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By its resolution 55/180 of 19 December 2000, the General Assembly appropriated the amount of $86,758,400 gross ($86,301,300 net) for the expansion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001, in addition to the amount of $146,833,694 gross ($141,889,841 net) already appropriated under the provisions of its resolution 54/267 of 15 June 2000. The total resources provided by the General Assembly for UNIFIL for the period therefore amount to $233,592,094 gross ($228,191,141 net). This appropriated amount was based on the force strength of 7,900 endorsed in a statement by the President of the Security Council on behalf of the Council on 23 May 2000 (S/PRST/2000/18).
Shortly after the revised financing action taken by the General Assembly in resolution 55/180, it was confirmed that the budgeted deployment of two battalions would not take place. Subsequently, the Security Council, by its resolution 1337 (2001) of 30 January 2001, inter alia, extended the mandate of the Force to 31 July 2001 and endorsed the proposals contained in paragraph 24 of the report of the Secretary-General of 22 January 2001 (S/2001/66), including, as a possible first stage of the suggested reconfiguration of the Force, the return of UNIFIL to its previous strength, before its augmentation in 2000 to about 4,500 troops, by 31 July 2001. Based on these developments, the Secretary-General has taken the initiative to immediately reduce the approved gross budget for UNIFIL by $26,437,900, to $207,154,194, exclusive of budgeted voluntary contributions in kind amounting to $180,000.
The action to be taken by the General Assembly are set out in paragraph 9 of the present report
2. With the withdrawal of Israeli Defence Forces from Lebanon in May 2000, the operational role of the Force changed significantly. The operational changes arising from the expansion of the Force and their related implications were outlined in paragraphs 31 to 34 of the report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council of 22 May 2000 (S/2000/460), which was subsequently endorsed by the Council in its presidential statement of 23 May 2000 (S/PRST/2000/18).
3. On that basis, a revised budget for UNIFIL for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 was submitted on 13 October 2000 (A/55/482), which amounted to $233,772,000, $86,758,400 (gross) ($86,301,300 net) higher than the original appropriation. The additional requirements of $86,758,400 (gross) provided for expansion of the Force based on an increase in troop strength to approximately 7,900 from the previous authorized level of 4,513 and an increase in the civilian establishment by 81 posts (34 international posts and 47 local posts) in support of the operational objectives and military component.
4. Taking into account the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions contained in its report on UNIFIL (A/55/516, para.12), the General Assembly, by its resolution 55/180 of 19 December 2000, approved the revised budget for UNIFIL as proposed by the Secretary-General without change.
5. However, after this financing action by the General Assembly, it was confirmed that the budgeted deployment of two battalions early in 2001 would not take place.
6. Moreover, in paragraph 24 of the report of the Secretary-General to the Secretary Council of 22 January 2001 (S/2001/66), a number of proposals were submitted, including, the extension of UNIFIL’s mandate for a period of six months, in view of the situation in the region, and, as possible first stage of the suggested reconfiguration of the Force, the return of Force strength to its previous level, before its augmentation in 2000 to about 4,500, by 31 July 2001.
7. By its resolution 1337 (2001) of 30 January 2001, the Security Council decided to extend the present mandate of UNIFIL for a further period of six months, until 31 July 2001, and endorsed the general approach for the reconfiguration of UNIFIL, as outlined in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2001/66, para. 24). Furthermore, the Security Council requested that the Secretary-General take the necessary measures to implement this decision, including taking into account the upcoming rotations of the battalions in consultation with the Government of Lebanon and the troop-contributing countries.
8. In view of these developments, the Secretary-General has taken the initiative to immediately reduce the approved budget of $233,772,000 by $26,437,900, to $207,334,100, including budgeted voluntary contributions in kind of $180,000. This reduction of $26,437,900 includes reductions under troop costs ($22,104,800), civilian personnel costs ($2,020,900) and staff assessment ($228,600) as a result of the suppression of 31 civilian posts, and under operational requirements ($2,083,600). The as yet unquantified cost of the repatriation of certain contingents and their contingent-owned equipment will be met from within this reduced budget level.
II. Action to be taken by the General Assembly at the first part of its resumed fifty-fifth session
9. The actions to be taken by the General Assembly at the first part of its resumed fifty-fifth session in connection with the financing of UNIFIL are as follows:
(a) To reduce the appropriation provided under General Assembly resolutions 54/267 and 55/180 for the maintenance and expansion of the Force for the 12-month period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 to the amount of $207,154,194 gross ($201,981,841 net), inclusive of the amount of $6,967,059 gross ($5,895,590 net) for the support account for peacekeeping operations and the amount of $1,089,216 gross ($969,161 net) for the United Nations Logistics Base;
(b) To reduce the apportionment provided by General Assembly resolutions 54/267 and 55/180 for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2001 to the amount of $70,892,138 gross ($68,870,345 net), taking into account the amount of $136,262,056 gross ($133,111,496 net) already apportioned for the period from 1 July 2000 to 31 January 2001.