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General Assembly Adopts 25 Draft Resolutions from Fifth Committee Reports, Agreeing to Key Management Reforms, Financing of Peacekeeping Missions

The General Assembly adopted 25 resolutions and 1 decision from its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today, agreeing to significant management reforms � including the creation of two new departments focused on peacebuilding and four stand-alone divisions for Africa � aimed at streamlining the Organization's operations (see also Press Release GA/AB/4287).

It also authorized 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.

Adopting a resolution on special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019, the Assembly endorsed the establishment of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations. It also noted 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.

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

Under the terms of another resolution, titled Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations, the Assembly welcomed the Secretary-General's commitment to improving the Organization's ability to deliver on its mandates through management reform and his efforts to create a strong culture of accountability throughout the Secretariat.

As such, the Assembly approved the reorganization of the current Department of Management and the Department of Field Support to create the proposed new Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and the Department of Operational Support. It re-designated the proposed Office of Finance and Budget as the Office of Programme Planning, Finance, and Budget.

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

The Assembly adopted all peacekeeping-related texts without a vote, except one setting out the provisional budgetary arrangements for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which it passed by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Guatemala).

However, it rejected an oral amendment to the resolution on financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), put forward by Syria's delegate, by a recorded vote of 53 against to 10 in favour (Belarus, Burundi, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela), with 50 abstentions. Before the vote, Syria's representative said that Israel's occupation of Syrian land was the main reason for establishing UNDOF.

By the terms of another text, the Assembly established 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. Death and disability compensation rates, meanwhile, will be increased by 10 per cent.

The Assembly also adopted a text on the United Nations financial reports and audited financial statements on peacekeeping missions, as well as the related Board of Auditors' reports.

By a resolution on the financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the Assembly requested that the Secretary-General prepare an annual budget for that entity on a trial basis, beginning with its 2020 budget. It also approved the proposed revised $196.02 million budget for the biennium 2018-2019, and appropriated that amount to the Special Account for the International Residual Mechanism for the same biennium.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Assembly took action on the draft resolutions contained in reports of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), which were introduced by Committee Rapporteur Felipe Garcia Landa (Mexico).

First, it adopted a draft resolution contained in the Fifth Committee's reports titled Financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/72/572/Add.1), taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Board's recommendations concerning United Nations peacekeeping operations for the financial period ended 30 June 2017. The Assembly requested that the Secretary-General ensure full and prompt implementation of those recommendations and continue to indicate the expected timeframe.

Next, it took up the Fifth Committee's report titled Proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019 (document A/72/681/Add.2), adopting the draft resolution contained therein, 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 decided 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 also decided 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 endorsed the establishment of the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations.

As such, it noted 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. The Assembly requested that the Secretary-General 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 also noted 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 report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), the Assembly decided not to approve the relocation of the D-2 post from New York to Nouakchott. It also decided to establish four stand-alone divisions for Africa, effective from 1 January 2019, within approved resources, and requested that the Secretary-General present information on the organizational structure during its seventy-third session. Affirming Middle East Division as the name of the related new regional division, the Assembly decided to place the lead responsibility for UNAMA and UNAMI in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and, recalling paragraph 32 of the ACABQ'S report, decided to consider those three posts in the context of the Support Account resolution.

By other terms, the Assembly requested that the Secretary-General conduct an assessment of the functions, structure, capacity and level of the Police Division in the new structure, report thereon at its seventy-third session, and 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 endorsed the conclusions and recommendations in ACABQ's report (document A/72/7/Add.50), requesting that the Secretary-General submit a new proposal for the model no later than the first resumed part of its seventy-third session � which would take fully into account paragraph 5 of the ACABQ's report, as well as comments, observations and recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit � and to both consult and consider Member States and relevant stakeholders.

Turning to the Committee report titled Financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (document A/72/669/Add.2), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution contained therein, requesting 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 the budgetary cycle for the Mechanism in 2022 following completion of the first full budgetary cycle. The Assembly also decided to approve the proposed revised $196.02 million budget for the Mechanism for the biennium 2018-2019. It also decided to appropriate that amount to the Special Account for the International Residual Mechanism for the same biennium.

The Assembly further decided 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 Assembly then took up the Fifth Committee report titled Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations (document A/72/917), adopting four draft resolutions and one draft decision contained therein.

First, it adopted resolution I on the rates of reimbursement to troop- and police-contributing countries, deciding to establish a single rate of $1,428 per person per month from 1 July 2018 for countries contributing contingent personnel to United Nations field operations. It also decided to increase the death and disability compensation rates by 10 per cent from 1 July 2018.

The Assembly then adopted resolution II on the financing of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, approving $31.44 million for the Centre's maintenance from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Adopting resolution III, on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, the Assembly approved the cost estimates for the Base in the amount of $82.45 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2018.

The Assembly then adopted resolution IV, on the support account for peacekeeping operations, deciding 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 also approved the requirement of 1,345 continuing and 20 new temporary posts; the abolishment, redeployment, reassignment and reclassification of posts, as set out in annex I of the text; 57 continuing and 11 new general temporary assistance positions and 52 person-months, as set out in annex II; and related post and non-post requirements.

Next, the Assembly adopted the draft decision titled Effective date of resolutions relating to the peacekeeping budget and special political missions.

Next, the Assembly took up the report titled Financing of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) (document A/72/913), adopting the draft resolution contained therein. By that text, the Assembly decided 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.

