General Assembly Authorizes $8.3 billion for 15 Peacekeeping Operations in 2015/16 as It Adopts 25 Resolutions, 1 Decision in Reports of Fifth Committee

GA/11657
25 June 2015
Sixty-ninth General Assembly, 97th Meeting (PM)

General Assembly Authorizes $8.3 billion for 15 Peacekeeping Operations in 2015/16 as It Adopts 25 Resolutions, 1 Decision in Reports of Fifth Committee

Approving the appropriation of almost $8.3 billion for 15 peacekeeping operations and a related text that took action on recent allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, the General Assembly today adopted 22 resolutions and one decision contained in reports from its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).  (See Press Release GA/AB/4160.)

Among the adopted texts was a resolution on cross-cutting issues related to the financing of peacekeeping operations.  On special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, the world body welcomed the Secretary-General’s determination to strengthen protection measures, noted the declining number of allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse cases during the reporting period, and reiterated its concern at the number of cases, especially those involving the most egregious forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

It also expressed concern about the response of the United Nations to the recent allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in the Central African Republic and welcomed the creation of an External Independent Review by the Secretary-General to assess the response to those allegations and to a broad range of systemic issues related to how the Organization addresses serious information of this kind.  It also asked him to report expeditiously to the Assembly on the Review’s findings and further requested him to report on the lessons learned and measures for improvement no later than the main part of its seventieth session.

Recalling paragraph 21 of its resolution 69/272, the Assembly encouraged the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to strengthen accountability in all sectors of field missions and urged the Secretary-General and Member States to undertake all relevant actions within their respective areas of competence, including holding perpetrators accountable.  The Assembly asked the Secretary-General to engage in consultations with Member States, in particular troop-contributing countries, on the reporting methodology on sexual abuse and exploitation cases, and to update the relevant Committees on the results of his efforts in that regard in his future reports.

Turning to the financing of peacekeeping operations, the Assembly adopted resolutions on missions in Abyei, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Golan, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Western Sahara and Somalia.

It adopted all texts today without a vote except a resolution setting out the provisional budgetary arrangements for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which the Assembly adopted by a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with no abstentions.

The Assembly also adopted three related drafts on the support account for peacekeeping operations, and financing for the account as well as for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.  Also adopted was a text on the United Nations financial reports and audited financial statements on peacekeeping missions as well as the Board of Auditors’ reports on them.  In addition, the Assembly adopted texts on four closed peacekeeping missions:  the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) and the United Nations Support Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).

It adopted a draft resolution on special subjects relating to the 2014-2015 programme budget and a draft decision, by which it deferred until the second part of its resumed seventieth session consideration of reports on the financial position of closed peacekeeping missions.

Delivering statements were the representatives of Syria and Israel.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Assembly took action on the draft resolutions contained in reports from its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), which were introduced by Committee Rapporteur Matthias Dettling (Switzerland).

It first adopted a resolution contained in the budget Committee’s report on financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/69/688/Add.1), accepting the financial report and audited financial statements of United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.  By the text, it also endorsed the recommendations in the corresponding reports of the Board and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), and asked the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation.

Turning to resolutions on peacekeeping missions, the Assembly first adopted a text contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) (document A/69/955) by which the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNISFA the amount of $281.54 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $268.26 million for the maintenance of the Force, $11.05 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $2.23 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

It then adopted a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) (document A/69/950), by which the Assembly took note of the status of contributions to the Mission as at 30 April 2015, including the credits in the amount of $13.6 million.

Turning to a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (document A/69/684/Add.1), the Assembly adopted the draft, deciding to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $854.37 million from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $814.07 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $33.54 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $6.58 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

It then adopted a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/69/685/Add.1), appropriating $422.73 million to the Special Account for UNOCI for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $402.79 million for the maintenance of the Operation, $16.60 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $3.34 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Next, the Assembly adopted a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/69/956).  By its terms, the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNFICYP $55.14 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, inclusive of $52.54 million for the maintenance of the Force, $2.16 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $436,100 for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Next, it adopted a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (document A/69/957).  The Assembly, by the text, decided to appropriate to the Special Account for MONUSCO $1.40 billion for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, inclusive of $1.33 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $54.83 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $11.05 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Turning to the report on financing of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) (document A/69/951), the Assembly then adopted a resolution contained therein.  By the text, the Assembly took note of the status of contributions to UNMIT as of 30 April 2015, including the $2 million in outstanding contributions, representing some 0.2 per cent of the total assessed contributions, noted with concern that only 152 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urged all other Member States, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding contributions.

