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Fifth Committee Recommends $5.4 Billion Budget for 2018-2019 Biennium as It Concludes Main Part of Seventy-Second Session

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) wrapped up the main part of its seventy-second session today, recommending that the General Assembly adopt a $5.397 billion budget for the United Nations for the 2018-2019 biennium and approve switching the Organization, on a trial basis, to a year-by-year budget cycle.

The headline budget figure was 5 per cent less than the final budget approved for the 2016-2017 biennium, and $193 million below the $5.405 billion proposed 2018-2019 budget unveiled by the Secretary-General on 11 October, due among other things to across-the-board reductions in contractual services, furniture and equipment, consultants and travel, as well as reduced funding for special political missions.

Overall, the Committee � charged with overseeing the Organization's management and spending � today approved and forwarded to the Assembly 15 draft resolutions and 2 draft decisions.

It recommended that the Assembly approve, as part of the Secretary-General's ambitious management reform agenda, his proposal to change the United Nations budget cycle from a biennial to an annual budget period on a trial basis, beginning with the programme budget for 2020, pending a final decision at its seventy-seventh session on whether to continue that practice. The Secretary-General's proposal was aimed at simplifying and streamlining the Organization's management.

On the Committee's recommendation, the Assembly would decide not to implement, at present, any changes regarding any expansion of exceptional budgetary authorities, unforeseen and extraordinary expenses, or the Secretary General's limited budgetary discretion. Nor would the Assembly alter the current level of commitment authority for additional resources requirements arising from Security Council decisions.

An omnibus text, Special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017, was approved after an oral amendment, put forward by Cuba's delegate and focused on the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, was rejected by a recorded vote of 71 against to 17 in favour, with 39 abstentions.

By its terms, the Committee recommended that the Assembly approve $508.49 million for 34 special political missions authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council. The Secretary-General, on 15 December, had requested $636.6 million.

The Assembly would also approve financial and staff resources for the newly established Office of Counter-Terrorism and the Office of the Victims' Rights Advocate; ask the Secretary-General to continue with the implementation of flexible workplace strategies at Headquarters in New York; approve $62.06 million in resource requirements until 31 December 2019 for the ongoing implementation of the Umoja enterprise resource management project; and express with serious concern the need to address myriad shortcomings at the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.

Other human resources texts would have the Assembly call on organizations and staff members to fully cooperate with the International Civil Service Commission in implementing its decisions stemming from its 2016 cost-of-living survey, and ask the Secretary-General for recommendations on ways to better protect staff whistleblowers against retaliation.

Other texts approved today would have the Assembly address the staffing and financing requirements of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), as well as the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

Finally, the Committee approved a draft decision whereby the Assembly would defer, until the first part of the Committee's resumed seventy-second session in March 2018, consideration of a number of topics, including the Capital Master Plan and the Secretary-General's report on review of the utilization of the contingency fund.

Michel Tommo Monthe (Cameroon), Fifth Committee Chair, made closing remarks.

Also speaking today were the representatives of the Russian Federation, Syria, Estonia (on behalf of the European Union), Nicaragua, Iran, Canada, Liberia, Ecuador (on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China), Angola (on behalf of the African Group), Barbados (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Turkey (speaking also on behalf of Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Australia), Japan, China, Brazil, Pakistan, Mexico, United States, Paraguay and the European Union.

Action on Drafts

The Committee first approved without a vote a text on the programme budget for the biennium 2016 2017 (document A/C.5/72/L.11), which is known as the second performance report, by which the Assembly would resolve that the final budget appropriations for 2016 2017 totalling $5.68 billion should be increased by $62.56 million. The final income estimates totalling $539.18 million should be increased by $14.50 million.

Next, the Committee approved a text titled Human resources management (document A/C.5/72/L.10), by which the Assembly would approve proposed amendments to the Staff Regulations and noted amendments to the Rules set out in the Secretary General's report, subject to provisions of the present resolution.

