While ‘Encouraged’ by United Nations Financial Health, Budget Committee Delegates Warn Outstanding Payments to Troop Contributors Could Harm Overall Liquidity

18 October 2012
GA/AB/4044

While ‘Encouraged’ by United Nations Financial Health, Budget Committee Delegates Warn Outstanding Payments to Troop Contributors Could Harm Overall Liquidity

18 October 2012
General Assembly
GA/AB/4044
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

Fifth Committee

8th Meeting (PM)

While ‘Encouraged’ by United Nations Financial Health, Budget Committee Delegates

Warn Outstanding Payments to Troop Contributors Could Harm Overall Liquidity

Taking Up Report, Speakers Also Concerned about Possible Year-End Cash

Crunch, Likelihood of Cost Overruns Associated with Headquarters Renovation

While encouraged by the United Nations overall financial health, delegates gathered at the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today voiced their concerns about the Organization’s outstanding payments to Member States, the likelihood of a cash flow crunch at the end of 2012, and the possibility of additional assessments for the Capital Master Plan next year.

Under-Secretary-General for Management Yukio Takasu gave a brief update on the world body’s financial picture, following his address to the Committee a week ago.  He said that the number of countries that had now made their regular budget payments in full totalled 132 as Belarus, Haiti and the Dominican Republic had made payments in the last week.  The United States had informed the Secretariat of payments to the regular budget and tribunals in the amounts of $69 million and $2.7 million, respectively.

When Committee members took the floor to comment, Pakistan’s delegate said the level of debt owed to troop-contributing countries — which now stood at $424 million — not only harmed the liquidity and overall health of the United Nations, it put pressure on all of the Organization’s peacekeeping activities and compromised its credibility in carrying out its mandates.  “This systematic problem needs to be resolved permanently,” he said, calling on concerned Member States capable of paying to take seriously the persistent non-payment of assessments.

Delegates from Côte d’Ivoire and the European Union were troubled by the financing activities of peacekeeping missions and expressed concern that funds were perennially borrowed from the budgets of closed missions to keep active missions running smoothly.  In that regard, the representative of Côte d’Ivoire said he was concerned that the peacekeeping division was waiting for the General Assembly to approve a new scale of assessments before it could carry out its financial obligations.

For his part, the delegate representing the European Union said that financing active missions with monies from closed peacekeeping operations’ accounts was unsustainable.  The remaining balance of funds in the accounts of closed peacekeeping operations had to be returned to Member States, in line with the Organization’s financial rules.

While pleased that contributions of some $1.86 billion of the total $1.87 billion assessed for the Capital Master Plan had been received, Algeria’s delegate was concerned about the financial impact of associated costs on Member States.  Speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, he said the delegation was scrutinizing the Secretariat’s proposals to be sure that solutions to any cost overruns for the project — the renovation of the world body’s historic Headquarters complex on Manhattan’s East Side — were solved within regulations.

Chile’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), also was troubled by the possibility of the so-called “de-scoping” of the Capital Master Plan without addressing cost overruns.  It was the responsibility of the Secretariat and the Capital Master Plan Office to wrap up the project within budget and on time.

Echoing concerns of many speakers regarding the need for all Member States, especially major contributors to the United Nations, to pay their assessed dues in full, on time and condition-free, the representative of Singapore said that, at the same time, the Organization must strengthen its accountability and use resources more effectively, particularly at a time when countries all over the world were adopting tough austerity measures.  The Organization must earn the trust of Member States by being more transparent and consultative.  Most importantly, the Secretariat needed to exercise greater fiscal discipline and commit to building a strong, effective and results-oriented Organization, he said.

Responding later in the meeting to concerns expressed by some delegations that the Organization might face a liquidity crunch at the end of 2012 when some $775 million in regular budgetary funds was set to be disbursed, Mr. Takasu acknowledged that the cash flow situation would be a “bit tight” in November and December.  He, therefore, urged Member States to make the extra effort and make their payments.  As for reimbursement to Member States that provide troops, he said the Secretariat had made a significant effort to reduce that amount and would continue to make every possible effort to meet its obligations to Member States.

Other delegates speaking today included Canada (also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand), Republic of Korea, Syria, Russian Federation, Turkey, China, South Africa, Japan and Cuba.

The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 23 October, to discuss the pattern of conferences.

