ended 31 May 2011, the report detailed the marked improvement in processing cases more efficiently, but pointed to the serious strain on the new system’s financial and human resources.  Crucial areas needed significant strengthening in order to maintain the current pace of work and implement all the Assembly’s mandates for the new system, he added.

The Assembly moved to shape a new system to administer justice for staff at the Secretariat and the separately administered funds and programmes through resolutions 61/261, 62/228 and 63/253.  In place for just over two years, the formal system has several new elements, including two tribunals:  the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.  In accordance with the Assembly’s view that legal assistance should be provided for staff, the new system includes the Office of Staff Legal Assistance.

John Barkat, the United Nations Ombudsman, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Service, which covered the year-long period ending December 2010.  With the introduction of a new justice system nearly three years ago, the Organization had begun shifting from managing litigation towards handling disputes and emphasizing conflict prevention, intervention and resolution.  He said the revamping of the system had led to a greater demand for its services and its most significant development in the reporting period was the Office’s ability to reach staff beyond Headquarters in a sustained manner.

Introducing the reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), Chairman Collen Kelapile said the Advisory Committee recommended approval of six of the 26 new regular budget posts.  Also it was important that the Committee decided this session on the mandate and functioning of the Office of Staff Legal Assistance.  The Advisory Committee also wanted the Secretary-General to develop a mandatory scheme for a staff-funded mechanism to support the Office of Staff Legal Assistance.

Several delegates agreed that staff legal assistance be complemented by some form of staff financial contribution.  For example, New Zealand’s delegate, also speaking on behalf of Australia and Canada, strongly endorsed the ACABQ recommendation, which asked the Secretary-General to develop a specific proposal for a mandatory staff-funded scheme.

Japan was disappointed that the Staff-Management Coordination Committee had not agreed on any options for a staff-funded scheme.  Japan backed the Advisory Committee’s decision to withhold approval of new posts for the Office, pending decisions on this mechanism.

Argentina’s delegate, speaking for the Group of 77 and China, regretted that a cost-sharing arrangement for the entire internal justice system had not been finalized, despite discussions that began in February 2008 with the funds and programmes.

And while lauding its professionalism and productivity, the United States delegate said the new justice system was still evolving and warranted careful monitoring of its problem areas.  The Secretariat’s proposal for more resources was justified by the ongoing heavy workload expected to permeate the new system.  But, the United States was concerned about the report’s underlying analysis, particularly concerning the regularization of temporary posts or adding new posts.

In addition, Johannes Huisman, Director, Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the reports of the Secretary-General on strengthening the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi; the revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its 2011 substantive session; and a Secretariat request for a subvention for the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.

Also speaking today on the justice system were delegates from Switzerland (on behalf of Liechtenstein) and China.  Argentina’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, also spoke on the proposed programme budget issues.

The Fifth Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. Friday, 4 November, to take up appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other appointments.

Background

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to discuss administration of justice and revised estimates/subvention of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.

It had before it the report on the administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/66/275 and Corr.1), in which the Secretary-General notes his gratitude to the Assembly for positively recognizing the achievements of the United Nations new system of administration of justice, including improved disposition of old and new cases.  The Assembly, it recalled, had stated the need to monitor that progress to ensure the system was independent, transparent, professionalized, adequately resourced and decentralized, and followed the rule of law and due process to ensure staff members’ rights and obligations and to hold staff and managers to account.

During the reporting period, from 1 July 2010 to 31 May 2011, the Management Evaluation Office Unit of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management received 390 requests for review and it closed or resolved 281 matters, the Office of Staff Legal Assistance resolved approximately one third of its more than 850 cases, offices representing the Secretary-General before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal handled cases that resulted in 195 judgements, and the Office of Legal Affairs handled cases that resulted in 90 judgements of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.

The report gives consolidated responses to the Assembly’s request for data and information on the new system’s functioning and related matters.  It also contains a request for $8.66 million in new resources, before recosting, under sections 1, 8, 189, 29A, 29C, 29D, 29E, 29G and 37 of the proposed budget for the biennium 2012-2013 in light of the experience to date.

