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The present report contains the proposed budget for the 12-month period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 for the maintenance of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which amounts to $34,536,300 gross ($33,778,900 net).
Of the total budget, some 57 per cent of resources relate to military personnel costs. Civilian personnel costs account for 15 per cent of the budget, operational requirements reflect 26 per cent of the budget, while staff assessment comprises 2 per cent of the total.
The action to be taken by the General Assembly is set out in paragraph 3 of the present report.
2. Estimated requirements for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 represent a 1.2 per cent decrease ($410,400) in total resources (gross) in relation to the apportionment for the current period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001. The proposed decrease reflects a 4.2 per cent increase in military personnel costs, a 1.0 per cent increase in civilian personnel costs, a 13.2 per cent decrease in operational requirements, a 0.8 per cent increase in staff assessment costs and a 188.5 per cent increase in training programmes.
(Thousands of United States dollars)
(a) To appropriate the amount of $34,536,300 gross ($33,778,900 net), for the maintenance of the Force for the 12-month period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002;
(b) To assess the amount set out in paragraph 3 (a) above at a monthly rate of $2,878,025 gross ($2,814,908.33 net), should the Security Council decide to continue the mandate of the Force;
(c) To credit back to Member States, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 13 of General Assembly resolution 53/226 of 8 June 1999, an amount of $4,000,000 during the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, representing the remaining net surplus balance held in the suspense account of UNDOF.
II. Political mandate of the Mission
(Security Council resolution 350 (1974) of 31 May 1974)
4. The Protocol to the Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian Forces (S/11302/Add.1, annexes I and II) requires UNDOF to use its best efforts to maintain the ceasefire, to see that it is scrupulously observed and to supervise the Agreement and Protocol with regard to the areas of separation and limitation.
5. The current mandate expires on 31 May 2001 (Security Council resolution 1328 (2000) of 27 November 2000.
III. Operational plan and requirements
6. In order to carry out its mandate, UNDOF maintains an area of separation, which is some 80 kilometres long and varies in width between approximately 10 kilometres in the centre to less than one kilometre in the extreme south. The terrain is hilly and dominated in the north by Mount Hermon, which necessitates the use of special vehicles designed for those types of road and terrain conditions. The highest United Nations position is at an altitude of 2,800 metres. The area of separation is inhabited; it is policed by the authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic. No military forces other than UNDOF are permitted within it.
7. UNDOF is entirely deployed within and close to the area of separation, with two base camps, 44 permanently manned positions and 11 observation posts. The headquarters of UNDOF is located at Camp Faouar and an office is maintained at Damascus. In addition, the Force operates patrols by day and night. The Austrian battalion, which includes a Slovakian company, is deployed in the northern part of the area of separation, while the Polish battalion is deployed in the southern part. Its base camp is Camp Ziouani. Mine-clearing is conducted by both battalions under the operational control of UNDOF headquarters.
8. The Canadian and Japanese logistic units, which are based in Camp Ziouani, with a detachment in Camp Faouar, perform the second-line general transport tasks, rotation transport, control and management of goods received by the Force and maintenance of heavy equipment.
9. First-line logistic support is internal to the contingents and includes transport of supplies to the positions. Second-line logistic support is provided by the Governments of Canada and Japan and third-line support is provided through normal supply channels by the United Nations. Damascus International Airport serves as the Force’s main airbase, along with Tel Aviv International Airport. The seaports of Lattakia and Haifa are used for sea shipments. Most requirements of the Force are procured locally in the mission area.
10. From its various positions and through its patrols, the Force supervises the area of separation and intervenes whenever any military personnel enter or try to operate therein. This is effected by means of permanently manned positions and observation posts, by foot and mobile patrols operating at irregular intervals by day and night on predetermined routes.
11. On each side of the area of separation there is one area of limitation with three zones, one 0 to 10 kilometres, one 10 to 20 kilometres and one 20 to 25 kilometres wide. UNDOF inspects these areas every two weeks in order to ascertain that the agreed limitations in armaments and forces are being observed.
12. With an authorized military strength of 1,037 all ranks and a current civilian component of 125 staff, UNDOF is spread over the length and breadth of its area of operation. Both parties cooperate fully with the Force and, for a number of years, there have been no serious incidents.
