The General Assembly today adopted four texts, including a resolution approved by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) that provides about $2.23 million in funding, known as revised estimates, for actions taken by the Human Rights Council during its thirty-third special session last year.
Fifth Committee Rapportuer Kavoy Anthony Ashley (Jamaica) laid out the reports of the Fifth Committee, “Programme Budget for 2021”, contained in document A/76/779. He said the material contained the recommendations reached on issues considered during the first part of the Fifth Committee’s resumed seventy-sixth session, held from 4 March 2022 to 31 March 2022. This period included three plenary meetings and numerous informal and informal-informal consultations.
The representative of Ethiopia requested a recorded vote on Section III of the resolution, “Special subjects relating to the programme budgets for 2022” (document A/C.5/76/L.27). Section III is titled “Revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council at its thirty-third special session” and endorses the related conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee, as well as appropriate funding.
Speaking in explanation of position before the vote, she detailed various incidents justifying her country’s call for a vote against Section III. Following the attack of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, a Federal Police Investigation and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission were established to investigate reported allegations, which, in turn, resulted in prosecutions and convictions of several perpetrators. In addition, a joint investigation was launched by her country’s Human Rights Commission and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which both disproved some accusations against Ethiopia and proved the Commission of some serious crimes. However, in further discussions, initiatives were introduced to the Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Experts on Ethiopia, despite discussions requesting otherwise.
The resolution establishing the Commission of Experts has been established with no support from any African country in the Human Rights Council, she pointed out. Noting that the Commission and its staff will not have any relations with or access to Ethiopia, she expressed regret that the productive relations between Ethiopia and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have been undermined and rendered complicated by this Commission’s establishment. She also noted that her country’s experience will be a lesson for States to decide not to pursue cooperation with the United Nations system. She called on delegates to vote against the budget allocations presented under Section III of the draft resolution.
The General Assembly then, by recorded vote, adopted Section III with 67 votes in favour to 17 votes against, with 44 abstentions.
The Assembly then turned to the draft resolution “Special subjects relating to the programme budgets for 2022”, adopting the text as a whole without a vote.
The General Assembly also adopted without a vote the draft resolution “Progress on the implementation of a flexible workplace at United Nations Headquarters”. The text asked the Assembly to take note of the Secretary-General’s final report on the matter.
In addition, the Assembly adopted without a vote the text “Joint Inspection Unit”, which encourages the oversight body to continue its efforts to improve the Organization’s accountability, oversight and governance.
The Assembly adopted without a vote the draft decision “Questions deferred for future consideration”. This will defer the Committee’s consideration of the improvement of the Organization’s financial situation to the second part of its resumed seventy-sixth session.
The Assembly also elected Belgium to fill the vacancy on the Committee for Programme and Coordination held by the Western European and Other States. The term for this seat begins 13 April and expires on 31 December 2024. The Committee for Programme and Coordination is the main subsidiary organ of the Economic and Social Council, and the Assembly for planning, programming and coordination.
The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m., Wednesday, 27 April for a high-level meeting on peacebuilding financing.