The Secretary-General believes his recommendations contained in the present report would provide necessary additional strength to the new internal justice system, which already enjoys the confidence of both staff and management.  He asks the Assembly to consider the report’s proposals and approve the required resources.  The Secretary-General’s requested actions for the Assembly include:

— approve the establishment of 26 new posts (10 P-4, 8 P-3, 4 General Service (other level) and 4 General Service (Local level)), effective 1 January 2012, under the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.

— Approve the reclassification of one P-2 post as a P-3 post, effective 1 January 2012, under the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.

— Appropriate a total amount of $8.7 million (before recosting) under the programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, comprising increases under section 1, Overall policymaking, direction and coordination ($3.89 million); section 8, Legal affairs ($559,700); section 19, Economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific ($388,400); section 29A, Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management ($164,300); section 29C, Office of Human Resources Management ($948,300); section 29D, Office of Central Support Services ($832,700); section 29E, Administration, Geneva ($636,600); and section 29G, Administration, Nairobi ($577,200), and an increase under section 37, Staff assessment ($661,000), to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1, Income from staff assessment.  The provision would represent a charge against the contingency fund.

— Approve the continuation of a P-3 position in Nairobi, effective 1 January 2012, for an additional one year, to be funded from the budget for the support account for peacekeeping operations, and the related costs to be reported in the context of the performance report relating to the support account for peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 and reflected in the budget proposals for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.

The report of the Internal Justice Council on the administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/66/158) summarizes the Council’s recommendations and conclusions after monitoring the second year of operation of the new system.  It concludes that the system is working as well as its resources allow and better than expected, thanks mainly to the dedication of its staff.  It states the Council has only made recommendations on things it deems essential for the new system’s effective functioning.  Among its recommendations, the Council had proposed a code of conduct for judges to the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal, which is contained in an annex to the report.  It also calls on the Assembly to set up a complaints panel, appoint more judges to the tribunals and increase administrative support for the Office of Administration of Justice, among other recommendations.

The Secretary-General’s report on activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Meditation Services (document A/66/224) covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2010.  It recommends that under the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 the Assembly approve creation of two new P-4 posts effective 1 January 2012 and appropriate $918,000, before recosting, including $725,400 in increases under section 1, overall policymaking, direction and coordination; $135,800 under section 29D, Office of Central Support Services; and $57,200 under staff assessment.  The provision would represent a charge against the contingency fund.

The seventh report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 on the administration of justice at the United Nations and activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Meditation Services (document A/66/7/Add.6) reviews the Secretary-General’s report on the administration of justice and his report on the Office’s activities.  While acknowledging the need for more support for the Office, the Advisory Committee does not believe that the activity level, particularly in managing human and financial resources, merits two new Professional posts.  Instead, it recommends approval of one new P-4 post for the Office to carry out the functions outlined in paragraph 37 of the Secretary-General’s report.  It also recommends approval of $90,000 in travel funds and $100,000 in training funds for the Office.   It states that the overall provision for non-post costs should be adjusted to reflect the Advisory Committee’s position with respect to the proposals for new posts.

Also before the Committee was a report of the Secretary-General, Revised estimates relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 under section 1, overall policymaking, direction and coordination, and section 37, staff assessment related to the strengthening of the Office of the Director-General, United Nations Office at Nairobi (document A/66/393).

The resource requirements for the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi were presented as part of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 under section 1, Overall policymaking, direction and coordination.  However, owing to the timing of the finalization of the proposed programme budget, the requirements contained therein did not reflect adjustments arising from a subsequent review of the Office by the newly appointed Director-General.  Following a thorough review of the resource requirements by the new Director-General, who was appointed with effect from 1 May 2011, additional requirements for the strengthening of the Office of the Director-General have been identified.  These additional requirements under section 1 total $427,800 net ($462,200 after recosting).

The report of the Advisory Committee on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, titled revised estimates relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 under section 1, Overall policymaking, direction and coordination, and section 37, Staff assessment, related to the strengthening of the Office of the Director-General, United Nations Office at Nairobi (document A/66/7/Add.7) was also before the Committee.

