With the second stage of the drawdown of the African Union‑United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) set to begin in February 2018, delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up the revised budget proposal for that Operation, stressing the importance of prioritizing post‑conflict reconstruction.
The new Mission to monitor Colombia’s historic peace agreement needed adequate funding to ensure it was as effective as the first operation in the country, delegates said as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) took up the funding of special political missions in 2018.
Putting into place the flexible working space project at Headquarters should itself be flexible and adaptable in responding to staff needs, speakers told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today as it took up the Secretary‑General’s report on its ongoing implementation.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up a request from the Secretary‑General for $1.33 million in additional resources to establish the Office of the Victims’ Rights Advocate, with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions challenging details of the proposal.
With the assets of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund totalling a record $62 billion at the end of October, delegates today expressed concern over the quality of service it provided to its more than 200,000 participants, as well as its failure in 2016 to meet its return‑on‑investment target, as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) took up the Fund’s proposed budget for the biennium 2018‑2019.
Welcoming the Secretary-General’s proposals aimed at reforming the United Nations programme planning and budget process, as well as increasing transparency and accountability, delegates in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today stressed that management reform must employ lessons learned from past efforts, and could not be an isolated endeavour.
The renovation of the historic Palais des Nations campus, home of the United Nations Office in Geneva, came under scrutiny before the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today, with delegates commenting on financing modalities, transparency and the “smart working” flexible workplace concept as the CHF 836.5 million project — due for completion in 2023 ‑ moved forward.
Further clarification was needed on resource cuts and staffing changes proposed for special political missions, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) heard today, as it took up the 2018 budget proposals for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Panel of Experts on Mali.
As the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today examined the recommended 2018 budgets for special political missions and the assistance mission in Iraq, one delegate objected to aspects of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide’s activities, while another was concerned by sharp increases in the number of staff at the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria.
Delegates emphasized that cost‑of‑living adjustments must be applied consistently throughout the United Nations common system in line with current economic realities, as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today examined new and proposed compensation rules that governed, among other things, separation payments, dependency allowances and salary scales for staff in Geneva.