By further terms, it would decide that new Staff Rule 13.13 (c) proposed to implement the acquired right to normal retirement ages should read as follows: The mandatory age of separation of a staff member who reached the age of 60 or 62 on or prior to 31 December 2017 should not be reset to 65, including if such staff member was exceptionally retained in service beyond the mandatory age of separation of 60 or 62 beyond 1 January 2018.

Also by the text, the Assembly would note the commitment to review and simplify the regulatory framework and would decide to defer any changes to Regulation 3.6 of the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules.

Next, the Committee approved a text titled United Nations common system (document A/C.5/72/L.9), by which the Assembly would take note of the International Civil Service Commission's (ICSC) 2017 report. Noting with serious concern that some common system organizations had decided not to implement the Commission's decisions regarding the 2016 results of the cost of living surveys and mandatory age of separation, the Assembly would call on those organizations and staff to fully cooperate with the Commission in applying the post adjustment system and in implementing its decisions without undue delay.

The Assembly, reminding executive heads and governing bodies of the common system that failure to fully respect Assembly decisions on Commission recommendations could prejudice claims to enjoy benefits of participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, would ask the Commission to recommend appropriate measures to deal with non complying organizations and report by no later than the Assembly's seventy fourth session. It would also approve guidelines for the use of the National Professional Officer category as recommended by the Commission in paragraph 48(a) and annex II of its report.

The Assembly would further approve proposed principles and guidelines for performance appraisal and management for recognition of different levels of performance, as recommended in paragraph 65 and annex VI of its report. Additionally, it would approve, with effect from 1 January 2018, as recommended by the Commission in paragraph 97 of its report, the revised unified base/floor scale for staff in the Professional and higher categories, as contained in annex VII (A) and (B) to that report.

The Committee then approved a text on administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/C.5/72/L.8). By its terms, the General Assembly would endorse the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), subject to the provisions of the present resolution. It would note that staff still appeared to have limited awareness of the system of administration of justice and encourage that system to continue its outreach and other awareness raising campaign efforts.

By further terms, the Assembly would encourage the Secretary General and Office of Human Resources Management to ensure staff had more understanding of the rules, regulations and instructions and administrative issuances dealing with human resources; urge the Secretariat to further strengthen and increase outreach to provide information on the role and functioning of the system and possibilities it offered; and stress the importance of establishing an outreach and communication strategy for all staff covered under the formal and informal administration of justice system.

Noting the ongoing efforts to strengthen the policy on protection against retaliation, the Assembly would also note with concern Internal Justice Council observations related to protection against retaliation for staff members who lodged cases before the Tribunals or appeared as witnesses, requesting the Secretary General to present a comprehensive analysis of all existing policies and provide recommendations on ways to improve protection for such staff at its seventy third session.

Also by the text, the Assembly would recognize the ongoing positive contribution of the Office of Staff Legal Assistance to the administration of justice system, decide to extend the experimental period for one year, from 1 January to 31 December 2018, and ask the Secretary General to provide further information on the implications of regularizing the voluntary staff funding mechanism in order to make a decision on financing of the Office at its seventy third session. It would note continuing high opt out rates from the mechanism and encourage the Secretary General to continue to strengthen such incentives, particularly in locations where the participation rate was low.

The Assembly would further decide to extend the three ad litem judge positions and current incumbent judges as well as the extension of the six current temporary staff supporting those judges for one year from 1 January to 31 December 2018. It would request the Secretary General to provide further information regarding the implication of the establishment of three new permanent judges in the United Nations Dispute Tribunal so that a decision could be taken on that issue at the Assembly's seventy third session.

Next, the Committee approved a draft on the financing of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 (document A/C.5/72/L.7). By its terms, the Assembly would resolve that, for the 2016 2017 biennium, $98.06 million gross ($86.92 million net) approved in its resolution 71/268 for the financing of the Tribunal would be adjusted by $7.72 million gross ($6.36 million net), for a total of $105.78 million gross ($93.28 million net).