Also before the Committee was the Secretary-General’s report on revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 2011 (document A/66/510), issued 11 October 2011.  It details the budgetary requirements resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 2011.

These additional requirements arise from those resolutions and decisions relating to the biennium 2012-2013 and are estimated at $572,900 under the regular budget.  All of the requirements are expected to be absorbed within the resources provided under the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013 and, therefore, no additional appropriation would be required from the General Assembly.  Additional extrabudgetary resources in the amount of $500,000 would be sought in 2012-2013 to implement activities requested in Council resolution 2011/14 on promoting regional cooperation for enhanced energy security and the sustainable use of energy in Asia and the Pacific.

The report of the Advisory Committee on the proposed programme budget titled revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 2011 (document A/66/7/Add.9) was also before the Committee.

In another matter, the Committee had before it a note by the Secretary-General, Request for a subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research resulting from the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Institute on the work programme of the Institute for 2012-2013 (document A/66/170).

The General Assembly in part IV, paragraph 2, of its resolution 60/248, endorsed the proposal that the request for a subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research be submitted for review and approval by the Assembly on a biennial basis, in the context of its consideration of the proposed programme budget for the related biennium.

In that context, and in accordance with the provisions of the statute (see resolution 39/148 H, annex, article VIII, para. 3) and the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Institute, the Assembly is requested to approve a subvention in the amount of $577,800 for the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research from the regular budget of the United Nations for the biennium 2012-2013.  The related provision is included under section 4, Disarmament, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012 2013 (document A/66/6 (Sect. 4)).

Finally, also before the Committee was the Advisory Committee’s report on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, titled request for a subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research resulting from the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Institute on the work programme of the Institute for 2012-2013 (document A/66/7/Add.8).

Introduction of Reports

ANDREI TEREKHOV, Executive Director, Office of the Administration of Justice, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the administration of justice (document A/66/275 and Corr.1), saying it was divided into five main parts.  They included a review of the formal justice system; consolidated responses to administration of justice questions asked by the General Assembly in resolution 65/251, which are listed in its three Annexes; issues relevant to the Assembly’s review of the Statutes of the Tribunals; resource requirements; and conclusions and recommendations for action to be taken by the Assembly.

The report describes the new system’s accomplishments from 1 July 2010 to 31 May 2011, including a marked improvement in processing cases more efficiently.  But, it notes with concern the serious strain on the financial and human resources of the offices and units serving the administration of justice system and states that key areas needed significant strengthening in order to maintain the current pace of work and continue to implement all the Assembly’s mandates for the new system.

He said the second part of the report, Section III, gave detailed responses to specific questions from the Assembly on delegation of authority for disciplinary measures; the impact of the new system on staff/management relations; cost-sharing arrangements; training of actors in the system; statistics on cases received and disposed of during the period by both Tribunals; and trends and systemic issues.  In the third main part, Section IV, the Secretary-General raised a number of issues that the Assembly may take into consideration when reviewing the Tribunal’s statutes.  The report stressed that discussion of those issues was without prejudice to the principle of judicial independence and it was up to the Assembly to decide what action, if any, should be taken in relation to those issues.

In the fourth and fifth parts of the report, Sections V and VI, the Secretary-General identified several areas in the formal justice system that required strengthening in order to fulfil the new system’s mandate and make recommendations for action by the Assembly, he said.

JOHN BARKAT, United Nations Ombudsman, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Service (document A/66/224), which covers the 1 January to 31 December 2010 period.  This period marked the third year since the Assembly’s decision to provide staff in the Secretariat, funds, and programmes, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with a strengthened, decentralized and integrated informal system to help resolve workplace concerns early and constructively.

The United Nations strove to help staff and managers successfully navigate and overcome daily workplace challenges and the informal system was a critical part of the Organization’s effectiveness.  “It is the oil that helps keep the machine running smoothly”, he said.  With the introduction of a new justice system three years ago, the Organization had begun shifting from managing litigation towards creatively managing disputes with an emphasis on conflict prevention, intervention and resolution.  The revamping of the system had led to a greater demand for its services.  In 2008, 787 Secretariat staff had requested informal conflict resolution.  In 2010, the number had jumped to 1,206 recorded cases for the Secretariat and 1,764 cases for the integrated Office.