Background

The Committee had before it the Secretary-General’s latest biannual report on improving the financial situation of the United Nations (document A/67/522).  The current document lays out the state of the Organization’s finances as of 5 October 2012.  The report uses four main financial indicators — information on the regular budget, United Nations peacekeeping operations, the criminal tribunals and the Capital Master Plan account — to analyse the budget.

According to the report, as of 5 October 2012, the financial situation reflected decreases in the level of assessments for the regular budget, which tallied $2.412 billion, slightly lower that the $2.415 billion in assessments for 2011.  Assessments for peacekeeping operations were down to $4.64 million on 5 October 2012 from $8.65 million at year-end 2011.  International tribunal assessments were $232 million at 5 October 2012, compared to $286 million at 31 December 2011.  As of 31 December 2011, assessments for the Capital Master Plan totalled $341 million.  No new assessments were issued for that project in 2012.

Introductory Statement

Under-Secretary-General for Management YUKIO TAKASU provided an update to the Organization’s financial picture that he laid out last week at the Committee’s 11 October meeting (see Press Release GA/AB/4042).  The United States, he said, had informed the Secretariat of payments to the regular budget and tribunals in the amounts of $69 million and $2.7 million, respectively.  In addition, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also had informed the Secretariat of payments totalling $304,200, the amount outstanding from that Member State.

He said that the number of countries that had now made their regular budget payments in full totalled 132 as Belarus, Haiti and the Dominican Republic had also made payments since last week.  Hungary had made its peacekeeping operations payment in full, bringing the total number to 33; Serbia had paid in full to the tribunals, bringing that number to 96; and Iran had made its payment in full to the Capital Master Plan, bringing to 150 the total number of countries having met their commitments in that category.  Since the 11 October meeting, Hungary had joined the 31 countries that paid their assessment in full, bringing the total to 32.

Statements

ABDELHAKIM MIHOUBI (Algeria), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, noted positive signs in the Organization’s financial situation, such as the reduced level of outstanding contributions to both the regular and peacekeeping budgets as compared to October 2011, and the reduction in outstanding payments to countries that contributed peacekeeping troops and equipment.  The Group would closely follow reduction of that debt in line with its position that more must be done to ensure Member States were reimbursed in full, on time and as a matter of priority.   That was of particular concern since most troop-contributing countries were developing nations and not in a position to sustain troop commitments and maintain their equipment on their own for extended periods.

He called on those countries that had not paid their assessments in full and on time to do so as soon as possible.  Member States must honour their financial commitments in order to improve the Organization’s efficiency.  Full, timely and non-conditional payment was a Charter obligation.  All Member States, particularly those with the capacity to settle their arrears, must pay on time.  He said that the “G-77” rejected all unilateral coercive measures contrary to international law that obstructed Group members from paying their dues.

While pleased by contributions to the Capital Master Plan budget, he expressed concern about the current status of project completion and the possible impact on Member States’ assessments.  The delegation was also scrutinizing the Secretariat’s current proposals that seemed to suggest an approach to “de-scope” the Plan without solving its cost overruns.  He expressed concern over some interpretations of operative paragraph 27 of Assembly resolution 66/246 that were expressed in prior meetings.  That paragraph could not be interpreted as a decision to not carry out post-related recosting for inflation and exchange rate projections.  That was not the agreement reached when the current 2012-2013 budget was adopted.  Nor was there an agreement that re-costing would be absorbed.  The agreement, as stated clearly in paragraph 27, was simply to “defer” the process.  “We expect the Secretariat to fully comply with the resolution 66/246.  The Group will not and cannot accept further arbitrary cuts to an already reduced budget,” he said.

MANAHI PAKARATI (Chile), speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), noted with satisfaction that in 2012, the Organization’s overall financial situation improved slightly as compared with 2011 in terms of the status of payments in various areas, and that cash positions were projected to be positive at year’s end for all funds except the regular budget.  Thirty-two Member States had met their obligations in full — up from 18 at this time in 2011.  But, her delegation was concerned that there was still a deficit of some $1.85 billion in peacekeeping, $855 million in the regular budget and $63 million in the international tribunals.  The Group was concerned that arrears owed to the Organization potentially compromised the world body’s financial stability.