Further to the text, the Assembly would decide, for the year 2017, to apportion among Member States, in accordance with the assessments scale applicable to the regular budget of the United Nations for the year, $28.95 million gross ($25.38 million net), including $3.90 million gross ($3.23 million net), being the increase in assessments.

The Assembly would also decide, for the year 2017, to apportion among Member States, in accordance with assessment rates applicable to peacekeeping operations of the United Nations for the year, $28.95 million gross ($25.38 million net), including $3.90 million gross ($3.23 million net), being the increase in assessments.

The Committee then went on to approve a draft resolution on the financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (document A/C.5/72/L.12), by which the Assembly would authorize the Secretary General to enter into commitments in an amount not to exceed $87.8 million gross ($80 million net) for the maintenance of the Mechanism for the one year period from 1 January to 31 December 2018.

It would also decide that the total assessment for the one year period from 1 January to 31 December 2018 under the Special Account amounting to $84 million should consist of $87.8 million, being the amount of commitment authority for the period from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018, less $3.78 million, being the decrease in the final appropriation for the biennium 2016 2017, approved by the Assembly in paragraph 3 of section 1 of the resolution.

Concerning the financing of the African Union United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (document A/C.5/72/L.14), the Committee approved a text by which the Assembly would decide to abolish four posts and to redeploy 10 posts to the Political Affairs Section and the State and Liaison Offices as appropriate from the Khartoum Office. On the revised budget estimates for 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, it would have the Assembly decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Operation $910.94 million for the Operation's maintenance, inclusive of $486 million previously authorized for the Operation for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2017 under the terms of its resolution 71/310.

The Committee then turned to a draft on financing of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) (document A/C/5/72/L.13). By the terms of that text, on the budget estimates for 16 October 2017 to 30 June 2018, the General Assembly would decide to continue to use the Special Account established in accordance with resolution 58/311 for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, beginning on 16 October 2017. Further, the Assembly would decide to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $88.11 million to establish and maintain the Mission from 16 October 2017 to 30 June 2018, inclusive of $25 million previously authorized by the ACABQ under the terms of section VI of General Assembly resolution 64/269.

The Committee then approved a draft decision submitted by the Chair of the Committee following informal consultations on programme budget implications relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018 2019 (document A/C.5/72/L.15), which contained implications for nine draft resolutions.

Per section A, concerning the rights of the child (document A/C.3/72/L.21/Rev.1), the Assembly would approve one P 5 post under section 1 on Overall policymaking, direction and coordination, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018 2019. The adoption of that resolution would also give rise to additional resources amounting to $664,800, comprising $517,800 under section 1, and $147,000 under section 29D, Office of Central Support Services of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per section B on the follow up to the 2013 high level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/72/L.45/Rev.1), resources totalling $236,200 would be required under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($234,300), and under section 4, Disarmament ($1,900), of 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per section C, the approval of the text on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/72/L.48) would require an extra $853,800 net of staff assessment from 1 January to 31 December 2018 for the Office of the Special Envoy on Myanmar. Those requirements would be charged against the provision for special political missions included under section 3, Political affairs, of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per section D, concerning the twentieth anniversary and promotion of the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (document A/C.3/72/L.50/Rev.1), $97,700 would be required under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($32,000), and under section 24, human rights ($65,000), of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per section E, on the Modalities for the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (document A/72/L.9), $656,100 would be required under section 1, overall policymaking, direction and coordination ($73,000), under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($518,800), and under section 28, Public information ($64,300), of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per section F, containing the text on the international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (document A/72/L.7), $2.16 million would be required under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($1,929,800), and under section 28, Public information ($131,400), and under section 34, Safety and security ($94,300), of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per Section G, by the text on the investigation into the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag HammarskjAlld and of the members of the party accompanying him (document A/72/L.19), $321,600 would be required under section 1, Overall policymaking, direction and coordination ($221,500) and under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($100,100), of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per section H, regarding further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space (document A/C.1/72/L.54), $80,500 would be required under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($530,100), under section 4, Disarmament ($450,000), and under section 29F, Administration, Geneva ($14,200), of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

