Sixth Committee (Legal) — 75th session

Programme planning (Agenda item 142)

Summary of work

Background (source: A/75/100/Add.1)

At its fifty-eighth session, in 2003, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to prepare, on a trial basis, for submission to the Assembly at its fifty-ninth session, a strategic framework to replace the four-year medium-term plan (resolution 58/269).

At its sixty-second session, the Assembly endorsed the recommendation of the Committee for Programme and Coordination that it maintain the strategic framework as the principal policy directive of the United Nations, which serves as the basis for programme planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, with effect from the biennium 2010–2011 (resolution 62/224).

At its seventy-second session, under the item entitled “Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations”, the Assembly approved the proposed change from a biennial to an annual budget period on a trial basis, beginning with the programme budget for 2020. The Assembly also decided that the proposed programme budget document would consist of three parts: (a) part I: the plan outline, which endorses the long-term priorities and the objectives of the Organization; (b) part II: the programme plan for programmes and subprogrammes and programme performance information; and (c) part III: the post and non-post resource requirements for the programmes and subprogrammes. It further decided that parts I and II would be submitted through the Committee for Programme and Coordination and part III through the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for the consideration of the Assembly. The Assembly reiterated that the Committee for Programme and Coordination and the Advisory Committee should examine the proposed programme budget in accordance with their respective mandates and, preserving the sequential nature of the review processes, submit their conclusions and recommendations to the Assembly for the final approval of the programme budget, and requested the Secretary-General to assess the impact of the changes to the budgetary cycle on the work of the relevant subsidiary bodies of the Assembly (resolution 72/266 A).

At its seventy-fourth session, the Assembly, having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the proposed programme budget for 2020, decided on the programme narratives and expressed its support for the efforts of the Secretariat to better engage and support programme managers with the aim of making the Organization more effective, and welcomed the commitment and ongoing efforts of the Secretariat to improve the programmatic aspects of the programme budget. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General, while still considering further areas of improvement, to apply certain guidelines as stipulated in the resolution when preparing the next proposed programme plan and programme performance documents for 2021 and 2022. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to present a report as early as practicable, for the consideration of the Assembly at its seventy-fourth session, on the impact of the changes to the budgetary cycle on the established budgetary procedures and practices as they pertained to the agreed sequential nature of the review processes of the proposed programme budget, and in that regard to present possible options to ensure the preservation of that sequence, including the possibility of the Advisory Committee preparing its conclusions and recommendations on the basis of a programme plan approved by the Assembly in 2021 (resolution 74/251).

Consideration at the seventy-fifth session

At its 2nd plenary meeting, on 18 September 2020, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to include the item entitled “Programme planning” in its agenda and to allocate it to the Sixth Committee as well as to all the other Main Committees and the plenary of the Assembly to enhance discussion of evaluation, planning, budgeting and monitoring reports.

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 19th meeting, on 19 November 2020 (see  A/C.6/75/SR.19). The Committee was informed that no reports were allocated to it under the agenda item.

Archived videos and summaries of plenary meetings

Video   19th meeting (19 November 2020, 3:00pm – 6:00pm) | Summary

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 19th meeting, on 19 November, the Sixth Committee concluded its consideration of the item without taking action.

Subsequent action taken by the General Assembly

This agenda item will be considered at the seventy-sixth session (2021).

Quick Links

Key Documents

Resources