The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) wrapped up the main part of its seventy-second session today, recommending that the General Assembly adopt a $5.397 billion budget for the United Nations for the 2018-2019 biennium and approve switching the Organization, on a trial basis, to a year-by-year budget cycle.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) was presented today with documents assessing the second performance report on the 2016‑2017 programme budget, as well as the programme budget implications and revised estimates resulting from exchange rates, inflation and resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly’s main committees and other United Nations bodies.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today considered the ongoing implementation of the Umoja enterprise resource planning project throughout the Organization, with delegates calling for greater transparency about the real cost of an ambitious initiative that had slipped behind schedule and surpassed its original cost estimates.
Arbitrary reductions in the resources allocated to the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) should be avoided, particularly as the country faced continued humanitarian, health and social challenges, delegates told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today as it took up a range of reports, including one related to the human rights situation in Myanmar.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) took up the Secretary-General’s request today to the General Assembly for $636.6 million to support 34 special political missions during the biennium 2018-2019, with delegates seizing the opportunity to press for substantial changes to the way those missions — almost all of them the creation of the Security Council — were funded.
With the second stage of the drawdown of the African Union‑United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) set to begin in February 2018, delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up the revised budget proposal for that Operation, stressing the importance of prioritizing post‑conflict reconstruction.
The new Mission to monitor Colombia’s historic peace agreement needed adequate funding to ensure it was as effective as the first operation in the country, delegates said as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) took up the funding of special political missions in 2018.
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.
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