Per section I, approval of the text on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights (document A/C.3/72/L.49/Rev.1), resources amounting to $80,500 would be required under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management ($32,200), and under section 24, Human rights ($48,300), of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

The representative of Russian Federation, said that in reviewing L.15, his delegation had made a whole range of comments on the financial implications of section F titled International legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. He noted with regret that those comments had not been taken into account in the final text. Therefore, the Russian delegation, although not objecting to the approval of the draft decision, was compelled to distance itself from the consensus.

The Committee then turned to a draft on questions relating to the programmed budget for the biennium 2018 2019 (document A/C.5/72/L.16), which consisted of 12 parts. By that text, the Assembly would, among other things, decide to reduce by 10 per cent resources for contractual services; furniture and equipment; consultants; supplies and material; and hospitality. It would also decide to reduce by 5 per cent resources for general operating expenditures and other staff costs, reduce non post resources for information technology by 10 per cent, reduce the resources for experts by 15 per cent, reduce the travel of representatives by 25 per cent, and reduce resources for travel of staff by 10 per cent.

The Assembly would approve one P 3 post in the areas of General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management; as well as the proposed establishment, under international drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice, of three posts of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the P 4 and P 3 levels to support the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

It would decide not to establish one D 1 post relating to overall policymaking, direction and coordination; one P 3 post under General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management; or one P 3 and one Fixed Assets Management Officer-FS post under peacekeeping operations.

It would also decide not to approve 18 new posts requested by the Department of Public Information, while under common support services it would approve one P 5 (Mental Health Officer) post under Medical Services Division, New York.

Under peacekeeping operations, it would abolish one General Service post from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and decide not to approve the proposed acquisition of vehicles for that entity.

It would decide to continue funding the post of Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and approve a request for a $750,000 subvention to that Institute from the regular budget. It would also decide to retain, under international cooperation for development, the post of Social Affairs Officer (P-3) in the secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Under international justice and law, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary General to enter into commitments not exceeding $1 million for the implementation of an enterprise resource planning system in the biennium 2018 2019. It would also decide to reduce the resources for programme support by $200,000, and not to approve the proposed conversion of two posts from general temporary assistance positions.

Under human rights and humanitarian affairs, the Assembly would decide to approve $3.75 million for the activities of the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism for the Syrian Arab Republic for the year 2018.

The text was approved without a vote.

The representative of Syria said that while his delegation had joined consensus on L.16, it had reservations vis A� vis the allocation of financial resources to the Monitoring Mechanism. It believed it would have been better to use those resources to increase humanitarian assistance provided by international organizations working inside Syria in coordination and cooperation with the Government. He added that the Monitoring Mechanism represented a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of States and interference in their internal affairs.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution titled Special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2016 2017 (document A/C.5/72/L.17), which covered 28 topics.

With regard to the revised estimates relating to the Office of Counter Terrorism under section 3, Political affairs, section 29D, Office of Central Support Services, and section 36, Staff assessment, the Assembly would approve the additional resources proposed in the amount of $1.1 million (net of staff assessment).

On the revised estimates relating to the Office of the Victims' Rights Advocate under section 1, Overall policymaking, direction and coordination, section 29D, Office of Central Support Services, and section 36, Staff assessment, the Assembly would approve the additional resources proposed in the amount of $612,500 dollars (net of staff assessment). It would also have the Assembly approve the establishment of posts, comprising one Assistant Secretary General, one P 4, one P 3 and one General Service (Other level) under section 1, Overall policymaking, direction and coordination, for the period 1 January to 31 December 2018.

