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        General Assembly
17 June 2003

Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-seventh session
Official Records
Fifth Committee
Summary record of the 47th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 7 May 2003, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Sharma ........................................................... (Nepal) Contents


Agenda item 127: Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East (continued)

(a) United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (continued)

(b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (continued)


The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.


Agenda item 127 Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East

(a) United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (continued ) (A/57/668, A/57/688 and A/57/772/Add.7)

(b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (continued ) (A/57/662, A/57/663 and A/57/772/Add.6)


65. Mr. Sabbagh (Syrian Arab Republic) noted that maintaining peace and security was regarded as one of the primary tasks of the United Nations. The clearest evidence of that commitment was the fact that the United Nations sent out peacekeeping forces that were financed by Member States. However, Syria believed that the responsibility for funding the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) should be borne by the aggressor State, as set out under paragraph 1 (e) of General Assembly resolution 55/235 on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations. His delegation welcomed chapter V of document A/57/688, which confirmed that the repeated requests by the General Assembly to improve the working conditions of local staff by making an allowance for the additional difficulties resulting from the transfer of UNDOF headquarters from Damascus to Camp Faouar, had been heeded, and also stated that a fruitful dialogue had been instituted between the UNDOF Administration and the local staff. Continuation of that dialogue was the best way to address any concerns and difficulties that might confront UNDOF staff in the future. His delegation also welcomed the proposal for an additional P-5 post for a Chief of Staff, offset by the abolition of one Field Service post, and the reclassification of the Chief Administrative Officer’s post, from the P-5 to the D-1 level, as well as the creation of three “ national staff” additional posts. However, it did not favour the current practice of referring to local staff as “national staff”, since such staff included a number of different nationalities, and hoped that the previous practice might be restored. It wondered why the Advisory Committee had recommended rejection of the Secreta ry-General’s request for the aforementioned new posts. Moreover, it did not favour an increase in the vacancy rate from zero per cent to 5 per cent was justified. It was, moreover, regrettable that the Secretariat had not provided a three-year construction plan, as requested by the General Assembly.

66. His delegation could not accept the idea of integrating staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and UNDOF, as recommended in the Advisory Committee’s report (A/57/772/Add.7), because such a move would be contrary to the mandates of the two missions. It remained flexible, however, regarding the current practice of seconding UNTSO staff to UNDOF. It would like the Secretariat to provide information regarding the commitment to the use of local staff for the Force, for General Service posts, in response to the relevant resolutions. Lastly, it would welcome the opportunity to discuss the question of seconding local UNDOF staff to other missions.


The meeting rose at 12.20 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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