13. The harsh terrain over which the Force operates results in less than normal lifespans for vehicles and other related equipment. One of the priorities is to continue with the vehicle replacement programme, which is a key element in enabling the Force to perform its mandate. In addition, keeping adequate stocks of spare parts continues to be a necessity for the maintenance and repair of the vehicles to ensure that UNDOF transportation needs will be fully met.
14. Other priorities are the continued strengthening of the environmental aspects of the Force and routine maintenance of premises and facilities at positions and camps in terms of repairs and upgrade, as well as the upgrading/replacement of some accommodation units in poor technical structure by new prefabricated buildings. The majority of infrastructure now requires extensive repair or replacement, owing to the age of the mission.
15. In addition, as an observer Force, UNDOF requires effective communication between camps and positions within the Force. Therefore, continued acquisition and replacement of communications equipment is essential.
IV. Contributions made under the status-of-forces agreement
16. No status-of-forces agreement is in force. However, by a note verbale dated 22 February 1976, the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic informed the United Nations that UNDOF would be treated in accordance with the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
V. Voluntary contributions and trust funds
A. Voluntary contributions
(United States dollars)
B. Status of reimbursement
18. Full reimbursement in accordance with the standard rates established by the General Assembly for troop costs has been made to these States until 31 August 2000. An amount of $4,525,531 is due for troop costs for the period ending on 31 December 2000.
VII. Contingent-owned equipment and self-sustainment
A. Method of reimbursement
19. Except for the Government of Japan, no contingent-owned equipment agreements have been signed with the four troop-contributing Governments of UNDOF. However, for budgeting purposes, wet-lease rates have been applied for all of the contingent-owned equipment for the Force.
1. Major equipment
20. The requirement for reimbursement of major equipment (nine vehicles) to three contingents amounts to $148,700.
2. Special equipment
21. The requirement for the maintenance of special equipment (X-ray machine) to one contingent amounts to $11,750.
22. No provision for self-sustainment is included in the cost estimates for the budgetary period.
4. Mission factors
23. No mission factors have been applied to UNDOF.
VIII. Staffing requirements
A. Changes in staffing requirements
25. During its visit to the Force as part of its audit of United Nations peacekeeping operations for the financial year ending 30 June 2000, the Board of Auditors had observed that the Cashier at UNDOF performed various incompatible functions pertaining to the custody and recording of cash, including custody of cash on hand, recording of cash receipt vouchers in the general ledger, maintenance of the cash imprest account in the general ledger and conduct of the monthly cash account. The cashier’s function creates an environment susceptible to the rolling of cash and the manipulation of accounting records. Accordingly, the Board recommended that responsibilities for the initiation of transactions, the custody of related assets and the recording of transactions be segregated and that a second person be employed to assist the Cashier. Hence, the request for a new Finance Assistant post.
26. The function of telephone billing has heretofor been performed on an ad hoc basis by the one radio operator in Communications Section, who consequently cannot fully perform his/her primary function properly. For that reason, it is now requested that a new Local level post be provided for the function of Telephone Billing Accounts Assistant.
27. Following a review of the situation of posts, and for operational reasons, no conversion of General Service staff posts into local staff posts is possible at this time.
B. Current and proposed staffing
29. Taking into account the current cash position of UNDOF, and the anticipated assessed contributions to be received and the mission’s projected monthly cash requirements for the period, the Secretary-General proposes to credit back to Member States during the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, an amount of $4,000,000, representing the remaining balance held in the suspense account of UNDOF. Once such action has been taken, the suspense account will be closed.
Working conditions of the local staff of the mission
30. It is recalled that, in paragraph 7 of its resolution 53/226, the General Assembly had requested the Secretary-General to expedite the process of improving the working conditions of the Force, taking into account the difficulties arising from the relocation of Force headquarters from Damascus to Camp Faouar, and to report thereon to the Assembly at its fifty-fourth session.
31. In paragraphs 33 and 34 of his report on the financing of UNDOF (A/54/732), the Secretary-General provided information on measures that had been taken by the UNDOF administration in response to the request of the General Assembly.