Regarding progress in implementing a flexible workplace at United Nations Headquarters, the Assembly would reaffirm that flexible workplace strategies should be aimed at improving the Organization's overall productivity and efficiency, as well as the staff workplace environment. It would ask the Secretary General to continue with the implementation of flexible workplace strategies in New York in 2018, with a maximum of 140 staff per floor, and to report thereon at the main part of its seventy third session. Noting the decrease in the current revised project costs, it would ask the Secretary General to revisit his cost estimates for the project's implementation and to review the methodology and underlying assumptions to arrive at a reliable cost estimate for the project, and to provide updates information in that regard in his next report. It would also decide that project and swing space costs for 2018 would be absorbed within the proposed programme budget for 2018 2019.

Turning to the administrative expenses of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the Assembly would welcome the findings and recommendations in the report of the Board of Auditors on the Fund, and would note with serious concern the need to address all the shortcomings identified by the Board, including the need to ensure accurate data for the actuarial valuation, in particular the need to strengthen the internal control procedures, ensure the timely and accurate processing of benefits, and create a client grievance redressal mechanism.

The Assembly would also request the Secretary General to entrust the Office of Internal Oversight Services with conducting a comprehensive audit of the governance structure of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund Board, to include a review of the checks and balances between the Board and the Pension Fund leadership, and to submit its report with key findings to the Assembly at its seventy third session to be considered within the context of the Fund. The Assembly would also note the progress made in the processing times of benefit payments in 2016, while expressing concern at the continued delays in the receipt of payments by some new Fund beneficiaries and retirees, and once again stress the need for the Pension Board to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Fund addresses the causes of such delays.

Further, the Assembly would approve the revised estimates of $174.96 million for 2016 2017 for the administration of the Fund, and approve expenses, chargeable directly to the Fund, totalling $169.47 million net for 2018 2019. It would also approve $22.19 million as the United Nations share of the cost of the administrative expenses of the Fund for 2018 2019, of which $14.11 million would represent the share of the regular budget and the balance of $8.08 million would represent the share of the funds and programmes.

On the Enterprise resource planning project, Umoja, the Assembly would, among other things, welcome its implementation globally across more than 40,000 staff in 400 locations, and note that was a significant achievement. The Assembly would also recognize the progress made in the implementation of Umoja since the previous progress report, and the effort of staff and managers in the implementation of Umoja Foundation and Extension 1 to date. Regretting the delay in full implementing Extension 2 of Umoja, it would ask the Secretary General to continue to implement the project within the approved timeline and budget and to provide detailed information on the full implementation by the Assembly's seventy third session. Noting the insufficient progress in developing a benefit realization plan, the Assembly would stress the need to establish a clear and transparent record of the realization of qualitative and quantitative Umoja benefits. It would also recall paragraph 43 of the report of the Advisory Committee, and would welcome the Secretary General's proposals for the restructuring and gradual downsizing of the Umoja project team.

Further the Assembly would also decide that the total project expenditure should not exceed $516.74 million by 31 December 2018. It would also approve the resource requirements of the project until 31 December 2019 in the amount of $62.06 million. It would also approve $9.31 million under the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget representing the regular budget's share for the Umoja project costs, and would request the Secretary General to absorb $4.65 million of the regular budget's share within the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

With regard to 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 approve $508.49 for the 34 special political missions authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council, including the commitment authorities for United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and $686,900 for the share of special political missions in the budget of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, for the biennium 2018 2019. It would also approve a charge of $510.03 million, including $853,800 for the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Myanmar, against the provision for special political missions proposed under section 3, Political affairs, of the 2018 2019 proposed programme budget.

The representative of Cuba proposed oral amendments to section 22 of L.17, saying there was no legal basis for the implementation of activities relative to the responsibility to protect because there was no legal mandate as defined by Member States. Also, for more than 10 years, the Secretariat had been unable to present a legislative mandate given by Member States to advance the implementation of that concept. Resources related to the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect seemed to be mixed up with those required of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, whose functions her delegation fully supported. Cuba believed firmly that the budgetary estimates and associated narrative regarding the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect should be removed, and should only be considered once the General Assembly had decided on that concept, its implementation, its scope of application and other matters.

