General Assembly Adopts Resolutions to Improve Quality of Conference Services, Programme Planning Rules, also Fills Vacancies in Subsidiary Bodies

GA/11723
13 November 2015
Seventieth Session, 52nd Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Adopts Resolutions to Improve Quality of Conference Services, Programme Planning Rules, also Fills Vacancies in Subsidiary Bodies

The General Assembly today adopted two resolutions submitted by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and appointed members to three of its subsidiary bodies.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted a resolution on the pattern of conferences, contained in a report of the Fifth Committee on the subject (document A/70/450), that aimed to improve the quality of conference services held in the United Nations offices around the globe while upholding the equal use of the Organization’s six official languages in the written world of documents and publications as well as crucial interpretation and translation services.

The wide-ranging resolution touched on its extensive calendar of conferences and meetings; the use of conference services; the integration of the global management initiative in the four main duty stations in New York, Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna; and the “paramount importance of the equality” of the Organization’s six official languages.  By the terms of the text, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to redouble his efforts to ensure the highest quality of interpretation and translation services in all six official languages — Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian — while emphasizing that all stakeholders, including the duty stations and offices away from Headquarters, needed to be actively involved in multilingualism.

The text also emphasized that meetings, conferences, special events and exhibits must be consistent with the United Nations purposes and principles.

The Assembly also adopted, again without a vote, a text on programme planning, contained in the Fifth Committee’s report on the matter (document A/70/439), by which it endorsed the recommendations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination on proposed revisions to the Regulations and Rules Governing Programme Planning, the Programme Aspects of the Budget, the Monitoring of Implementation and the Methods of Evaluation, as well as proposals on ways to improve the implementation of results-based budgeting, evaluation, the annual overview report of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) for 2014, and the United Nations system support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Also by the text, the Assembly stressed that setting the priorities of the United Nations was the prerogative of the Member States, and that they needed to participate fully in the budget preparation process, from its early stages and throughout the process.

Before the adoptions, the Assembly, on recommendation from the Fifth Committee, filled vacancies in the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), and two other bodies — the Committee on Contributions and the Board of Auditors — which help the 193 delegates that make up the Assembly manage the United Nations vast human resources and its finances.

The Assembly appointed five people to the 16-member ACABQ, which plays a crucial role in helping the Fifth Committee examine the Organization’s budget and numerous management initiatives.  They included Ihor Humennyi (Ukraine), Conrod Hunte (Antigua and Barbuda), Eihab Omaish (Jordan), Babou Sene (Senegal) and Tesa Alem Seyoum (Eritrea) for a three-year term beginning 1 January 2016.

For the 18-member Committee on Contributions, which advises the Assembly on the distribution of the Organization’s expenses among the Member States, the Assembly appointed the following six people for a period of three years beginning 1 January 2016:  Syed Yawar Ali (Pakistan), Jasminka Dinic (Croatia), Edward Faris (United States), Toshiro Ozawa (Japan), Tonis Saar (Estonia) and Josiel Motumisi Tawana (South Africa).

The Assembly also confirmed the German Supreme Audit Institution to the Board of Auditors for a six-year term beginning 1 July 2016.  Established in 1946 by the Assembly, the Board is comprised of the heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions from three Member States and provides independent external audit services to the Assembly.

For additional details on the appointments, the delegates had before them the reports of the Fifth Committee on the appointment of members of the ACABQ (document A/70/539); Committee on Contributions (document A/70/540); and the Board of Auditors (document A/70/541).

In other business, under the agenda item of follow-up to United Nations conferences in the economic and social fields, the Assembly heard a statement by Federico Alberto Gonzalez Franco, the Permanent Representative of Paraguay to the United Nations, who highlighted the need to take into account the most vulnerable in poverty-eradication strategies.  He said that to achieve the goals of the various conferences, it was important that no one be left behind and to consider the conditions of the world’s most marginalized people.  Stressing the progress made at all major conferences of United Nations organizations, he said that the international community must not lose sight of the fact that each country was facing specific challenges.  Also vital were efforts to improve systems for disseminating data through the implementation of appropriate processes.

The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 16 November, to discuss the report of the Human Rights Council.

For information media. Not an official record.