32. Subsequently, in paragraph 2 of its resolution 54/266, the General Assembly 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 from Damascus to Camp Faouar, through mutual and fruitful dialogue.
33. The following additional steps have been taken by the UNDOF administration and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations:
(a) Relocation of UNDOF headquarters from Damascus to Camp Faouar in 1994 caused inconvenience to UNDOF staff who live in Damascus and who are required to commute a distance of 60 kilometres one way, from Damascus to Camp Faouar. In the case of UNDOF local staff, this inconvenience has since been addressed by the factoring in of a transportation benefit in the net salaries, in accordance with the salary survey methodology. Moreover, UNDOF provides minibus transportation between Damascus and Camp Faouar at no charge to UNDOF staff. In this connection, it is pertinent to note that, in the particular case of UNDOF, all allowances and benefits paid by the best employers in Damascus have already been quantified and reflected in the net salaries paid by the United Nations. By definition, mobility and hardship allowance is an expatriate entitlement which is not payable to locally recruited staff. As regards hazard pay allowance, neither the United Nations Security Coordinator nor the International Civil Service Commission have evaluated the UNDOF working environment as requiring such special measures as the approval of hazard pay. Hence, neither international nor local staff of UNDOF are entitled to that allowance.
(b) In response to their requests, UNDOF local staff have been nominated, considered and selected for temporary mission assignments. Currently, 12 UNDOF local staff members are on mission assignments and the expressions of interest of 6 other local staff members are under review;
(c) With the provision of central air-conditioning in the General Services, Transport and Communications buildings, the mission’s phased plan to provide such a facility to all local staff has been completed;
(d) UNDOF has granted international and local email access to all local staff members, except tradesmen and manual workers;
(e) A building has been identified and refurbished to provide a lunch-break facility for the local staff. UNDOF is currently in the process of procuring additional furnishings for the facility.
34. Finally, the UNDOF administration is committed to continuation of its ongoing dialogue with the local staff with a view to identifying and addressing issues of staff concern.
C. Supplementary information
Apportionment: $18,746,300; estimates: $19,536,000; variance: $789,700
1. The increase under this heading is related to other requirements pertaining to military personnel, consisting of contingent-owned equipment ($29,800) and death and disability compensation ($767,300). The increase is slightly offset by the slightly lower requirements for military contingents.
Other requirements pertaining to military personnel
Apportionment: $430,700; estimates: $1,227,800; variance: $797,100
(a) Contingent-owned equipment
2. Additional provision of $29,800 is made to cover for the reimbursement to troop-contributing Governments for two additional ambulances to be brought into the mission area, based on wet-lease arrangements.
(b) Death and disability compensation
3. The estimate includes provision for the equivalent of up to five incidents, as well as the settlement of backlog claims for which all old obligations retained for that purpose, as authorized by the General Assembly, have been exhausted.
Apportionment: $5,158,000; estimates: $5,210,400; variance: $52,400
4. The increase of $52,400 under this heading relates to international and local staff costs.
International and local staff
5. Increased salary and common staff costs requirements for international and local staff are mainly attributable to the request for two additional local posts (Finance Assistant and Telephone Billing Accounts Assistant) (see part VIII, paras. 24-26).
6. International staff salaries have been calculated on the basis of the 2001 standard cost rates for New York, while local staff salaries reflect the scale currently applicable in the mission area. Based on post incumbency experience, no vacancy rate has been applied on the Force’s proposed staffing establishment of 127 total posts (38 international and 89 local), including the two new posts requested. The estimate for the 89 local staff has been based on level 4, step 7 of the local salary scale.
7. The estimate of $67,000 under other travel costs is higher than the provision of $44,600 for the current period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 and will finance the travel of Headquarters and UNDOF personnel during the next period, as listed in annex II.A.
Apportionment: $10,240,600; estimates:$8,887,100; variance: ($1,353,500)
8. The estimate of $8,887,100 includes non-recurrent cost requirements amounting to $3,785,700.
9. The net decrease of $1,353,500 under this heading is attributable to a decrease of $2,241,100 under transport operations ($2,224,900), and supplies and services ($16,200), offset partially by an increase of $887,600 under premises/accommodation ($512,000), communications ($236,800), and other equipment ($134,800), and air surface freight ($4,000).
