Fifth Committee Approves $6.69 Billion for 13 Peacekeeping Operations in 2018/19, Overhaul of Secretariat Management Structure, as Resumed Session Concludes

GA/AB/4287
5 July 2018
Seventy-second Session, 48th Meeting (PM)

Fifth Committee Approves $6.69 Billion for 13 Peacekeeping Operations in 2018/19, Overhaul of Secretariat Management Structure, as Resumed Session Concludes

Delegates Agree on Single Reimbursement Rate for Troop-Contributing Countries

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today sent 25 draft resolutions and 1 draft decision to the General Assembly, asking it to adopt significant management reforms — including the creation of two new departments focused on political and peacebuilding affairs and four stand-alone divisions for Africa — aimed at streamlining the Organization’s operations.

Concluding the second part of its resumed session, the Committee also recommended that the Assembly authorize the allocation of $6.69 billion to finance 13 peacekeeping missions — including related funds for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy; the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda; and the peacekeeping support account — from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.  Delegates noted that it is the second year in a row in which the Committee has made significant cuts to the overall peacekeeping budget.

Approving a draft resolution titled “Special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019,” the Committee asked the Assembly to endorse the establishment of the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations.  It would also note the Secretary-General’s intention to establish and chair a Standing Principals’ Group to provide unified leadership for strategic, political and operational responsibilities to facilitate coherence at Headquarters and in the field.

Through the same text, the Assembly would decide to create four stand-alone divisions for Africa, effective from 1 January 2019, and ask the Secretary-General to present during its seventy-third session information on the organizational structure.  Affirming “Middle East Division” as the name of the related new regional division, the Assembly would place the lead responsibility for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

Another text, titled “Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations”, would have the Assembly welcome the Secretary-General’s commitment to improve the Organization’s ability to deliver on its mandates through management reform and his efforts towards a strong culture of accountability throughout the Secretariat. 

As such, the Assembly would decide to approve the reorganization of the current Department of Management and Department of Field Support into the proposed new Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Department of Operational Support.  The proposed Office of Finance and Budget would meanwhile be designated as the Office of Programme Planning, Finance, and Budget.

By other terms, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to present proposals on strengthening the role of regional procurement hubs, notably the Regional Procurement Office in Entebbe, and to consider options for the Department of Management Strategy, Policy, and Compliance.

The Committee approved all peacekeeping-related texts without a vote, except a draft resolution setting out the provisional budgetary arrangements for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which the Committee passed by a recorded vote of 136 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States) with no abstentions.

Through another text, the Assembly would decide to establish a single rate of reimbursement to troop- and police-contributing countries of $1,428 per month for each person they seconded to United Nations field operations, effective from 1 July 2018.  Death and disability compensation rates would meanwhile be increased by 10 per cent.

The Committee also approved 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.

A draft resolution titled “Financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals” would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to prepare an annual budget for the Mechanism on a trial basis, beginning with the 2020 budget.  It would also decide to approve the proposed revised $196.02 million budget for that body for the biennium 2018-2019 and to appropriate that amount to the Special Account for the International Residual Mechanism for the same biennium. 

Jan Beagle, Under-Secretary-General for Management; Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Field Support; and Michel Tommo Monthe (Cameroon), Committee Chair, made closing remarks.

Also delivering closing statements today were representatives of Egypt (for the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Angola (for the African Group), Australia (also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand), United States, Brazil, China, Norway, Mexico, Côte d’Ivoire, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda and Morocco, as well as the European Union.

Mission/Operation

Total Appropriation

MINUJUSTH (United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti)

$121.46 million

MINURSO (Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)

$52.87 million

MINUSCA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic)

$930.21 million

MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)

$1.07 billion

MONUSCO (Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo)

$1.11 billion

UNAMID (African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur)

$385.68 million

UNDOF (Disengagement Observer Force)

$60.30 million

UNFICYP (Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus)

$53.53 million

UNIFIL (Interim Force in Lebanon)

$474.41 million

UNISFA (Interim Security Force in Abyei)

$263.86 million

UNMIK (Mission in Kosovo)

$37.19 million

UNMISS (Mission in South Sudan)

$1.12 billion

UNSOS (Support Office in Somalia)

$558.15 million

UNLB (United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi)

$82.45 million

RSCE (Regional Service Centre in Entebbe)

$31.44 million

Peacekeeping Support Account

324.70 million

TOTAL

$6.69 billion

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Committee approved all but one of the draft resolutions before it without a vote.

