The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today postponed action on a draft text on financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for the 2015/16 budget year.
By the text, the General Assembly would reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to take measures necessary to ensure that Israel pay the amount of $1.12 million resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996.
Paul Ballantyne (New Zealand) informed the Fifth Committee that, during informal consultations, delegates had been unable to reach consensus on the text (document A/C.5/69/L.44).
Introducing the draft resolution on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Lyle Davidson (South Africa) stressed that Israel should pay the amount due from the incident at Qana and requested the Secretary-General to report on the matter at the seventieth General Assembly session. As such, the Group had sponsored preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 13 of the draft text, which expressed concern over Israel’s lack of compliance with relevant resolutions — and the text as a whole.
He also noted that, in response to resolution 68/292, the Secretary-General had stated in his report that Israel had not paid the $1.12 million it owed UNIFIL for the Qana incident and that he had yet to receive a response to his subsequent letters on the matter, the latest of which was dated 29 August 2014.
Yotam Goren (Israel) said his delegation had reached out to the Group of 77 to engage, but had received no response. His country had been singled out, which was against normal practice, he noted, pointing out that there was no precedent in the Fifth Committee for that action.
Before closing the meeting, František Ružička of Slovakia, Committee Chair, said that, while it might not be possible to solve all of the world’s problems, the Fifth Committee could and should do its part to contribute to finding some solutions.
The Fifth Committee will meet again at a time and date to be announced.