The most significant development in the reporting period was the Office’s ability to reach staff beyond Headquarters in a sustained manner, he said.  The top three areas of staff and managerial concern continued to be related to jobs and career, relationships with a reporting line, and compensation and benefits.  Most cases had originated from offices and field missions away from Headquarters.  A mutually satisfactory solution was found in 80 per cent of the cases, he said.  The office consistently had called on staff and managers to bring their concerns forward as early as possible, before they led to a contested administrative decision.

At the Assembly’s request, the Office, in report 65/303, had proposed several incentives to encourage the use of the informal system.  In a subsequent resolution, A/65/251, para. 22, the Assembly had asked the Secretary-General to ensure full implementation of those recommendations and to include those that carried financial implications into the proposed programme budget for 2012-2013.  Mr. Barkat said the incentives required the Assembly’s sustained support.

COLLEN KELAPILE, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introduced that body’s report, which weighed in on the Secretary-General’s report on the administration of justice system and his report on the activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Meditation Services (document A/66/7/Add.6).  In it, the Advisory Committee stated that there was merit in the comprehensive assessment on the evolution and functioning of the new system.  The Advisory Committee rejected the proposal to install a second full-time judge at each of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal locations.  But, taking into account the unlikelihood of a significant reduction in the Tribunals’ workload, it recommended that the terms of the three ad-litem judges be extended for two years.

The Advisory Committee recommended approval of six of the 26 new regular budget posts proposed by the Secretary-General, including one P-4 for the Registry of the Appeals Tribunal; two P-3 posts for the Administrative Law Section, Office of Human Resources Management; and three posts, including two P-4 and one P-3, in the Office of Legal Affairs, he said.  It also recommended approval of 13 of the other requested posts as positions funded under general temporary assistance, as well as approval of the request to reclassify from P-2 to P-3 a post in the Registry of the Dispute Tribunal.

The Advisory Committee felt it was important to make a decision at its current session on the important issue of the mandate and functioning of the Office of Staff Legal Assistance, he said.  While the Advisory Committee continued to support giving legal advice and guidance to staff to process their claim through the formal justice system, it felt that the Office of Staff Legal Assistance’s role should not extend to representing staff before the Tribunals.  It also recommended that the Secretary-General be asked to submit a proposal for a mandatory scheme for a staff-funded mechanism to support the Office.  It had no objection to short-term measures proposed by the Secretary-General, which were designed to expedite processing of disciplinary cases from the field.  It saw merit in the Secretary-General’s recommendations regarding the review of the Tribunal’s statutes.

Concerning the activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Meditation Services, he said the Advisory Committee noted the increase in the number of cases brought before the Office, mainly attributable to creating regional offices during 2010.  It also urged the timely completion of the revised terms of reference for the Ombudsman, saying the delay was holding up an agreement on cost-sharing arrangements.  The Advisory Committee also noted the Office’s intention to create an external review of its activities and impact and it looked forward to considering those findings in due course.

Statements

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, SEBASTIÁN DI LUCA (Argentina) noted the achievements — both in disposal of backlog and addressing new cases — by the new Administration of Justice system during its 27 months of implementation.  The Group welcomed the actions taken to encourage the informal resolution of disputes, which then avoided unnecessary recourse to litigation.  The Group emphasized the need to assign adequate resources to support the handling of appeals and disciplinary cases at offices away from Headquarters and at the regional commissions, and to assist in litigation matters at the dispute tribunal locations in Geneva and Nairobi.

Noting the absence of permanent courtrooms in Nairobi, Geneva and New York, the Group urged the Secretary-General to complete the construction of a courtroom and noted that resources for its completion were available under the 2012-2013 proposed programme budget.