It first approved a draft resolution titled “Financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors” (document A/C.5/72/L.32).  That text would have the Assembly take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Board’s recommendations concerning United Nations peacekeeping operations for the financial period ended 30 June 2017.  The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure full and prompt implementation of these recommendations and continue to indicate an expected timeframe for such.

It then approved a draft resolution titled “Special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019” (document A/C.5/72/L.52), which covers four sections.  Under section II, titled “Estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council,” the Assembly would decide to reduce by $2 million each operational resources for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).  It would decide to approve a total $255.92 million of staff assessment for 2018 for UNAMA ($147.81 million) and for UNAMI ($108.12 million).

Under section III — “Revised estimates relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019 under section 3, Political affairs, and section 5, Peacekeeping operations, and the proposed budget for the account for peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 related to the peace and security reform” — the Assembly would endorse the establishment of the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations. 

As such, it would note that dual reporting lines would exist between the Assistant Secretaries-General heading the single political-operational structure, and the Under Secretaries-General for Peace Operations and for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.  It would request the Secretary-General to keep the implementation of dual reporting lines arrangements under review and take concrete actions to ensure that line management within the single political-operational structure is clear, coherent and accountable.  It would also note his intention to establish and chair a Standing Principals’ Group to provide unified leadership for strategic, political and operational responsibilities to facilitate coherence at headquarters and in the field.

Recalling paragraph 22 of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) report, the Assembly would decide not to approve the relocation of the D-2 post from New York to Nouakchott.  It would decide to establish four stand-alone divisions for Africa, effective from 1 January 2019, within approved resources, and request the Secretary-General to present during its seventy-third session information on the organizational structure.  Affirming “Middle East Division” as the name of the related new regional division, the Assembly would decide to place the lead responsibility for UNAMA and UNAMI in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and, recalling paragraph 32 of the Advisory Committee report, decide to consider the three posts discussed in the report (two P-4s and one P-2) in the context of the Support Account resolution.

By other terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to conduct an assessment on the functions, structure, capacity and level of the Police Division in the new structure to report thereon at its seventy-third session, as well as to carry out a comprehensive review of the implementation of the present resolution and report thereon during its seventy-fifth session.

Under the draft’s section IV titled “Global service delivery model for the United Nations Secretariat”, the Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations in the Advisory Committee report (document A/72/7/Add.50), requesting the Secretary-General to submit a new proposal for the model no later than the first resumed part of its seventy-third session — which would fully take into account paragraph 5 of the Advisory Committee report, as well as comments, observations and recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit — and to both consult and consider Member States and relevant stakeholders.

Next, it approved a draft resolution titled “Financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals” (document A/C.5/72/L.34), by which the Assembly would request that the Secretary-General prepare an annual budget for the Mechanism on a trial basis, beginning with the 2020 budget, and conduct a review of this budgetary cycle for the Mechanism in 2022 following completion of the first full budgetary cycle.  The Assembly would also decide to approve the proposed revised $196.02 million budget for that body for the biennium 2018-2019.  It would also decide to appropriate that amount to the Special Account for the International Residual Mechanism for the same biennium. 

The Assembly would further decide that the total $10.21 million assessment for 2018 under the Special Account would consist of:  $98.01 million (half of the estimated appropriation approved for the biennium 2018-2019), less $3.78 million (the decrease in the final appropriation for the biennium 2016-2017) and less $84.01 million (contributions assessed on Member States in respect of the commitment authority approved by the Assembly in section II of resolution 72/258 for maintenance of the Mechanism from 1 January to 31 December 2018).

The Committee then approved the draft resolution titled “Rates of reimbursement to troop- and police-contributing countries” (document A/C.5/72/L.33), by which the Assembly would decide to establish a single such rate of $1,428 per person per month from 1 July 2018 for countries contributing contingent personnel to United Nations field operations.  It would also decide to increase the death and disability compensation rates by 10 per cent from 1 July 2018.