She appealed to Member States to meet their obligations as early in the calendar year as possible and without attaching conditions.  She noted with concern that, as in previous years, the bulk of the arrears was owed by one State.  She praised the progress concerning reimbursements for troops, police units and contingent-owned equipment and welcomed the fact that outstanding payments were projected at around $512 million at the end of 2012, a $17 million decrease from 2011.  She hoped for further efforts to reimburse Member States in full and on time.  Several CELAC members contributed troops and equipment, making considerable sacrifices in order to keep them active for extended periods, she added.

She said that CELAC noted with concern the $7 million increase in unpaid assessments to the international criminal tribunals for the current period, although more Member States had paid in full.  She expressed satisfaction that most Member States had fully paid their contributions to the Capital Master Plan, therefore securing most of the resources approved for the project.  But the Group was concerned with the possible “de-scoping” of the Plan without solving cost overruns.  It was the responsibility of the Secretariat and the Capital Master Plan Office to implement the project within budget and in line with the specified time frame approved by the Assembly.

Operative paragraph 27 of Assembly resolution 66/246 must not be interpreted as a decision to not carry out post-related recosting for inflation and exchange rate projections.  It was necessary to continue efforts to ensure efficient, effective use of the Organization’s resources, bearing in mind that it was paramount to ensure the United Nations was fully and adequately financed to fulfil its mandate.  She rejected any unilateral step that was contrary to international law and that made it difficult and sometimes impossible for Group members to pay their dues.

IOANNIS VRAILAS, a representative of the Delegation of the European Union, said it was each Member State’s responsibility to pay its assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions.  Budgetary responsibilities must be shared among Member States fairly and equitably.  Resources must be used effectively and efficiently.  He noted that Mr. Takasu stated on 11 October that the Organization’s 2012 financial indicators were “generally positive”.  The Secretariat and Member States must collaborate closely on possible alternatives aimed at improving the budget process.

The European Union was pleased that as of 5 October, 129 Member States had fully paid their regular budget assessments, although he noted that 131 had fulfilled that obligation at the same time last year.  He hoped remaining Member States would pay their dues in full and as soon as possible.  The European Union appreciated that the total outstanding amount for peacekeeping operations as of 5 October was $1.85 billion, down $775 million from a year earlier, which he said the bloc hoped would foreshadow further structural improvements in peacekeeping budgeting.

He noted with appreciation that the Organization’s projected budget to troop-contributing countries was lower now than in 2011, and hoped that trend would continue and welcomed the Under-Secretary-General’s commitments towards that end.  It was unsustainable to finance active peacekeeping operations with monies from closed peacekeeping operations.  The remaining balance of funds in closed peacekeeping operations’ accounts must be returned to Member States, in line with the Organization’s Financial Rules and Regulations.  He was pleased that 149 Member States had paid their contributions to the Capital Master Plan.  But he also remained very concerned about cost overruns, and called on the Secretary-General to do everything possible to identify further cost-saving steps.  He was pleased that so far 32 Member States had fulfilled all their financial obligations to the United Nations, versus 18 at this time last year.  He hoped that positive trend would continue.

CONRAD SHECK (Canada), speaking also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, was encouraged by positive signs in the Organization’s financial situation and that 32 Member States had fully paid their dues as of 11 October, as compared with 18 Members a year earlier.  He was pleased that the value of unpaid assessed dues had fallen by $12 million on a year-over-year basis, as of the cut-off date for Mr. Takasu’s presentation.  But the delegation noted with concern that, with significant disbursements in the final quarter of the year, the Organization’s regular budget cash position was projected to be “tight” at the end of 2012.  The delegations expected that position would improve as Member States took action to pay their past-due assessments, and would be closely monitoring the ongoing situation.

He welcomed the continued decline in debt projected to be owed by year’s end to troop-contributing countries.  He appreciated the Secretariat’s efforts to expedite outstanding payments to Member States.  He noted the improvement in the amount outstanding for peacekeeping operations as of 5 October, but said that it was due in part to a lower level of peacekeeping assessments for the current fiscal year.  “The realization of real efficiencies in this area still depends on structural improvements in the manner in which peacekeeping operations are planned, implemented and maintained,” he said.

He said his delegation was concerned about the ongoing impact of Member States’ arrears on the Organization’s work and that the percentage of unpaid assessments was higher than last year for both the regular budget and the peacekeeping operations.  That matter must be taken seriously.  Differences in national fiscal years were one factor that thwarted some Member States’ ability to pay on time.  But persistent areas generated cash flow issues that had serious consequences and hindered the effective management of the Organization.  Liquidity problems had led to the imprudent practice of cross-borrowing between peacekeeping operations.