It then took up the report on financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/69/958), adopting a resolution contained therein.  By its terms, the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for that Mission $399.19 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $380.36 million for MINUSTAH’s maintenance, $15.67 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $3.16 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/69/959), deciding to appropriate to the Special Account for UNMIK $42.01 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, inclusive of $40.03 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $1.65 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $332,300 for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

It then took up the report on financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/69/682/Add.1), adopting a resolution contained therein.  By the text, the Assembly appropriated to the Special Account for UNMIL $361.72 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $344.66 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $14.20 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $2.86 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Adopting a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (document A/69/934/Add.1), the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the Force $969.01 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $923.30 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $38.04 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $7.66 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Under its agenda item on financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East, the Assembly took action on resolutions contained in two reports.  It first adopted a resolution contained in the report on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/69/960), deciding to appropriate to the Special Account for the Force $54.67 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $51.71 million for the maintenance of UNDOF, $2.13 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $429,200 for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

The representative of Syria said his delegation felt that it was Israel’s responsibility to pay for UNDOF because that country’s occupation had led to the establishment of the Force.

The Assembly then turned to a resolution contained in the report on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/69/954), as orally amended.

By a recorded vote of 89 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with 47 abstentions, the Assembly adopted operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 13.

Taking action on the draft resolution as a whole, the Assembly adopted it as amended by a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with no abstentions.

By its terms, the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNIFIL $_____ for the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, inclusive of $_____ for the maintenance of the Force, $_____ for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $_____ for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Also by the draft, the Assembly expressed deep concern that Israel had not complied with previous resolutions on UNIFIL, and requested that the Secretary-General take the measures necessary to ensure the full implementation of their relevant paragraphs.  It stressed “once again that Israel shall pay the amount of $1.12 million resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996”.

Turning to the report on financing of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (document A/69/686/Add.1), the Assembly adopted the draft contained therein, by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $1.14 billion for the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $1.09 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $44.74 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $9.01 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

It then adopted a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) (document A/69/952), deciding that Member States which had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission shall be credited with their respective share of the net cash available in the Special Account for the Mission in the amount of $14.97 million as of 30 April 2015, in accordance with the levels updated in its resolution 64/249 of 24 December 2009, taking into account the scale of assessments for 2011, as set out in its resolution 64/248 of 24 December 2009.

Also by the text, the Assembly decided that, for Member States which had not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission, their respective share of the net cash available in the Special Account for the Mission in the amount of $14.97 million as of 30 April 2015 shall be set off against their outstanding obligations.  It further decided to delete from its agenda the item entitled “Financing of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan”.

The Assembly next adopted a resolution contained in the report on financing of the United Nations Supervision Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic (UNSMIS) (document A/69/953), by which it took note of the status of contributions to UNSMIS as of 30 April 2015, including outstanding contributions in the amount of $0.2 million, representing some 1 per cent of the total assessed contributions, noted with concern that only 122 Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urged all other Member States, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions.

Turning to the report on financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/69/961), it adopted a resolution contained therein.  By the text, the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $53.65 million for the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $51.12 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $2.11 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $424,300 for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

It then took up the report on financing of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (document A/69/687/Add.1), adopting a resolution contained therein.  By that text, the Assembly appropriated to the Special Account for the Operation $1.16 billion from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, inclusive of $1.10 billion for the maintenance of the Operation, $45.41 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $9.15 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Adopting a resolution contained in the report on financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 1863 (2009) (document A/69/962), the Assembly also appropriated to the Special Account for the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA) the amount of $538.84 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, inclusive of $513.42 million for the maintenance of the Office, $21.15 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $4.26 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

Turning to the report on administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/69/963), the Assembly adopted three resolutions contained therein.

It first adopted resolution I on cross-cutting issues.

By that text, the General Assembly addressed a number of key areas, including budget presentation and financial management, personnel issues, operational requirements, protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and the Global Field Support Strategy.

On budget presentation and financial management, the Assembly reiterated that the delegation of authority on the part of the Secretary-General should be to facilitate the better management of the Organization, but also stressed that the overall responsibility rested with the Secretary-General as Chief Administrative Officer.  It reaffirmed the need for the Secretary-General to ensure that the delegation of authority to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Field Support and field missions was in strict compliance with relevant resolutions and decisions, as well as relevant rules and procedures of the Assembly.

The Assembly also emphasized that all field missions would be provided with adequate resources for the effective and efficient discharge of their respective mandates.  Further, the Assembly decided, on an exceptional basis and without setting a precedent, to apply fuel prices for the financial year 2015-2016 based on the average rates from November 2014 to April 2015, and exchange rates for 2015-2016 at the rate as of 1 May 2015.  The Secretary-General would be asked to report thereon in the context of the next performance reports of the individual missions.

In the area of personnel issues, the Assembly encouraged the Secretary-General to regularly review the civilian staffing needs of peacekeeping operations and urged him to make every effort to reduce recruitment lead time for staff in field missions, taking into account the relevant provisions governing staff recruitment, to enhance the transparency of the staffing process at all stages and to report on the steps taken and results achieved in the context of his next overview report on the peacekeeping financing.