The representative of Estonia, speaking on behalf of the European Union, requested that the proposed amendment be put to a vote.

The representative of Nicaragua said it was inappropriate to appropriate resources for the Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect and to mix them with those of the Special Advisor of the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide. The concept of the responsibility to protect did not attract consensus in the General Assembly, and for that reason Nicaragua would support the amendment proposed by Cuba.

The representative of Iran said his delegation would support Cuba's proposed amendment.

The representative of Canada supported the European Union's call for a vote. Speaking also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, he said that the position of Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect was a tangible product of the 2005 World Summit. Each year, the General Assembly reaffirmed support for that mandate with renewed funding. Each year, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and the General Assembly had voted by a large margin against the oral amendment being proposed, he said, adding that it was not the Committee's role to relitigate political mandates. He encouraged all Member States to vote against the oral amendment.

The representative of Syria said the principle of responsibility to protect was one of the most controversial issues in the United Nations, with the General Assembly having reached no agreement on its definition, scope, effects or possible means of implementation. Implementation of that concept constituted a flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, particularly the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and non interference in their internal affairs. Syria would vote in favour of Cuba's oral amendment.

The Committee then rejected the oral amendment submitted by the representative of Cuba by a recorded vote of 71 against to 17 in favour, with 39 abstentions.

The representative of Liberia said his delegation meant to abstain from the vote, and asked that that be recorded.

Next the Committee approved, without a vote, a three part resolution titled Proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018 2019 (document A/C.5/72/L.18), which included budget appropriations for the biennium 2018 2019; income estimates for the biennium 2018 2019; and financing of the appropriations for 2018.

By part A, on the budget appropriations for the biennium 2018 2019, the Assembly would approve $5.397 billion for disbursement in the following categories: $745.49 million for Overall policymaking, direction and coordination (Part I); $1.37 billion for Political affairs (Part II); $98.10 million for International justice and law (Part III); $471.02 million for International cooperation for development (Part IV); $570.56 million for Regional cooperation for development (Part V); $378.8 million for Human rights and humanitarian affairs (Part VI); $177.36 million for Public information (Part VII); $564.73 million for Common support services (Part VIII); $39.97 million for Internal oversight (Part IX); $144.24 million for Jointly financed administrative activities and special expenses (Part X); $80.62 million for Capital expenditures (Part XI); $233.97 million for Safety and security (Part XII); $28.4 million for the Development Account (Part XIII); and $494.9 million for Staff assessment (Part XIV).

By part B, on revised income estimates for the biennium 2018 2019, the Assembly would resolve to approve those estimates, totaling $552.31 million as follows: Income from staff assessment � $498.97 million; General income � $49.17 million; and Services to the public � $4.17 million.

The Assembly would, by the text, also resolve, for part C, that for the year 2018, budget appropriations would consist of $2.84 billion, being half of the appropriation of $5.39 billion approved for the biennium 2018 2019 by the Assembly in paragraph 1 of resolution A above, plus $68.62 million, being the net increase in appropriations for the biennium 2016 2017 approved by the Assembly. The draft also states that there should be set off against the assessment on Member States their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of $257.42 million.

The Committee then approved a draft on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium 2018 2019 (document A/C.572/L.19). By that text, the Assembly would authorize the Secretary General, with the prior concurrence of the ACABQ, to enter into commitments in the biennium 2018 2019 to meet unforeseen and extraordinary expenses arising either during or subsequent to the biennium. Those commitments should be entered into if concurrence of the Advisory Committee was not necessary for such commitments not exceeding $8 million in any one year of the biennium 2018 2019 as the Secretary General certified related to the maintenance of peace and security; such commitments as the President of the International Court of Justice certified related to expenses.