Members of his delegation continued to pay their dues in full and on time and they urged all Member States to follow suit by fulfilling their Charter obligations.  He strongly encouraged eligible Member States to consider submitting multi-year payment plans as a possible mechanism for addressing arrears.  He supported the Secretary-General’s efforts to improve financial discipline, enhance oversight and ensure accountability for results.  He welcomed initiatives to increase the efficiency of the United Nations to make better use of available resources to achieve agreed mandates.

SUL KYUNG-HOON ( Republic of Korea) said it was encouraging that the overall financial situation of the United Nations seemed to be sound this year and cash positions were positive for budgets in peacekeeping, the tribunals, and the Capital Master Plan.  The level of outstanding payment to Member States would also be lowered by year’s end, and most importantly, the number of Member States that had paid all of their assessments in full had increased from 18 to 32, compared with last year.  That was particularly noteworthy as many Member States were facing several economic difficulties.

It was critical for the United Nations to strengthen its budgetary discipline, which would improve its efficiency and effectiveness and ultimately enhance its credibility, he said, adding that, as of today, the Republic of Korea had met all its financial obligations to the Organization in full.

ISMAIL BASSEL AYZOUKI ( Syria) said that his country was committed to the objective requirements of the United Nations Charter, and that all States needed to pay all their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions.  Since the creation of the United Nations, Syria had worked to satisfy its financial obligations on time despite the many challenges that it might have been facing as a developing country.

Syria had recently paid its assessments in full to the regular budget, the tribunals, Capital Master Plan and a large part of its peacekeeping budget assessment, despite the economic, trade and financial sanctions that were imposed illegally and unjustly on the country.  Those unilateral sanctions were hampering Syria’s livelihood and were a clear breach of the United Nations Charter and international law, he said.  The unjust measures targeted health and education even as billions of dollars were being given to terrorist groups that were killing people in Syria.

Syria objected to sanctions that impacted the Mission’s ability to receive monetary transfers needed to satisfy its needs, he said.  It had not had a bank account for seven months in the host country.  Syria reminded the host country of its responsibility in that area.  It had followed up with the Secretariat through a memorandum and had sought to open an account with the United Nations Credit Union.  The request had been made six months ago and Syria had not received a response.

ALEXANDER A. PANKIN ( Russian Federation) said that, despite the complex global financial and economic situation, more countries had paid their assessed dues to the Organization during the current period versus last year.  He called on all those who had yet to do so to follow suit.  He noted that on 5 October, there was a deficit of $855 million in the regular budget due to the small number of Member States that had yet to pay their dues in full.  The failure to meet their obligations could have a negative impact on the Organization and its responsibilities.

The Under-Secretary-General’s statement outlined that the positive and sound state of the United Nations financial situation could not be a source of complacency, he said.  Member States must fulfil their Charter obligations to pay their assessments scrupulously and without conditions.  He looked forward to seeing Member States settle their arrears so the Organization could carry out its projects.  In a period of tough national budget constraints, Member States had the right to suggest — and must require — that the Secretariat make efforts at rational financial planning and at realistically assessing the Organization’s needs and mandates.

ÖZGÜR PEHLIVAN ( Turkey) noted that payments received this year for regular budget assessments were slightly higher than in 2011.  But since the Organization’s cash position was expected to “get tighter” towards the end of the year due to projected disbursements, he emphasized that full, timely payment of assessed contributions remained critical for the world body’s effective, efficient functioning.  He noted with concern that a few Member States accounted for the overwhelming portion of outstanding payments and urged those that had not yet paid their regular budget contributions to do so.  Similarly, just a few Member States, including some permanent members of the Security Council, owed most of the outstanding amount due to peacekeeping operations.

He said that Turkey was pleased that almost all Member States had paid their assessments for the Capital Master Plan, enabling that project’s timely execution.  He noted the progress in reimbursing troop-contributing countries and looked forward to further improvements in that regard.  Yet for that to happen, all Member States must honour their peacekeeping operation assessments on time and in full.  He called on everyone to attempt to avoid increased arrears on assessed contributions, which would hinder the Organization’s financial health.  He commended Member States that met their contribution for each budget category and called on the rest to follow suit.

YOUSSOUFOU BAMBA, ( Côte d’Ivoire) said his delegation wished to add comments to those made earlier by Algeria on behalf of the “Group of 77” and China.  He was concerned that, because $776 million would have to be withdrawn from the regular budget before the end of the year, covering that disbursement could lead to cash flow difficulty.  The Secretariat needed to follow that situation closely, adding that the Organization needed a sound regular budget that allowed it to effectively implement its mandates in security, development and human rights.

Regarding peacekeeping operations, he said that that budget category had received $775 million less in contributions as of 5 October, compared with the payments at the end of 2011.  The peacekeeping missions were waiting for a new scale of assessments to be approved and he was concerned that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would have to wait for the General Assembly to take a decision on the issue before discharging its financial obligations.  Of further concern was the fact that the Secretariat would have to borrow funds from closed missions.  In closing, he urged the Secretariat to pay all debt to Member States in full and on time so the peacekeeping operations could carry out their peacekeeping duties.

YE XUENONG ( China) remarked on the improvement of the United Nations’ financial situation this year compared to last.  However, he regretted the outstanding $855 million in unpaid assessments for the regular budget and $1.85 billion for peacekeeping.  He called on all countries to pay all their assessment on time, in full and without conditions.  Noting that the United Nations currently owed troop-contributing countries for peacekeeping $1 billion, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s commitment to meeting obligations to Member States for providing troops and equipment as expeditiously as possible.

As a developing country with a low per capita income and many people living under the poverty line, China had a limited capacity to pay, he said.  Yet his country had paid in full on time.  As China had committed, it had made its contributions to ensure a sound financial foundation for the United Nations and would continue to work actively to enable the United Nations to better perform its functions.

SAHEBZADA KHAN ( Pakistan) said that, despite hopeful preliminary signs of recovery, the difficulties the Organization had faced last year in terms of paying assessed contributions had not relented completely.  Notwithstanding some improvements, a significant amount of those contributions remained unpaid.  He was particularly concerned by the rapid increase in the level of debt owed to troop-contributing countries, which stood at $460 million by mid-October.  That not only harmed the Organization’s liquidity and overall health, it exacerbated the operational challenges of the entire peacekeeping architecture and compromised its credibility in implementing its mandates.

He said that his delegation understood the procedural difficulties that Mr. Takasu referred to in his 11 October presentation to the Committee, which had led to delays in paying peacekeeping dues.  Member States with the capacity to pay should settle their unpaid dues within the certain time period.  “This systematic problem needs to be resolved permanently,” he said, calling on concerned Member States capable of paying to take seriously the persistent non-payment of assessments.

Continuing, he said that Pakistan trusted the Secretariat would continue its efforts to ensure that the debt owed to troop-contributing countries was reimbursed in full, on time and as a matter of priority, including by eliminating the existing backlog of death and disability claims.  He was encouraged that, despite the rise in the level of unpaid contributions over the previous biennium, the Organization was able to meet its cash requirements without borrowing from other sources, primarily the Working Capital Fund and the United Nations Special Account.

He noted with satisfaction that more than $1.86 billion of the $1.87 billion assessed under the Special Account for Capital Master Plan had been received.  He hoped that cost overruns would be addressed during the consideration of the relevant agenda item.  The pretext of financial constraints could not be used to shrug off questions about the resources available to the United Nations.  Indeed, an underresourced Organization could not deliver nor be effective.  Member States must honour their financial obligations, he declared.

KAREN LINGENFELDER ( South Africa) said that it was encouraging that during the review period, 32 Member States had paid all their assessments in full, up from 18 the previous period.  She emphasized the legal obligation of all Member States to bear the Organization’s financial expenses in line with the Charter, as well as their capacity to pay.  All must ensure their assessed contributions were paid in full, on time and without conditions.  At the same time, South Africa recognized that special situations could arise where some Member States were unable to meet their obligations due to genuine difficulties.

She was encouraged by the improvement in payment of contributions, but remained concerned over the large number of outstanding contributions.  Efforts must continue to address that.  She was encouraged by the reduced level of unpaid assessments versus the previous year.  She stressed the need for the Secretariat to speed up the settlement of all outstanding claims including reimbursement to all troop-contributing countries as a matter of priority.  She stressed South Africa’s continued commitment to meet its financial obligations to the Organization in full, on time and without preconditions.

SHO ONO ( Japan) said every Member State had the responsibility to pay its assessments in full and on time.  Japan had faithfully fulfilled its obligations despite its great financial burdens.  The Government’s determination to play an active role in maintaining international peace and prosperity was unchanged and it would faithfully implement its international commitments.  He welcomed Mr. Takasu’s mindfulness of many Member States’ dire financial situation and the imperative to use scarce resources prudently.

While the overview report pointed to generally positive and sound financial indicators for 2012, the Secretariat must nevertheless use Member States’ resources more efficiently and effectively when implementing the Organization’s mandates.  He called upon the Secretariat to seek further efficiency, taking into account Member States’ domestic efforts.  The General Assembly should scrutinize potential additional requirements of the current budget, as well as the next biennium budget outline with a view to setting realistic resource levels.  Japan would actively engage in the discussions during the Committee’s main session in order to reach consensus on all items by its scheduled end.

OSCAR LEÓN GONZÁLEZ ( Cuba) said the Organization’s regular budget would face serious pressure at year’s end which could only be alleviated if there was a focus on ensuring financial commitments were met on time, in full and without conditions.  Obstacles to making those payments, particularly among developing States, could not be disregarded.  It was only through full compliance with the Organization’s financial obligations that it would be possible to clear the debts of troop-contributing countries and return to Member States surpluses in the accounts of closed missions.

In that regard, he condemned unilateral measures which hindered developing countries’ payments to the Organization’s budgets.  Despite such obstacles, Cuba was up to date with its payments to the regular budget and the international tribunals.  It had also made its contribution to the Capital Master Plan.  Cuba had also made huge efforts to pay its peacekeeping assessments on time.

The impossibility of using United States dollars in Cuba’s financial transactions made the country’s transfers subject to market fluctuations which affected its capacity to pay.  He said the United States had become “more aggressive” in its effort to hinder international cooperation with Cuba, most notably when $4.2 million, recently destined for three projects under the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, was blocked.  That freeze resulted in fear that certain types of medicine would run out.  Had the funds not been released, some 650 Cuban patients would have been left with no alternative treatment.

ANG WEE KEONG (Singapore), welcoming improvements in the financial indicators of the United Nations, applauded all Member States that had made a concerted effort to meet their obligations to the Organization in full and on time.  He noted with concern, however, that a significant amount of assessments for the regular budget remained unpaid, particularly funds due from one major contributor.  He urged all Member States to meet their obligations on time and without conditions, as they were duty-bound to do under the Charter.  The deliberate withholding of payments was not only short-sighted and irresponsible, but also compromised the financial standing of the Organization, he said.

At the same time, he said, the United Nations also needed to strengthen its accountability and use resources more effectively, particularly at a time when countries all over the world were adopting tough austerity measures.  The Organization must earn the trust of Member States by being more transparent and consultative and providing clear, complete and timely information.  Most importantly, the Secretariat needed to exercise greater fiscal discipline and commit to building a strong, effective and results-oriented Organization.  The United Nations was well placed to tackle the complex challenges facing the world today, but could not do so without the necessary resources.  Likewise, the Organization could not demand greater commitment from Member States without getting its house in order, he concluded.

Responding to Member States’ concerns, Mr. TAKASU noted that, since the United Nations did not have any way to generate revenue, it depended on Member States to meet its financial obligations.  It was crucial that Member States paid their contributions on time and without conditions.  He was very grateful that Member States were meeting their obligations to the Organization despite the financial hardships they were facing.  He said the senior management would do its best to improve its transparency and achieve an effective Secretariat.

He noted that the cash flow situation for the regular budget would be a “bit tight” in November and December and urged Member States to make the extra effort and make their payments.  Regarding reimbursement to Member States that provide troops, he said the Secretariat had made a significant effort to reduce that amount and would continue to make every possible effort to meet its obligations to Member States.

Regarding Syria’s question on its banking issues, MARIA EUGENIA CASAR, Assistant Secretary-General and United Nations Controller, said she was personally engaged on the matter with the host country and banking officials.  She assured the delegate that the Secretariat was working to resolve the problem quickly and appreciated the payment that had been made.

Regarding the use of funds from closed peacekeeping missions for current peacekeeping operations, she said the Secretariat was developing options to deal with that situation.  They would be presented during the Committee’s second resumed session.

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