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        General Assembly
25 May 2001

Fifth Committee

Summary record of the 68th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 25 May 2001, at 5 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Rosenthal .............................................................(Guatemala)
Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions: Mr. Mselle


Agenda item 138: Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East (continued)

(a) United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (continued) (A/C.5/55/L.84)

Draft resolution A/C.5/55/L.84

36. The Chairman introduced draft resolution A/C.5/55/L.84, which had been submitted by the representative of Croatia and Vice-Chairman of the Committee.

37. Mr. Nakkari (Syrian Arab Republic), speaking in explanation of position before action was taken on the draft resolution, said that concerns regarding the difficulties faced by local staff, which were acknowledged in the last preambular paragraph and the first three operative paragraphs of the draft resolution, had not been fully addressed, particularly with regard to making allowance for difficulties resulting from the relocation of the headquarters of the Force from Damascus to Camp Faouar. It was not the first time the General Assembly had referred to such hardships.

38. In paragraph 2 of its resolution 54/266, the General Assembly had requested the Secretary-General to continue the process of improving the working conditions of the local staff, including by making allowance for difficulties resulting from the relocation of the headquarters of the Force. That request had not been implemented by the Secretariat, perhaps because of considerations relating to departments other than the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Resolutions of the General Assembly were directed to the Secretary-General, who should ensure that the General Assembly’s concerns were addressed. If the problem related to the Office of Human Resources Management, the Secretary-General should deal with that Office even if the act concerned fell within the remit of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. There was a tendency for departments to assume that General Assembly resolutions could be interpreted by them and implemented or not implemented by them. His delegation had very strong reservations regarding that understanding of the functions and mandates of the General Assembly. Because of the failure to fully implement paragraph 2 of General Assembly resolution 54/266, the Committee had requested the Secretary-General in paragraph 3 of the draft resolution to take concrete measures to ensure the full implementation of the matter and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its first resumed fifty-sixth session. His delegation hoped that it would not be necessary to return to the question yet again because of a wrong understanding on the part of some Secretariat departments. General Assembly resolutions must not be subject to interpretation by Secretariat departments. They were orders to be carried out by the Secretariat.

39. His delegation had accepted that a report on the matter would be submitted to the General Assembly at its first resumed fifty-sixth session in light of the understanding that the Secretariat would face technical difficulties in submitting such a report in the main part of the session. Based on that understanding, the Secretariat should spare no effort in implementing without delay both the mandate and the letter and spirit of the draft resolution.

40. Lastly, he wished to draw attention to an editorial error in the first line of paragraph 12 of the Arabic version of the draft resolution. The words “and conclusions” should be deleted.

41. Draft resolution A/C.5/55/L.84 was adopted.


The meeting rose at 7.25 p.m.

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