The Assembly then took up the report Financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (document A/72/916). It adopted the resolution contained therein, deciding 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.

Turning to its report titled Financing of the United Nations Operation in CAte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/72/915), the Assembly adopted the resolution contained therein. By that text, it decided that Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Operation will be credited with their respective share of the $21.92 million unencumbered balance and other revenues for the financial period ending 30 June 2017.

Taking up the Committee's report titled Financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/72/904), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution contained therein. By that text, it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNFICYP $56.36 million for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, inclusive of $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, the Assembly turned to the Fifth Committee's report Financing of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (document A/72/908), adopting the resolution contained therein. By that text, the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for MONUSCO $1.19 billion for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, inclusive of $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 at Brindisi and $5.64 million for the Regional Service Centre at Entebbe. Further, the Assembly authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to $47.92 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 and asked him to report on the use of the commitment authority in the context of its performance report.

The Assembly then took up the Committee report Financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/72/903), adopting the draft resolution contained therein. By that text, it decided that Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission will be credited with their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other revenues of $14.38 million relating to the financial period ended 30 June 2017.

Taking up its report titled Financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/72/909), the Assembly adopted the resolution contained therein. By its terms, it decided 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 maintenance of the Mission, $1.92 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $483,200 for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi.

The Assembly then took up the Committee's report on the financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/72/914), adopting the resolution contained therein. By that text, it credited Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Mission with their respective share of the unencumbered balance and other revenues totalling $11.06 million in respect of the financial period ended 30 June 2017.

Taking up the Fifth Committee report titled Financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (document A/72/907), the Assembly adopted the resolution contained therein. By that text, it decided to appropriate to the Special Account $1.15 billion for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, including $1.07 billion for 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 Assembly took action on draft resolutions contained in two reports, first taking up a draft on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/72/906).

The representative of Syria said that the main reason for establishing the Force was Israel's occupation of Syrian land. Reiterating his delegation's rejection of any attempts to politicize UNDOF's work, he requested an oral amendment to the text, urging all Member States to accept the inclusion of the amended paragraph. This is not an issue of arguing, he emphasized, adding that his proposal was based on the United Nations Charter.

By a recorded vote of 53 against to 10 in favour (Belarus, Burundi, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela), with 50 abstentions, the Assembly rejected the amendment.

The Assembly then adopted the entire draft resolution without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly decided 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 that his delegation had joined the consensus on the resolutions on United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East, but believed it was Israel's responsibility to pay for them.

The Assembly then took up a draft resolution contained in the report on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/72/905). By a recorded vote of 74 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with 47 abstentions, it adopted preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 13.

Taking action on the draft resolution as a whole, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Guatemala). By its terms, the Assembly decided 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 at Brindisi.

The Assembly then adopted a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (document A/72/911), by which it decided 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 UNMISS, $58.06 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $14.61 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi and $5.69 million for the Regional Service Centre at Entebbe. It also authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments up to $65.16 million for the Mission's maintenance for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 in addition to the $1.07 billion already appropriated for maintenance during the same period under the terms of resolution 71/308.

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution in the report on financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/72/910), by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $56 million for 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 at Brindisi and $265,000 for the Regional Service Centre at Entebbe.

The Assembly then adopted a draft resolution on financing of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (document A/72/671/Add.1), by which it appropriated 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 at Brindisi and $1.95 million for the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe. The Assembly also authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to $385.68 million for the Operation for the period 1 July to 31 December 2018.

Taking up the report on financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 1863 (2009) (document A/72/912), the Assembly appropriated 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 maintenance of the Support Office, $28.81 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $7.25 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi and $2.82 million for the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe.

The Assembly then adopted a draft resolution on financing of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) (document A/72/760/Add.1), appropriating 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 Mission's maintenance, $6.27 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $1.58 million for the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi.

The Assembly then turned to the report titled Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations (document A/72/682/Add.2), containing two draft resolutions.

It adopted the first text, titled Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations, by which it welcomed the Secretary-General's commitment to improving the Organization's ability to deliver on its mandates through management reform and his efforts towards a strong culture of accountability throughout the Secretariat. It decided to approve the reorganization of the current Departments of Management and Field Support into the proposed new Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and the Department of Operational Support. It also approved 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 will 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 decided 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 also decided that the proposed Enabling Section will be established as an Enabling and Outreach Service to be headed at the D-1 level and tasked with outreach to Member States.

By other terms, Assembly requested that the Secretary-General 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 decided that the proposed reorganization will be implemented within the approved resources allocated for the current Department of Management and the Department of Field Support.

Next, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution titled Progress towards an accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat, by which it requested that the Secretary-General continue to make efforts aimed to improve the culture of accountability in the Secretariat. Recalling paragraph 17 of the related report of the ACABQ (document A/72/885), the Assembly noted with regret that implementation, follow-up and reporting on compliance with General Assembly resolutions, specifically those pertaining to the accountability system, remain inconsistent. Further, the Assembly recalled paragraph 27 of the ACABQ's report, requesting that the Secretary-General provide more details on the measures taken to combat sexual harassment in the Organization and report thereon in the context of his next report on human resources management.

The Assembly also adopted a draft decision (document A/C.5/72/L.56), deciding to defer, until the main part of its seventy-third session, its consideration of seven reports of the Secretary-General, and seven related reports of the ABACQ regarding the updated financial position of closed peacekeeping missions as of 20 June for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Source: United Nations

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