It went on to approve the draft resolution titled “Financing of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda” (document A/C.5/72/L.48), by which the Assembly would approve $31.44 million for the maintenance of the Centre from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Next, the Committee approved the draft resolution titled “Financing of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy” (document A/C.5/72/L.49), by which the Assembly would approve the cost estimates for the Base in the amount of $82.45 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

The Committee then approved a draft text on the support account for peacekeeping operations (document A/C.5/72/L.55).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide to approve the support account requirements of $324.70 million for 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $28.86 million for the enterprise resource planning project and $821,500 for information and systems security.  It would also approve the requirement of 1,345 continuing and 20 new temporary posts, as well as the abolishment, redeployment, reassignment and reclassification of posts, as set out in annex I of the text, and 57 continuing and 11 new general temporary assistance positions and 52 person-months, as set out in annex II, as well as related post and non-post requirements.

Turning to drafts on peacekeeping missions, the Committee first approved a text on financing of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) (document A/C.5/72/L.47), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNISFA $282.24 million for 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $263.86 million for the maintenance of the Force, $13.62 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $3.43 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi and $1.34 million for the Regional Service Centre at Entebbe.

Next, the Committee approved a text on financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (document A/C.5/72/L.54), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for MINUSCA $995.01 million from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $930.21 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $48.01 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $12.08 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi and $4.70 million for the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe.

The Committee then approved a text on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/C.5/72/L.51).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide that Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Operation shall be credited with their respective share of the $21.92 million unencumbered balance and other revenue for the financial period ending 30 June 2017.

The Committee approved a text on financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/C.5/72/L.38).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNFICYP $56.36 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $52.94 million for the maintenance of the Force, $2.73 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $687,400 for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi.

Next, it approved a text on financing of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (document A/C.5/72/L.41).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide appropriate to the Special Account for MONUSCO $1.19 billion for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $1.11 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $57.53 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $14.47 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $5.64 million for the Regional Service Centre.  Further, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments up to $47.92 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 and ask him to report on the use of the commitment authority in the context of its performance report.

The Committee then approved a text on financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/C.5/72/L.36) by which the Assembly would decide that Member States which have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission would be credited with their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other revenue of $14.38 million relating to the financial period ended 30 June 2017.

Next, the Committee approved a text on financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/C.5/72/L.42), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNMIK $39.60 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $37.19 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $1.92 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $483,200 for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi.

It then approved a draft on financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/C.5/72/L.50).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide to credit Member States which have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission with their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other revenue totalling $11.06 million in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2017.

The Committee also approved a draft on financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (document A/C.5/72/L.40), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account $1.15 billion for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $1.07 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $55.47 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $13.96 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi and $5.44 million for the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe.

Under its agenda item on financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East, the Committee considered two texts.

First, it took up a draft on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/C.5/72/L.39), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Force $64.19 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $60.3 million for the maintenance of UNDOF, $3.11 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $782,900 for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi.

The representative of Syria said UNDOF was established and continues to exist because of Israel’s occupation in 1967.  The presence of the mission is temporary and relevant resolutions must be implemented.  Funding of UNDOF should be the responsibility of the occupying Power, Israel.  Rejecting the position of some countries to undermine the UNDOF mandate, he emphasized that it is not a political mission, but a peacekeeping one.  He also rejected the United States and the European Union efforts to politicize the draft resolution.  He proposed an oral amendment to “L.39” as follows:  “Takes note of paragraph 27 of the report of the Advisory Committee and decides to abolish two international temporary positions in the Office of the Force Commander, Head of Mission for one Special Adviser (P-5) and one Mission Liaison Officer (P-4), and further decides not to approve the five general temporary assistance positions to be converted to international posts to strengthen the Security Section.”

The representative of the Russian Federation expressed serious disappointment about the situation concerning the UNDOF budget.  During consultations, proposals put forward by the host-country delegation were not taken into account.  Voting on the text would create an unwanted precedent in the Committee’s work.

The representative of Iran said he would support the Syrian proposal.

The representative of the United States called for a vote as it did not agree with the inclusion of the proposed amendment in the UNDOF resolution.

By a recorded vote of 54 against to 13 in favour, with 55 abstentions, the Committee rejected the inclusion of the proposed amendment.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution as a whole without a vote.