On operational requirements, the Assembly welcomed the successful implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards in the missions and requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to address the underlying challenges related to its implementation, while taking into account lessons learned and best practices.  The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to strengthen oversight and internal controls in the areas of procurement and asset management across peacekeeping missions, and further requested him to make full use of the Regional Procurement Office in Entebbe for procurement in the field.

The Assembly also asked the Secretary-General to present in his budget proposals a clear vision of the construction requirements for each mission and to continue efforts to improve all aspects of project planning.  Noting the often dangerous and hostile environment in which air crews under contract with the United Nations operated, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to consider steps to strengthen the security of such crews and to report thereon in the context of his next peacekeeping overview report.

On special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, the Assembly welcomed the Secretary-General’s determination to strengthen protection measures, noted the declining number of allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse cases during the reporting period, and reiterated its concern at the number of cases, especially those involving the most egregious forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

The Assembly expressed concern about the response of the United Nations to the recent allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in the Central African Republic, welcomed the creation of an External Independent Review by the Secretary-General to assess the response to those allegations and to a broad range of systemic issues related to how the Organization responds to serious information of this kind, and asked him to report expeditiously to the Assembly on the Review’s findings.  It further requested him to report on the lessons learned and measures for improvement no later than the main part of its seventieth session.

In addition, the Assembly, recalling paragraph 21 of its resolution 69/272, encouraged the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to strengthen accountability in all sectors of field missions.  To that end, it urged the Secretary-General and Member States to undertake all relevant actions within their respective areas of competence, including holding perpetrators accountable.  The Assembly asked the Secretary-General to engage in consultations with Member States, in particular troop-contributing countries, on the reporting methodology on sexual abuse and exploitation cases, and to update the relevant Committees on the results of his efforts in that regard in his future reports.

On the Global Field Support Strategy, the Assembly welcomed the progress achieved and the benefits realized in implementing it.  It also requested the Secretary-General to provide, in his next overview report on peacekeeping operations, detailed information on the final evaluation of the Strategy, including cost-benefit analysis, lessons learned, best practices and benchmarks for reporting on progress and assessing achievements, as well as information on planned activities for post-Strategy period and on their mainstreaming into the ongoing work of the Secretariat.

Recalling paragraph 51 of the report of the Advisory Committee, the Assembly decided to give the Regional Service Centre at Entebbe operational and managerial independence, and requested the Secretary-General to submit a 2016-2017 budget proposal for the Centre to be charged against the missions which the Centre supported.  Finally, the Assembly welcomed the Secretary-General’s continuing efforts to improve the performance of the Centre to meet client needs, welcomed his proposal to rebalance Centre’s staffing component and requested him to continue the nationalization plan in a phased manner over a two-year period.  The Assembly also endorsed the Secretary-General’s initiative that the Centre report directly to the Department of Field Support.

Next it adopted resolution II on the support account for peacekeeping operations.  By its terms, the Assembly decided to approve the support account requirements of $336.49 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, including $31.30 million for the enterprise resource planning project and $821,500 for information and systems security.  It also approved the requirement of 1,322 continuing and 25 new temporary posts, as well as the redeployment, reassignment and reclassification of posts, as set out in annex I of the text, 109 continuing and 5 new general temporary assistance positions and 52 person-months, as set out in annex II, as well as related post and non-post requirements.

Adopting resolution III on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, the Assembly approved the cost estimates for the Base in the amount of $67.15 million for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

Taking up the report on the programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015 (document A/69/422/Add.3), the Assembly then adopted a resolution contained therein on special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015.

With regard to estimates relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015 for the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola and the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), the Assembly decided to appropriate an amount of $87.84 million (net of staff assessment) of the programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015, comprising $862,300 for peacekeeping operations, $100,200 for legal affairs, $84.54 million for humanitarian assistance, $150,200 for the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, $828,000 for the Office of Human Resources Management, $1.24 million for the Office of Central Support Services, and $115,200 for safety and security and $2.83 million for staff assessment, to be offset by a corresponding amount under income section 1, “Income from staff assessment”, of the programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015.

Also by that text and related to estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the Assembly and/or the Security Council, the Assembly decided to appropriate an additional amount of $73.13 million under section 3, “Political affairs”, of the programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015.

The Assembly then took up the report on the review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations (document A/69/702/Add.2) and adopted a decision on questions deferred for future consideration contained therein.  By the text, the Assembly was permitted to defer until the second part of its resumed seventieth session consideration of the reports of the Secretary-General and the ACABQ on closed peacekeeping missions.

Right of Reply

Israel’s representative, exercising the right of reply, called Syria’s delegate’s statement “outrageous”.

Syria’s representative, also exercising the right of reply, said the Golan Heights were occupied by Israel.

For information media. Not an official record.