Putting into place the flexible working space project at Headquarters should itself be flexible and adaptable in responding to staff needs, speakers told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today as it took up the Secretary‑General’s report on its ongoing implementation.
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.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budget) today considered the Secretariat’s request for a subvention of $10.4 million to keep the international component of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia running smoothly in 2018.
A project approved last year to make the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) headquarters more resistant to earthquake damage and address periodic maintenance requirements was on track to be completed by 2023, with minor revisions to the overall cost plan, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) heard today.
Staff members were the United Nations main asset, but greater efforts must be made to bring more women into the Organization’s ranks and to tackle long-standing concerns over geographical underrepresentation, speakers said today as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) turned its attention to human resources management issues.
While welcoming the overall sound financial health of the United Nations, delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) meeting today expressed concern about the potential of the employee benefits liabilities decimating the regular budget over time should it remain unfunded.
With the capital master plan in its final phase after nearly 15 years and an investment of $2.31 billion, the United Nations must take stock of lessons learned and best practices from the ambitious Headquarters renovation effort to guide the implementation plans of other capital projects and avoid losses, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) heard today.
Amid reforms to end fragmentation of the United Nations system, it was crucial to maintain sufficient funding for the Secretary‑General’s representatives working to make the Organization’s operational activities more efficient and effective at the country level, delegates said today as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) examined the proposed 2018‑2019 cost‑sharing arrangement and financing of the Resident Coordinator system.
Voicing alarm that the United Nations financial situation could turn dire as 2017 winds down, speakers in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) called today on those Member States that had yet to pay their assessed contributions to the Organization to do so without delay.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today heard United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres formally present an initial budget proposal of just over $5.4 billion, before recosting, for the 2018‑2019 budget cycle beginning on 1 January 2018.
The Organization’s financial indicators for 2017 for peacekeeping operations and the tribunals remained generally sound and positive, although the regular budget cash was currently exhausted and reserves were at low levels, the United Nations senior management official told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today.
- Page 1