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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.5/55/SR.34
4 December 2000

Original: English

Fifth Committee

Summary record of the 34th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 4 December 2000, at 10 a.m.


Chairman:
    Mr. Rosenthal
    Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative
    and Budgetary Questions: Mr. Mselle
(Guatemala)


Contents

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

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

Organization of work


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


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


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


Introduction of draft resolution A/C.5/55/L.11


1. Mr. Hassan (Nigeria), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, introduced draft resolution A/C.5/55/L.11.

2. Mr. Diab (Lebanon), noting that an omission had occurred in the draft resolution, requested that the words “of 15 June 2000” should be inserted at the end of the fourth preambular paragraph.

3. The Chairman said that the Committee would take a decision on the draft resolution as revised at a later date.

Organization of work

4. The Chairman expressed the concern of the Bureau about the large number of items remaining on the agenda. Notwithstanding the Committee’s best efforts and desire to advance in its work, the scope of the agenda items allocated to it for the current session and the strong will of members to forge a consensus on as many issues as possible had led to a substantial backlog. The Committee had already taken steps to deal with that problem, for example by identifying priorities for consideration, by organizing informal evening meetings and by requesting an extension of the current part of the session until 20 December.

5. Unfortunately, the President of the General Assembly had communicated his intention to conclude the current part of the session by 15 December, which would place the Committee under immense pressure to finish its work. In those circumstances, he called upon the Committee to consider holding meetings on Saturdays; that would be preferable to scheduling night meetings. He would personally contact the President of the General Assembly to ask once again that the current part of the session should be extended in the light of the exceptional burden faced by the Fifth Committee.

6. One of the items still to be discussed was the scale of assessments. In any intergovernmental organization, that subject would give rise to a good deal of debate, as it involved a host of methodological, practical, conceptual and political questions. In the opinion of the Bureau, it would be most useful if a series of informal consultations could be devoted to the discussion of that topic with the participation of the Permanent Representatives. The aim would be to take stock of the current situation and to exchange views and impressions in a frank and constructive dialogue on the best way to move forward.

7. Ms. Sánchez (Cuba) said that the Committee should consider scheduling additional meetings for the discussion of the scale of assessments for the regular budget.

8. The Chairman said that the Bureau would take that suggestion into consideration when drawing up the programme of work.

9. Mr. Nakkari (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the Bureau had done a commendable job of organizing the Committee’s work. That was no easy task in a year when human resources management was on the agenda together with so many other urgent matters. The Committee’s workload had been complicated in part by its failure to adopt a scale of assessments the previous year and in part by the fact that new agenda items were being added even at a time when other Committees had completed their work.

10. Concerning the programme of work, he said that the adoption of the scale of assessments for the regular budget must be given priority over the consideration of the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations. Noting the importance of human resources management as an agenda item and the fact that only one meeting a week had been devoted to it in the current programme of work, he asked the Bureau to devote more time to the discussion of that item.

11. The Chairman assured the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic that the Bureau would take his comments into consideration when deciding on the programme of work for Saturday meetings.


The meeting rose at 10.40 a.m.



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