After the action, the representative of Austria, speaking on behalf of the European Union, expressed concern that, for the first time, the Committee did not reach consensus on the UNDOF draft resolution.  Member States of the European Union voted against the proposed amendment, he said, noting that the two international posts proposed for deletion would fulfil key functions assigned by the Committee.  Regrettably, these posts have been vacant due to the denial of the necessary visas, he said, urging the Government of Syria to allow the posts to be filled.  He said the European Union also rejected the proposed conversion of the general temporary assistance positions.

Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/C.5/72/L.31).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for UNIFIL $505.05 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $474.41 million for the maintenance of the Force, $24.49 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $6.16 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, then inserted two oral amendments to “L.31”.  They included inserting in operative paragraph 10 “subject to the provisions of the present resolution,” after “Endorses the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,” and before “and requests the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation;” and inserting a new operative paragraph after operative paragraph 10 and before operative paragraph 11 that reads “10.bis Decides to allocate an amount of $6,709,300 dollars for air operations from the overall resources for the Force;”. 

The representative of Israel said that once again, the Group of 77 has chosen to politicize and thus undermine the Committee’s work.  Israel supported United Nations peacekeeping as a whole, but it deplored an unjustified bias that singled out her country every year, she said, requesting a vote on preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 13.

By a recorded vote of 85 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with 48 abstentions, the Committee voted to retain these paragraphs.

At the request of Israel, the Committee then proceeded to vote on the draft resolution as a whole, as orally amended.

The representative of the United States said her country strongly supported UNIFIL.  However, the use of funding resolutions to make claims against a Member State is not procedurally correct, she said.

By a recorded vote of 136 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), the Committee approved the draft resolution as a whole as orally amended.

After the vote, the representative of Austria, on behalf of the European Union, expressed the bloc’s concern about the lack of consensus during negotiations on the text.  It also regretted that political elements were introduced into the Committee’s work.  Member States of the European Union abstained on the first vote as the text as drafted dealt appropriately with UNIFIL’s financing.  He added that the broader political aspects of the shelling of the UNIFIL headquarters at Qana on 18 April 1996 have been debated in the General Assembly.

The representative of Lebanon said his delegation’s vote in favour of “L.31” reflected the support given by the Government and people of Lebanon to UNIFIL, which for 40 years has been a key contributor to peace and stability in the Middle East.  He added that Lebanon voted in favour of retaining the paragraphs which were put to a vote.

The Committee then approved a draft on financing of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (document A/C.5/72/L.44), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $1.2 billion for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $1.12 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $58.06 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $14.61 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, as well as $5.69 million for the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe.  Further, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments up to $65.16 million for the maintenance of the Mission for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 in addition to the $1.07 billion already appropriated for the same period for the Mission’s maintenance under the terms of resolution 71/308. 

Next, the Committee approved a draft on financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/C.5/72/L.43), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $56 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $52.35 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $2.7 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $679,800 for the United Nations Logistics Base and $265,000 for the Regional Service Centre.

It then approved a resolution on financing of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (document A/C.5/71/L.45), by which the Assembly would appropriate to the Special Account for UNAMID $26.87 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $19.9 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $5.01 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi and $1.95 million for the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe.  Further, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to $385.68 million for the Operation for the period of 1 July to 31 December 2018.

Next, the Committee approved a text on financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 1863 (2009) (document A/C.5/72/L.46), by which the Assembly would appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) $597.03 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $558.15 million for the maintenance of the Support Office, $28.81 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $7.25 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi and $2.82 million for the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe.

The Committee then approved a text on financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/C.5/72/L.37), by which the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $129.30 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $121.46 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $6.27 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $1.58 million for the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi.

It went on to take note of a note from the Secretary-General (document A/C.5/72/24) indicating the amounts to be apportioned in respect of each peacekeeping mission, as well as another note from the Secretary-General (document A/C.5/72/25) on approved budgetary levels for peacekeeping operations for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

The Committee then approved a draft titled “Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations” (document A/C.5/72/L.53), by which the Assembly would welcome the Secretary-General’s commitment to improve the Organization’s ability to deliver on its mandates through management reform and his efforts towards a strong culture of accountability throughout the Secretariat. 