10. The increase of $512,000 in provision, from $1,523,700 to $2,035,700 under this heading is mainly owing to (a) the purchase and installation of transformers with higher voltage (630 KVA), which is necessary and prudent to avoid potential equipment damage caused by power fluctuations, and the purchase of fuel tanks, main switchgear and transfer switch and construction of generator houses, owing to increased electrical power requirements ($220,000); and (b) the first-phase cost ($310,000) of a three-phase project to replace accommodation facilities for 50 military personnel. It entails the demolition and replacement of two medium-sized barracks, one small barrack and four trailers, which house 50 military personnel, by the acquisition and installation of a new 50-person trailer/container system complex.
11. Requirements for replacement and acquisition of vehicles, as detailed in annex II.C ($1,566,700), are substantially lower than those requested for the current period, from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 ($3,950,800), due to the smaller number of vehicles that are scheduled for replacement during the next period.
12. Requirements for an accelerated replacement programme for communications equipment, as detailed in annex II.C ($317,900), are higher than that requested for the current period, from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000 ($154,100). An upward adjustment for funding requirements under spare parts and supplies for communications, and commercial communications takes account of recent actual expenditure experience.
13. Requirements under other equipment, as detailed in annex II.C ($1,001,000) are also higher than that for the current period ($866,200). The increased requirement is mainly owing to (a) an inclusion of the cost of routine replacement of generators during the budgetary period, as detailed in annex II.C (no provision was made for replacement of any generators during the current period, due to the projected receipt of some generators from the United Nations Logistics Base); and (b) requirements for routine replacement and upgrading of essential electronic data-processing equipment, including both hardware and software. The requirement includes the replacement of two COMPAQ servers that have exceeded their life expectancy of five years; purchase of a back-up server for the SUN Finance system; replacement of 20 desktop computers and 6 laptop computers, all of which are more than five years old; installation of the carlog system at three major UNDOF locations, which in turn requires the acquisition of 4 additional desktop computers and 2 additional laptop computers for maintenance of the transport carlog systems; acquisition of 6 desktop computers for battalion use in the area of operations with local area network (LAN) connectivity with UNDOF headquarters; replacement of 2 high-speed network LaserJet IV-Si printers, which have exceeded their life expectancy of five years; and replacement of 50 DeskJet printers with the same number of lower level laser printers.
Supplies and services
14. Based on recent actual expenditure experience, the estimate of $1,351,200 under supplies and services and miscellaneous supplies is $16,200 lower than the current approved amount of $1,367,400.
Air and surface freight
15. The increased requirements under this heading show minimal change (an increase of $4,000) and includes the estimated shipping cost of two contingent-owned equipment ambulances to be delivered to the mission area during the period.
16. The increased estimate under this heading would provide for the training of UNDOF technical and finance staff, as detailed in annex II.A.
Apportionment: $751,400; estimates: $757,400; variance: $6,000
17. The amount budgeted under this heading represents the difference between gross and net emoluments, that is, the amount of staff assessment to which the United Nations staff members are subject, in accordance with the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations. Staff assessment is estimated based on the proposed 38 international posts and 89 local level posts and the 2001 standard cost rates for New York, in accordance with the latest salary scale.
Income from staff assessment
Apportionment: ($751,400); estimates: ($757,400); variance: ($6,000)
18. The staff assessment requirements provided for under expenditure budget line item VII have been credited to this item as income from staff assessment and will be credited to the Tax Equalization Fund established by the General Assembly in its resolution 973 A (X) of 15 December 1955. Member States are given credit in the Fund in proportion to their rates of contribution to the UNDOF budget.
Implementation of previous recommendations of
the Advisory Committee on Administrative and
During the meetings held on 22 and 23 February 1996, on the financing of UNDOF and UNIFIL, the Advisory Committee had requested that information be provided on the estimated cost to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) of direct support to UNDOF and UNIFIL. Since then, the Secretariat has been providing such information on a regular basis. The table below provides updated information for the biennium 2000-2001: