The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up a request from the Secretary‑General for $1.33 million in additional resources to establish the Office of the Victims’ Rights Advocate, with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions challenging details of the proposal.
With the assets of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund totalling a record $62 billion at the end of October, delegates today expressed concern over the quality of service it provided to its more than 200,000 participants, as well as its failure in 2016 to meet its return‑on‑investment target, as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) took up the Fund’s proposed budget for the biennium 2018‑2019.
Welcoming the Secretary-General’s proposals aimed at reforming the United Nations programme planning and budget process, as well as increasing transparency and accountability, delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today stressed that management reform must employ lessons learned from past efforts, and could not be an isolated endeavour.
The renovation of the historic Palais des Nations campus, home of the United Nations Office in Geneva, came under scrutiny before the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today, with delegates commenting on financing modalities, transparency and the “smart working” flexible workplace concept as the CHF 836.5 million project — due for completion in 2023 ‑ moved forward.
Further clarification was needed on resource cuts and staffing changes proposed for special political missions, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) heard today, as it took up the 2018 budget proposals for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Panel of Experts on Mali.
As the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today examined the recommended 2018 budgets for special political missions and the assistance mission in Iraq, one delegate objected to aspects of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide’s activities, while another was concerned by sharp increases in the number of staff at the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria.
Delegates emphasized that cost‑of‑living adjustments must be applied consistently throughout the United Nations common system in line with current economic realities, as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today examined new and proposed compensation rules that governed, among other things, separation payments, dependency allowances and salary scales for staff in Geneva.
Delegates expressed concern today about protection for whistle‑blowers and managerial accountability as well as staff’s lack of knowledge of dispute mechanisms at their disposal as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) examined the Organization’s track record for resolving conflict for tens of thousands of employees worldwide.
Delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) voiced support today for a proposal by the Secretary‑General to undertake a $14.19 million modernization of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) premises in Santiago, Chile.
Speakers welcomed new initiatives in translation services and the recruitment and training of language professionals, as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budget) today discussed ways to manage United Nations conferences and official document production more efficiently.
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