As such, the Assembly would decide to approve the reorganization of the current Department of Management and Department of Field Support into the proposed new Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Department of Operational Support.  It would approve the proposed new subsections 29A to 29D of section 29, Management and support services, of the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019, deciding that the proposed Office of Finance and Budget would be designated as the Office of Programme Planning, Finance, and Budget.

Approving the consolidation of functions currently under the Office of Information and Communications Technology and the Information and Communications Technology Division of the Department of Field Support, the Assembly would decide to maintain the current name of the Headquarters Committee on Contracts and place its secretariat within the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Management Strategy, Policy, and Compliance.  It would also decide that the proposed Enabling Section would be established as an “Enabling and Outreach Service” to be headed at the D-1 level, tasked with outreach to Member States.

By other terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to present proposals on strengthening the role of regional procurement hubs, notably the Regional Procurement Office in Entebbe, in the context of his next report on procurement, and to consider options for the Department of Management Strategy, Policy, and Compliance to have sufficient information to strengthen accountability in the Secretariat’s procurement function.

The Assembly would decide that the proposed reorganization would be implemented within the approved resources allocated for the current Department of Management and Department of Field Support.

The Committee also approved a draft text titled “Progress towards an accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat” (document A/C.5/72/L.35), by which terms the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue to take efforts aimed at improving the culture of accountability in the Secretariat.  Recalling paragraph 17 of the related report of the Advisory Committee (document A/72/885), the Assembly would note with regret that implementation, follow-up and reporting on compliance with the General Assembly resolutions, specifically pertaining to the accountability system, remains inconsistent.  Further, recalling paragraph 27 of the Advisory Committee’s report, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide more details on the measures taken to combat sexual harassment in the organization and to report thereon in the context of his next report on human resources management.

Next, the Committee approved a draft decision (document A/C.5/72/L.56) that would have the Assembly decide to defer until the main part of its seventy-third session consideration of seven reports by the Secretary-General and seven related reports by the Advisory Committee regarding the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as of 20 June for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Finally, the Committee, without a vote, agreed to recommend to the General Assembly that all resolutions relating to the peacekeeping budget and special political missions approved today would take effect on 1 July 2018.

Closing Remarks

MOHAMED FOUAD AHMED (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said peacekeeping is a crucial part of the United Nations work and related budgets must provide the necessary resources to enable the organization to fulfil its mandate.  The Group does not believe in arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises that do not consider the situation on the ground.  It hopes the conclusions reached will enable the Secretariat to carry out its work effectively and efficiently.  He regretted to note that no agreement was reached on addressing closed peacekeeping missions.  At a broader level, the Group notes progress the Secretariat made over the year to make peacekeeping more field-focused and effective.

Pleased with the outcome of the review of the standard rate of reimbursement to troop- and police-contributing countries and welcoming the adoption of two historical resolutions on restructuring the peace and security architecture and on management reform, he offered several comments.  On the latter, significant changes will be made to the Secretariat’s structure.  On the former, the Group looks forward to how the changes will enable a whole-of-pillar approach in working with entities systemwide. 

MARCIO SANDRO ALEIXO PEREIRA BURITY (Angola), speaking on behalf of the African Group, associated himself with the Group of 77 and raised concerns about the manner in which proceedings have been conducted, including the unnecessary delays in considering many items, particularly the peacekeeping budget.  Agreement reached during deliberations was achieved with sacrifice and painful concessions from the Group and others, raising additional concerns about the tendency and the limited resources allocated for peacekeeping operations whose primary goal is to support Member States’ efforts for peace and stability and ensure civilian protection for the most vulnerable, including women and children.

“If the tendency of ‘doing more with less resources’ continues, soon enough we will end up with nothing for the mandate implementation, as well as without the human resource capacities which could be occasioned by uncertainty year after year regarding their continued engagement,” he said.  Substantial cuts across the line will put at high risk mandate implementation and reduce the United Nations credibility.  As such, he called on all partners to continue working in a constructive manner towards a consensual outcome and at the expert level to avoid a risky outcome.  He also urged Member States and groups of countries to avoid in the future any further significant efficiency-seeking budget cuts.  The risk of non-consensual outcomes is very high and the price to be paid for all constitutes a very serious matter, he said, recommending the membership to pay as soon as possible their contributions in full and on time.  The Committee must conclude its sessions within the allocated timeframe, he added, noting the African Group’s desire to continue to dedicate efforts to ensure the intergovernmental nature of decision-making processes is not compromised.