The Group regretted that an agreement on a cost-sharing arrangement for the entire internal justice system had not been finalized, despite discussions that began in February 2008 with funds and programmes.  He trusted the Secretariat would expeditiously conclude an agreement.  An independent, effective, transparent system of administration of justice was imperative to ensure due process within the Organization.  “It ensured accountability and transparency in decision-making by holding managers accountable for their actions,” he said.

PAUL BALLANTYNE (New Zealand), also speaking on behalf of Australia and Canada, stressed his long-standing support for a fair, efficient and effective administration of justice system in the United Nations and welcomed progress in the last two years.  The system’s proper functioning was essential to efforts to strengthen accountability, oversight and human resources management.  He noted the Secretary-General’s request for further guidance and resources from Member States on a range of issues, but said it was too early to make an accurate assessment on the system’s long-term resource requirements, as it was still evolving.  Regarding the Office of Staff Legal Assistance, he felt legal assistance to staff must be complemented by some form of staff financial contribution.  In that regard, he strongly endorsed the ACABQ recommendation that would have the Secretary-General put forward a specific proposal for a mandatory staff-funded scheme.

MATTHIAS DETTLING (Switzerland), speaking also on behalf of Liechtenstein, said it was necessary to ensure that sufficient resources were available for the consolidation, development and credibility of the new justice system.  The expiration of the mandate of the three ad litem judges at year’s end was an immediate challenge, as it halved the numbers of judges available to the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, and he noted the Advisory Committee’s recommendations on a solution.

Mechanisms that strengthened the efficiency and effectiveness of the new system had to be encouraged and the role of the Management Evaluation Unit and the Office of Staff Legal Assistance were vital.  As pointed out by the Advisory Committee, it was regrettable that efforts to find a staff funding mechanism for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance had not yet borne fruit.  Regarding the scope of the system, Switzerland believed that all persons working for the United Nations, regardless of the nature of their contractual relationship, should have access to an independent body that examined their grievances and remedied them in an appropriate manner.

Aligning his delegation with the statement made by the Group of 77 and China, XIE XIAOWU (China) said the internal justice system had shown important results and he wanted to thank all involved for their hard work during the system’s transitional phase.  The observation of the international rule of law was an important precondition of any informal or formal justice system.  China attached importance to the functions of the informal system to administer justice.  The system had reduced disputes.  The system should ensure that the rights of the staff were respected and increase efficiencies.  The creation of the internal system of justice was an important part of the reform of the Organization, he added.

TAKASHI KANAMORI ( Japan) noted that in his report the Secretary-General had asked the Assembly to approve the creation of 26 new posts, reclassify one P-2 post as a P-3 post, and appropriate $8.66 million, before recosting, under the 2012-2013 programme budget.  Japan shared the Advisory Committee’s concern that the new justice system was still evolving and many aspects had yet to be settled.  Japan generally supported the Committee’s recommendations with regard to resource requirements.

Japan was disappointed that the Staff-Management Coordination Committee had not reached an agreement on any options for a staff-funded scheme to support the Office of Staff Legal Assistance.  Japan, therefore, agreed with the Advisory Committee not to recommend approval of new posts for the Office, pending decisions on a staff-funded mechanism.

STEPHEN LIEBERMAN ( United States) lauded the professionalism and productivity of the new administration of justice system.  He noted its success thus far, but said it was evolving and must be carefully monitored, as there were problems to address.  All the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report related to the system deserved careful consideration.  He welcomed the Sixth Committee’s views on the legal aspects of issues that the Secretary-General had identified in relation to the Tribunal’s statutes and the rules of procedure and other matters raised by the reports.  He welcomed the Advisory Committee’s recommendation on proposals to strengthen key areas of the new system, and agreed with its views that, as a number of aspects had yet to be settled, it was best to proceed cautiously.  While noting that the Secretary-General’s proposal for more resources was justified by the expected continuing heavy workload facing the Administration at all levels in the new system, he expressed concern with the underlying analysis presented in the report, particularly concerning regularization of temporary posts or adding new posts.

