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UN Approves Crucial Budget for 14 Peacekeeping Missions

Fifth Committee Meeting (File)
Fifth Committee Meeting (File)

By: ATN News

United Nations: The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) of the United Nations concluded its second resumed session today with the approval of a $5.59 billion budget. This allocation will fund 14 peacekeeping missions, two service centers, and headquarters support staff for the upcoming fiscal year from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025. In a demonstration of broad consensus, 20 resolutions and one decision were sent to the General Assembly, with only one resolution requiring a recorded vote.

The exception was the financing document for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was approved by a recorded vote of 130 in favor, 2 against (Israel, United States), and 1 abstention (Paraguay). This followed the rejection of an oral amendment proposed by Israel to remove references to the 1996 shelling of a UNIFIL compound in Qana, Lebanon.

Chandramouli Ramanathan, United Nations Controller and Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Finance and Budget, expressed gratitude for the Committee’s timely approval but highlighted ongoing liquidity challenges. He warned that despite a reduced budget, outstanding payments had reached record levels, necessitating further cash infusions to ensure smooth operations and salary payments. He urged Member States to fulfil their financial commitments and reaffirmed the Secretariat’s commitment to efficiency and budgetary discipline.

The representative of the United States commended the Committee’s efforts to secure resources for peacekeeping, noting the approved budget represented a fiscally responsible reduction from both the Secretary-General’s proposal and the previous year’s budget. Emphasizing the dangerous nature of peacekeeping work, he expressed confidence that the allocated funds would enable peacekeepers to continue their critical mission.

The European Union’s representative, speaking as an observer, highlighted that nearly 99% of the peacekeeping budget requested by the Secretary-General had been approved. She praised progress on closed and closing missions, but lamented the persistence of a "non-constructive bargaining mindset" that necessitated skeletal resolutions on several items.

Echoing this sentiment, the representative of Uganda, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, noted the increasing reliance on skeletal resolutions and called for more negotiated outcomes to guide the Secretariat effectively. Ethiopia’s delegate, representing the African Group, regretted the lack of a resolution on the support account and advocated for better funding coordination between the African Union and the UN.

Japan’s representative expressed disappointment that the Committee could not adopt a cross-cutting resolution for the second consecutive year and suggested setting realistic deadlines for sessions to improve efficiency. The United Kingdom’s representative emphasized the importance of flexibility and compromise in achieving consensus.

Several resolutions were approved without a vote, including those for the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). These approvals underscore the Committee’s commitment to ensuring the operational continuity of peacekeeping missions worldwide.

The contentious UNIFIL resolution saw Israel’s representative proposing the removal of paragraphs related to the 1996 Qana incident, which was ultimately rejected by a recorded vote. The resolution was later approved with significant support despite opposition from Israel and the United States.

In their closing remarks, various representatives expressed a mix of satisfaction and concern. The representative of Uganda, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, paid tribute to peacekeepers’ sacrifices while urging more substantial resolutions. Ethiopia’s delegate underscored the need for comprehensive guidance for peacekeeping missions, and the United States emphasized the budget’s role in enabling peacekeepers to protect human rights and advance peaceful transitions.

Chandramouli Ramanathan closed the session with a call for accelerated approval processes in the future to ensure smooth year-end operations and reiterated the need for Member States to meet their financial obligations. The Fifth Committee’s Chair acknowledged both the successes and the challenges of the session, looking forward to future collaborative efforts.

As the Committee concluded its session, the approved budget marked a crucial step in sustaining the United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts amidst complex global challenges.


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