JAN DE PRETER, European Union, regretted to note that no substantive outcome could be achieved on the cross-cutting issues, and said the text on the subject contains valuable guidance for the Secretariat.  He also regretted to note the lack of agreement on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse and other specific topics and urged the Secretary-General to explore ways to address these important issues.  The resolutions on the review of the United Nations peace and security architecture and management reform are major steps towards making the Organization more effective and efficient.  On the former, the United Nations is now ready to move towards an organization that can deal with political affairs, prevention and mediation, peacebuilding and peacekeeping in a more integrated, coordinated manner.  On the latter, the two newly created departments will contribute to a more results-oriented, transparent and accountable United Nations.  Unfortunately, the Committee has been unable to conclude this peacekeeping session within the time allocated, he said, noting the working methods should continue to be under review and that working late into the night should be the exception rather than the standard rule for decision-making.

JILLIAN RUTH REES (Australia), speaking also for Canada and New Zealand, welcomed the resolutions’ adoptions.  The peace and security pillar will reorganize to provide coherent support for United Nations action across the spectrum, while the management reform should ensure that the Organization become more effective, accountable, transparent and efficient.  However, the location of the human resources function requires the Committee’s further consideration, she said, calling on all United Nations managers to play their respective roles in forging the new and improved United Nations sought by the Secretary-General and the membership.  She also agrees with many delegations who pointed out that full service delivery in both the United Nations working languages is important.  The group also supports the Secretary-General’s vision and authority to reorganize the Secretariat and the General Assembly should empower him and judge his reforms by the results they produce.

CHERITH NORMAN-CHALET (United States) said the Committee approved a responsible United Nations peacekeeping budget that adequately funds missions, ensures fiscal discipline, streamlines operations where needed and advances better ways of working.  It also considered several items beyond the normal scope of its work, including accountability, the global service delivery model, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the information and communications technology strategy and revised budgets for UNAMA and UNAMI, rising to the occasion to address them and provide needed guidance to the Organization.  The Committee’s decisions will help to break down silos and simplify the bureaucracy while focusing on achieving results.  On management reform the United States remains committed to supporting the Secretary-General in the weeks and months ahead as he and his senior management team lead the critical change management process.

She said that underpinning the overhaul of structures and processes is the need for a strong accountability system that incorporates strong performance management and checks and balances of sensitive duties and effectively addresses improper conduct, such as sexual harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse.  This ambitious agenda is also complemented by the fiscal discipline that continues to be applied to the Organization, including the adoption of a peacekeeping budget of $6.69 billion, a responsible reduction of 6 per cent.  This budget should not be undermined by any additional requests unless truly unforeseen or mandated.

PHILIP FOX-DRUMMOND GOUGH (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that for the second year in a row, the Committee has made significant cuts to peacekeeping budgets.  Its work, however, is to ensure adequate resources to implement mandates, examining the needs of each mission to arrive at a budget level.  Yet, the Committee’s practice of first negotiating the total budget level and only then considering the effects on individual missions suggests that there had been an inversion of priorities.  “Keeping peace is not an abstract endeavour,” he said.  “As the Fifth Committee considers the means, it must not lose sight of the ultimate ends of the United Nations.”  The Security Council has long recognized that deploying troops is not enough to bring peace and Brazil has highlighted that programmatic carried out by peacekeeping operations, such as promoting the rule of law, community violence reduction and disarmament, are critical to the implementation of mandates.

While regretting to note the Committee’s inability to reach agreement on a cross-cutting resolution, Brazil is satisfied that the Fifth Committee has not endorsed the Advisory Committee’s sceptical approach on the issue of programmatic activities.  The Fifth Committee has given a resounding vote of confidence to the Secretary-General and his reforms in the areas of management and peace and security, he said, adding that restructuring the Secretariat will help replace ossified structures and methods of work with more dynamic practices.  In this vein, he expected the new enabling and outreach service to play a crucial role in levelling the playing field for developing countries to participate in United Nations procurement processes.  On reforming the peace and security architecture, he said establishing the Department of Peace Operations should not impact the agreed principles of United Nations peacekeeping.  Establishing the new department demands greater clarity on the nature of special political missions and of peacekeeping operations.  Turning to the Security Council’s request of an independent external assessment of the UNAMI staffing structure, he said the issue was an encroachment on the Fifth Committee’s prerogatives and a wasteful use of resources.  The Secretariat has the capacity and obligation to keep mission staffing structures under review.  Paying for external consultants to duplicate the Secretariat’s work is a poor use of resources Member States contribute to the United Nations, he said, adding that his delegation is pleased that the resolution approved today addresses this situation.