He expressed concern that the new system would encourage more reliance on the informal dispute resolution and reduce reliance on litigation in the formal part of the system.  In the current fiscal crisis, it was incumbent on the Secretary-General and Member States to carefully scrutinize all requests to ensure they were fully justified and reflected the best use of the Organization’s limited resources.  He looked forward to thoroughly and carefully reviewing the Secretary-General’s requests.  He welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposal for a recourse mechanism for non-United Nations staff, saying it would provide fair, effective and efficient recourse for such individuals.  He looked forward to the discussion on that proposal, as well as the Secretary-General’s proposals for a staff-funded mechanism for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance, and found much merit in the Advisory Committee’s views in that regard.

Introduction of Reports

JOHANNES HUISMAN, Director, Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the reports of the Secretary-General on strengthening the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (document A/66/393); revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its 2011 substantive session (document A/66/510); and a note by the Secretary-General concerning a request for a subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.  This request resulted from recommendations issued by the Institute’s Board of Trustees on the Institute’s work programme for 2012-2013 (document A/66/170).

Regarding the United Nations Office at Nairobi, he said the review of the Office’s resource requirements indicated that, after the creation of the post of the Director-General at the Under-Secretary-General level, and the appointment of a Director-General, who began 1 May 2011, there was a need for some limited strengthening of the Office.  The related essential requirements, presented in the report, include the creation of three new posts, an upward reclassification of an existing post and some non-post resources.  Those additional requirements were found under section 1, Overall policymaking, direction and coordination and total $427,800 net (before recosting), he said.

Turning to the revised estimates for the Economic and Social Council, he said the additional expenditure requirements resulting from the decisions and recommendations were estimated at $572,900, falling under various sections of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.  They were expected to be absorbed in the budget’s relevant sections and no additional requirements above that level of funding were being sought. With regard to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the Assembly was requested to approve a subvention of $577,800 (before recosting) from the regular budget for the 2012-2013 biennium.  That provision would fall under section 4, Disarmament of the proposed programme budget for the 2012-2013 biennium, he said.

Mr. KELAPILE, taking the floor a second time, introduced the Advisory Committee’s reports related to the Secretary-General’s reports on revised estimates and subvention relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.  They included reports on the strengthening of the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (document A/66/7 Add.7), the request for a subvention to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research resulting from the recommendations of the Institute’s Board of Trustees on its work programme for 2012-2013 (document A/66/7 Add.8), and the revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council and its substantive session of 2011 (document A/66/7 Add.9).

Regarding the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, he regretted that the support resources related to that Office, created in December 2009, could not be presented in a timely manner as part of the Secretary-General’s proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.  The Assembly and the Advisory Committee had repeatedly expressed concern over a piece-meal approach to budgeting.  Concerning post requirements proposed by the Secretary-General, the Advisory Committee did not recommend creation of the P-4 post for a Protocol Officer and the local level post for a legal assistant.  Instead, it recommended approval of the local level post for an administrative assistant and reclassification of the post of Chief of Office.

The Advisory Committee recommended that the Assembly approve the request for the subvention and noted that it was consistent with the provision under section 4, disarmament, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, representing a United Nations subvention to United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research of $577,800 for 2012-2013, he said.

Turning to the report on revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council, he noted that no new additional appropriations were sought over and above the funding level of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013, and that the Assembly’s adoption of Council-recommended resolutions at its 2011 substantive session would not entail more requirements for that budget.  The Advisory Committee had no objection to the course of action proposed by the Secretary-General and set out in paragraphs 31 to 32 of the report.

Statements

Regarding the 2012-2013 proposed programme budget issues, SEBASTIÁN DI LUCA (Argentina) spoke on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and said he welcomed the appointment of Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, effective 1 May 2011.  The Group supported the strengthening of the Office and supported the current proposals to strengthen the Director-General’s Office.

The Group stressed the importance of providing necessary resources to finance all decisions of the Organization’s intergovernmental organs in the field of social and economic development.  In that regard, it believed that adequate resources had to be provided to fund the resolutions and decisions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive 2011 session.  Finally, the Group appreciated the useful work of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and supported the approval of $577,800, before recosting, from the regular 2011-2012 budget.

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