By further terms, the Assembly would decide that, for the biennium 2018 2019, if a Security Council decision resulted in the need for the Secretary General to enter into commitments relating to maintenance of peace and security in an amount exceeding $10 million, that matter should be brought to the General Assembly. If the Assembly was suspended or not in session, the Secretary General should convene a resumed or special session of it to consider the matter.

Next, the Committee approved a draft on Working Capital Fund for the biennium 2018 2019 (document A/C.5/72/L.20). By that draft, the Assembly would establish the Fund for 2018 2019 in the amount of $150 million, and Member States would make advances to it in accordance with their scale of assessments for 2018. Those should be set off against the following allocations of advances: credits to Member States resulting from transfers made in 1959 and 1960 from the surplus account to the Working Capital Fund in an adjusted amount of $1.03 million; and cash advances paid by Member States to the Fund for the biennium 2016 2017, in accordance with Assembly resolution 70/251 of 17 February 2016. Should credits and advances paid by any Member State to the Fund exceed that State's advance under the provisions of paragraph 2 and above, the excess would be set off against the amount of contributions payable in respect of the biennium 2018 2019.

Having then adopted all the draft resolutions contained in its report, as well as draft decisions, the Committee then approved its report on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019 (document A/C.5/72/L.21).

The Committee then turned its attention to the draft resolution titled Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations (document A/C.5/72/L.22). By its terms, the General Assembly would welcome the Secretary General's commitment to improving the Organization's ability to deliver on its mandates through management reform. Emphasizing that reform initiatives should be integrated, coherent and mutually reinforcing, it would approve the proposed change from a biennial to an annual budget period on a trial basis, beginning with the programme budget for 2020, and request the Secretary General to conduct a review of changes to the budgetary cycle in 2022, following the completion of the first full budgetary cycle. Further in that regard, the Assembly would decide to review, with a view to taking a final decision, the implementation of an annual budget at its seventy seventh session.

In addition, the Assembly would decide that the Proposed Programme Budget document would consist of three parts; dealing with the Organization's long term priorities and objectives; the programme plan for programme and sub programmes and programme performance information; and post and non post resource requirements for programmes and sub-programmes. The first two parts would be submitted through the Committee for Programme and Coorindation, and the third through the Advisory Committee, for the Assembly's consideration.

The Assembly would go on to ask the Secretary General to assess the impact of changes to the budgetary cycle on the work of the Assembly's subsidiary bodies, and reaffirm that no changes would be made to budget methodology, established budgetary procedures and practices or financial regulations without prior review and approval by the Assembly.

The Assembly would also decide not to implement, at present, any changes regarding any expansion of exceptional budgetary authorities, unforeseen and extraordinary expenses, and the Secretary General's limited budgetary discretion, as well as the current level of commitment authority for additional resources requirements arising from Security Council decisions related to the maintenance of international peace and security.

Finally, again through text, the Assembly would request the Secretary General to undertake an assessment of the mechanisms and levels of discretionary managerial authorities that might be required in order to address unanticipated programmatic needs and to report thereon to the Assembly in its seventy third session. It would also decide not to increase the level of the Working Capital Fund.

The draft was approved without a vote.

The Committee then approved a draft decision on questions deferred for future consideration (document A/C.5/72/L.23), which would have the Assembly decide to defer until the first part of its resumed seventy second session consideration of the Secretary General's report on review of the utilization of the contingency fund and the related report of the ACABQ.

By further terms, the Assembly would decide to defer until the main part of its seventy third session consideration of the Secretary General's fifteenth annual progress report on implementation of the capital master plan; Board of Auditors report on the capital master plan for the year ended 31 December 2016; Secretary General's report on implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Auditors contained in its reports for the year ended 31 December 2016 on the United Nations and on the capital master plan; related report of the ACABQ; Secretary General's fourteenth annual progress report on implementation of the capital master plan; Board of Auditors' report on the capital master plan; Secretary General's report on implementation of recommendations of the Board of Auditors contained in its report on the capital master plan for the year ended 31 December 2015; related report of the ACABQ; Secretary General's report on review of arrangements for funding and backstopping special political missions; and the related report of the ACABQ.

Closing Remarks

The representative of Ecuador, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, said the Committee had successfully worked to ensure adequate resources for the programme budget of 2018-2019. Member States must provide the United Nations with sufficient resources so the Organization could perform its role as key enabler of the development agenda. She also welcomed the Secretary-General's commitment to improve the Organization's ability to deliver on its mandates through management reform.

The representative of Angola, speaking on behalf of the African Group, commended the Chairman for successfully conducting this year's session. Reaching a fruitful conclusion had seemed like a dream at the beginning, but the Committee had achieved it. His colleagues had worked in a spirit of goodwill and camaraderie to come up with those results.

The representative of Barbados, associating herself with the Group of 77 and speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community, expressed concern over delayed issuance of documents, which had seriously affected the Committee's timeframe. Pointing to achievements of the session, she said they included the proposed programme budget for 2018-2019, which reaffirmed the importance of the Samoa Pathway, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other intergovernmental agreements.

She expressed disappointment that the Committee had been unable to complete consideration of the proposed regional restructuring of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She also expressed support for the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, noting the importance of an adequately financed and resourced peacekeeping mission.

The representative of Turkey, speaking also on behalf of Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Australia, expressed appreciation for the Chairman's leadership and tireless efforts in achieving a successful end to the main session. She commended the Committee for coming up with a management reform agreement and ensuring the United Nations had the necessary resources to achieve its mandates.

The representative of the European Union said the Committee had made important progress on several resolutions defining the management and administration of the United Nations. He was convinced the Organization had the necessary means to effectively manage its mandates during 2018-2019. The Committee had also approved a resolution shifting the Organization's management paradigm and decided to change the programme budget cycle.

The representative of Japan said he expected that consensus reached among Member States on management reform would serve as a solid basis for the Secretary-General's efforts in that direction. He said the Committee might also need reforming, noting that the item on Umoja had been introduced on 19 December. The late introduction of official documents was a matter of concern, as it left only a short time for Member States to negotiate.

The representative of China noted wide participation in the Committee from all delegations, the democratic nature of consultations and flexibility of negotiations. In a short time, the Committee had completed an arduous job, including documents on management reform, the programme budget and other items related to administrative and budgetary aspects of the Organization.

The representative of Brazil, associating himself with the Group of 77, said the session had been challenging, ending with a historically significant decision on management reform. Such reform was as important to Member States as to the Secretariat. The resolution just adopted meant real change for the United Nations and would also assist in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The representative of Pakistan, associating himself with the Group of 77, noted that the Committee had adopted numerous resolutions and approved the annual budget. He stressed that management reform was urgent if the Organization was to become more responsive. Endorsement of management reform was a vote of confidence aimed at increasing the efficacy of the United Nations.

The representative of Mexico underscored the importance of the Committee's approval of the programme budget for 2018-2019, financing for special peacekeeping missions and approval of resolutions for construction projects, Umoja and the United Nations pension system. He welcomed the fact that sufficient resources had been allocated to peacekeeping missions in Latin American countries. He also noted that adoption of a resolution on management reform was the first step in that process.

The representative of the United States said there had been significant decisions taken during the session, including one to adopt a responsible 2018-2019 budget. The Committee had taken important steps towards putting the United Nations on a sound and sustainable fiscal path. The budget had been adjusted in peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Darfur following careful review. The Committee had also bolstered the independence of the Organization's internal oversight body and justice system.

The representative of Paraguay, noting that it was the last time she would be addressing the Committee, expressed gratitude to it and recognized the outstanding work performed by her colleague from Ecuador as Chair of the Group of 77.

MICHEL TOMMO MONTHE (Cameroon), Fifth Committee Chair, noting that the meeting was to adjourn, said this is the time to give back baby to Mama. He and the members of the Bureau wished the Committee, members of the Secretariat, technicians and interpreters well for the coming year.

Source: United Nations

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