FU DAOPENG (China) said the session’s hard-won results provide the institutional basis and material guarantee for the United Nations to perform its functions and play its central role in global governance.  The United Nations budget should guarantee the delivery of various mandates and help to strengthen budgetary discipline and financial management.  During deliberations on the peacekeeping budget, his delegation proposed to avoid falling into the “cutting trap” in the review of the budget.  Excessive cuts would force the Secretariat to request a larger amount of additional resources during the budget implementation process, rendering such “cuts” de facto lacking in any effect.  The budget review must be based on mandates, governed by budget rules and guaranteed by frugality and efficiency.  China supports the Secretary-General in his efforts to reform the Organization and expects that the Secretariat could boost consultations with Member States during the process.  Calling for fostering a consultative, constructive and sharing culture in the Fifth Committee, he said China will continue to actively participate in a spirit of cooperation.

LILL-ANN BJAARSTAD MEDINA (Norway) said approved resolutions on comprehensive reforms represent the most significant shift for the system in decades.  “This is indeed a new paradigm, making the United Nations into an integrated, holistic and well-defined organization,” she said, adding that her delegation is pleased that the Committee approved revised estimates on the peace and security architecture.  The integrated structure will alter how the United Nations works and encourages amalgamated work streams, hopefully facilitating better transitions from peacekeeping and peacebuilding, placing prevention at the core of all efforts to sustain peace.  While delighted about the Committee’s agreement on the overarching management reform restructuring, she said her delegation is disappointed that the Committee was unable to reach a consensus on the placement of the human resource function.  “The United Nations human resources are the blood streams of the Organization and this component is indispensable in the overall management structure,” she said.  However, she appreciated that no option is off the table and the Secretary-General may seek a decision in the upcoming session.

JESÚS VELÁZQUEZ CASTILLO (Mexico) said the session’s results are significant, among them making it possible for peacekeeping operations to continue to fulfil their mandates.  Although the second resumed session usually exclusively focuses on peacekeeping, other reform initiatives were presented to the Committee.  Reform efforts would create new departments and undertake steps to improve the Organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.  The Secretary-General now has these instruments to better operate and the Fifth Committee must continue to ensure further improvements.  Noting that the General Assembly requested a new report on the global service delivery model, he said this mechanism is an important tool to ensure the Organization’s effectiveness and efficiency.

FLORA CHRISTIANE SEKA-FOUAH (Côte d’Ivoire), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, welcomed the conclusion of peacekeeping operations in her country.  She hoped that despite substantial budget cuts, other missions would be able to fulfil their mandates.  She hoped that the Secretary-General’s new proposal on the global service delivery model would consider locating centres in Africa and be able to conduct business in French to best serve missions.  Lessons must be learned from the “dysfunctioning” of the Committee, she said, calling for steps to remedy these elements — including the late hours, weekend meetings and occasions whereby a small group of negotiators are making deals — while making efforts to approve a realistic programme of work.

KATSUHIKO IMADA (Japan) said that having engaged in negotiations on peacekeeping budgets with a view to achieving evidence-based efficiency for all missions, there are a few highly efficient operations, such as MINUSCA, in contrast to some others.  The overall budget for 2018/19 could be well below the agreed level, less than $4.6 billion, with a six-month-long arrangement for UNAMID; however, the overall peacekeeping budget the Committee approved, including its allocation to each mission, is the result of a compromise at the expense of efficiency.  Also, during formal consultations, his delegation attached particular importance to enhancing the Secretariat’s accountability in the use of assessed budget resources, bearing in mind that in some cases, resources are transferred by the Secretariat to finance activities of non-United Nations Secretariat entities, including funds, programmes and non-governmental organizations.  Neither the Security Council nor the General Assembly has every mandated the Secretary-General to transfer assessed peacekeeping budget resources to funds and programmes and non-governmental organizations.  If the Secretary-General believes that the transfer of these resources to such entities that are legally out of his control is justified by his authority under Article 97 of the United Nations Charter, then he should have ensured and proven that a proper accountability mechanism was in place to cover the performance and misconduct of such entities before transferring any resources.  Disappointed by the Committee’s inability to reach consensus on a cross-cutting resolution at this session, he supported the agreed-upon paragraph on an accountability framework and trusts the Secretary-General will take adequate measures to address the lack of accountability regarding transfers of assessed peacekeeping budget resources.

On the two reform agendas, he said his delegation believes that further consideration may be necessary on the dual reporting line to be created under both management reform and peace and security architecture reform.  For instance, Japan is interested in knowing how a joint performance evaluation of staff would function within the peace and security pillar reform.  Regarding the procurement allocation function, he emphasized the high level of risk inherent to United Nations-related activities and the critical importance of the segregation of duties for related functions.  He also pointed out the burdensome influence on Member States and the Committee as a whole of introducing the non-peacekeeping budget items during the second resumed session.  Japan was disappointed that discussions of the reform agenda continued into July, sacrificing the discussion on a cross-cutting resolution, which is important to provide the Secretariat with guidelines on the use of assessed contributions for peacekeeping.

LAZARUS OMBAI AMAYO (Kenya) said he hoped members would in the future work to deliver a budget before the start of each financial year.  While the United Nations has faced challenges in peacekeeping, progress has been made and many lives have been saved.  The Secretary-General and the Organization will be able to utilize the approved resources to effectively discharge Security Council mandates.  Kenya has participated in peacekeeping operations and his delegation believes increases in reimbursements for various services is a step in the right direction.  On the Secretary-General’s reform proposals, he said implementing these reforms will be useful in enhancing the United Nations contribution to improving the welfare of humanity.  He also hoped all efforts will be made to expedite the submission of the requested report on the global service delivery model.

LILA NADIA ANDRIANANTOANDRO (Madagascar), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said 65 per cent of United Nations staff work in French-speaking environments, including three of the most important operations.  To seek excellence, it is fundamental that the global service delivery model offer services in French, she said, asking that the Secretary-General attach great importance to linguistic abilities and that at least one centre be located in a French-speaking country.

CAROLINE NALWANGA (Uganda), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and African Group, expressed her gratitude that the Fifth Committee continues to largely approve resolutions without a vote.  Acknowledging that the Committee has had to deal with numerous reforms, which extended the session, she said the related issues are of great importance.  Such reform efforts will improve service delivery and accountability, among other things.  She hoped for progress on the global service delivery model efforts, including centres established exclusively for peacekeeping, and underlined the importance of hiring staff that could cater to French-speaking countries as needed.

HICHAM OUSSIHAMOU (Morocco) said his delegation supports the Secretary-General’s proposals, which will make it possible to develop the Organization’s assets and for the United Nations to meet its obligations.

JAN BEAGLE, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management, said the Committee members worked hard, having dealt with some 3,000 pages of report documentation, 1,500 pages of supplementary documentation and nearly 2,000 pages in written responses from the Secretariat.  On management reform, the discussions and decisions will lead to a paradigm shift, she said, thanking members for their guidance.  Management reform is not an end in itself, but will play a role in helping the Organization to deliver on its mandate, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Thanking the Chair, Bureau and the ACABQ Chair, she pledged her commitment to maintain discussions to build trust and carry forward reform in the best interest of the Organization.

MICHEL TOMMO MONTHE (Cameroon), Chair of the Fifth Committee, presented gifts to the Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, Chef de Cabinet and heads of departments affected by the reform.  Summarizing the efforts required to address all the items on the Committee’s agenda, he thanked members for their tenacity over the long days and nights.  Since October 2017, the Committee has approved 51 resolutions and 21 decisions, examined 50 reports over 48 official meetings, working hard to reach consensus after intense consultations.  Providing a snapshot of some of these issues, he told delegates “you truly engaged, actively and constructively” and thanked them for their hard work and dedication.

For information media. Not an official record.