|Date||23 December 2003|
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Agenda item 121
Proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005
Report of the Fifth Committee (A/58/573)
The Assembly will now take a decision on the five draft resolutions recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 59 of its report, which, for the time being, are contained in Part II, section IV, of document A/C.5/58/L.56.
We turn first to draft resolution I, entitled "Questions relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005".
The Fifth Committee adopted draft resolution I without a vote. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do the same?
Draft resolution II is entitled "Programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005".
The Fifth Committee adopted draft resolution II. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do likewise?
Draft resolution III is entitled "Special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005".
The Fifth Committee adopted draft resolution III without a vote. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do the same?
Draft resolution IV is entitled "Unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium 2004-2005".
The Fifth Committee adopted draft resolution IV without a vote. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do likewise?
Draft resolution V is entitled "Working Capital Fund for the biennium 2004-2005".
The Fifth Committee adopted draft resolution V without a vote. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do the same?
I shall now call on those representatives who wish to speak in explanation of position on the resolutions just adopted.
My delegation went along with the adoption without a vote of the draft resolution on the programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005, despite our reservations about a number of its provisions. Although my delegation understands that a budget resolution should not become an extensive policy document, we believe that it should include a number of provisions that put financial decisions in context. Therefore, we think a resolution text such as this, negotiated under exceptional circumstances, is inherently exceptional and should not be a precedent for future resolutions. That is without prejudice to the merits of the resolution just adopted, which are recognized by all delegations. In that context, my delegation would like to thank the Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan for his extraordinary efforts to arrive at this outcome.
My delegation notes that the resolution once again imposes budgetary cuts on the amount of resources requested by the Secretary-General. We believe that everyone's commitment to the Organization should include unrestricted support for reform measures and should be reflected in consistent and unconditional support for the budgetary requests that enable the Organization to function smoothly. That would be more coherent.
The Cuban delegation is also concerned that the draft resolution has been used to promote certain reform decisions in the absence of specific decisions on the part of the relevant legislative bodies. It is in that context that we express serious reservations about the approval of the four posts requested by the Secretary-General in document A/58/569 for section 24, "Human rights", related to the implementation of measures 3 and 4 of his reform plan. Although Cuba accepted the establishment of those posts, showing great flexibility, we have serious questions about them, in that their establishment constitutes a violation of paragraphs 8 and 9 of resolution 57/300. We shall carry out the necessary follow-up on this issue once the relevant legislative bodies have indicated their position.
The United States remains opposed to the financing by the United Nations of conference services for treaty bodies when the treaty itself calls for the States parties to bear such costs. In accordance with Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations, Member States are not responsible for expenses related to such treaty body activities. However, in the context of our overall deliberations on the 2004-2005 budget and in keeping with our position that -- in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/213 -- the budget should be adopted by consensus, the United States has not blocked provision for several allocations from the contingency fund, but we shall continue to oppose such expenditures.
We have heard the last speaker in explanation of position.
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of agenda item 121.