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Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East:
United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established for an initial period of six months by the Security Council in its resolution 350 (1974) of 31 May 1974. The mandate of the Force has subsequently been extended by the Council in various resolutions, the latest of which is resolution 1081 (1996) of 27 November 1996, by which the mandate of the Force was extended until 31 May 1997.
2. For the financing of UNDOF, the General Assembly, in its resolution 50/20 B of 7 June 1996, appropriated the amount of $32,254,900 gross ($31,342,900 net) for the maintenance of the Force for the period from 1 July 1996 to 30 June 1997, inclusive of the amount of $760,900 for the support account for peacekeeping operations. These amounts were to be assessed at the monthly rate of $2,687,908 gross ($2,611,908 net), subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force beyond 31 May 1996.
3. Following the extension of the mandate of UNDOF by the Security Council from 1 December 1996 to 31 May 1997, an amount of $15,154,348 gross ($14,698,348 net) was assessed on Member States after the crediting of the unencumbered balance of $1,207,700 gross ($973,100 net) for the period from 1 December 1994 to 30 November 1995, pursuant to General Assembly decision 51/438 of 16 December 1996.
II. Political mandate
4. The Protocol to the Agreement on Disengagement (S/11302/Add.1, annexes I and II) which was concluded between Israel and Syria requires UNDOF 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.
III. Operational plan and requirements
5. 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 1 kilometre in the extreme south. The terrain is hilly and is dominated in the north by Mount Hermon which dictates the use of special vehicles designed for these type of road and terrain conditions. The highest United Nations position is at 2,800 metres altitude. The area of separation is inhabited and is policed by the Syrian authorities. No military forces other than UNDOF are permitted within it.
6. 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 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.
7. 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.
8. First-line logistic support is internal to the contingents and includes transport of supplies to the positions. Second-line logistic support is provided by a logistics battalion and the third-line support is provided through normal supply channels by the United Nations. Damascus international airport serves as UNDOF's air head, along with Tel Aviv international airport. The seaports of Latakia and Haifa are used for sea shipments. Most requirements of the Force are procured locally in the mission area.
9. 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 by night on predetermined routes.
10. On each side of the area of separation there is one area of limitation with three zones, one 0-10 kilometres, one 10-20 kilometres and one 20-25 kilometres wide. UNDOF inspects these areas every two weeks in order to ascertain that the agreed limitations in armaments and forces are being observed.
11. With a military strength of some 1,036 all ranks and a support civilian component of 120 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.
12. The harsh terrain over which the Force operates results in less than normal life-spans for vehicles and other related equipment.
IV. Financial administration
A. Financial period
13. A financial period for UNDOF was established by the General Assembly in its decision 35/416 of 1 December 1980 covering the 12-month period from 1 December of one year to 30 November of the following year. In accordance with part I of General Assembly resolution 49/233 A of 23 December 1994, a new financial period, covering 12 months beginning on 1 July of one year and terminating on 30 June of the following year, became effective 1 July 1996.
B. Resources made available and operating costs from inception to 31 May 1997
14. As at 20 January 1997, total resources made available to the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF)/UNDOF from inception to 31 May 1997 amounted to $1,164.9 million (gross). Of that amount, credits returned to Member States amounted to $20.4 million. The estimated expenditures amount to $1,143.4 million gross ($1,127.0 million net). There is an unencumbered balance of $1,129,300 gross ($1,066,700 net) for the period from 1 December 1995 to 30 June 1996 as reported in document A/51/405/Add.1. Detailed information is presented in annex V.
C. Status of assessed contributions
15. Amounts totalling $1,126.5 million in respect of UNDOF and UNEF have been assessed on Member States for the period from inception to 31 May 1997. Contributions received as at 31 January 1997 for the same period amounted to $1,066.6 million. In addition, outstanding assessments were reduced by an amount of $4.2 million pursuant to General Assembly resolution 50/83 of 15 December 1995. The outstanding balance of $59.9 million includes an amount of $36 million transferred to a special account in accordance with General Assembly resolution 36/116 A of 10 December 1981.
D. Voluntary contributions and trust funds
16. The General Assembly, in paragraph 12 of its resolution 50/20 B, invited voluntary contributions to UNDOF both in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General. No voluntary contribution has been received for the period under review. The Government of Switzerland has continued to make available to UNDOF air ambulance service for the repatriation of personnel wounded or taken ill in the performance of their duties, as and when required. This service was not utilized during the period from 1 January to 31 December 1996.
17. On 14 February 1996, a trust fund to support the activities of UNDOF was established for the purpose of providing additional support to the activities of UNDOF. The Government of Japan has provided amounts totalling $221,341 to date. This amount has been authorized for expenditure.
18. The General Assembly, in several of its resolutions, the first of which was 33/13 E of 14 December 1978, suspended the provisions of regulations 5.2 (b), 5.2 (d), 4.3 and 4.4 of the Financial Regulations of the United Nations in respect of those amounts that otherwise would have to be surrendered pursuant to the provisions and directed that those amounts be held in suspense pending a further decision by the Assembly. The total amount placed in suspense for the period up to 30 November 1991, following the adoption of Assembly resolution 47/204 of 22 December 1992, was $64.9 million.
19. It may also be recalled that the General Assembly, in its resolution 36/116 A, decided to transfer the balance of assessed contributions of $36.0 million due from a Member State to a special account. Furthermore, under the terms of General Assembly resolution 50/83 of 15 December 1995, the amounts held in suspense were reduced by $15.3 million to partially offset the waiver of South Africa's unpaid contributions to various peacekeeping operations for the period from 30 September 1974 to 23 June 1994. After adjusting for the amounts of $36.0 million and $15.3 million, the net balance in suspense will amount to $13.6 million.
20. The audited financial statement as at 31 December 1995 covering the period from 1 December 1993 to 30 November 1994 shows that there is a surplus balance of $2,358,000, consisting of excess of income over expenditure for the 12-month period from 1 December 1993 to 30 November 1994, owing to interest income ($943,000), miscellaneous income ($328,000) and unutilized prior obligations ($1,087,000).
V. Status of reimbursement to troop-contributing Governments
21. As of 31 December 1996, troops were provided by Austria, Canada, Poland and Japan. Full reimbursement in accordance with the standard rates established by the General Assembly for troop costs has been made to these States up to 31 May 1996. It is estimated that an amount of $8.8 million is due for troop costs for the period ending 31 January 1997.
22. In the past, troops were also provided to the Force by Finland, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Peru.
VI. Signature of a status-of-forces agreement
23. No status-of-forces agreement is in force. However, by 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.
VII. Cost estimates for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998
24. As shown in annex I, column 2, the cost of maintaining the Force for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998 is estimated at $32,368,000 gross ($31,466,000 net). Some 59 per cent of these amounts is based on standard cost ratios and costs contained in the Standard Ratio and Costs Manual, while 41 per cent covers mission-specific requirements. These mission-specific requirements relate to the items described in annex II, section A.
25. For comparison purposes, the approved resources for the prior 12-month period from 1 July 1996 to 30 June 1997 amounting to $31,494,000 gross ($30,582,000 net), are shown in column 1. A breakdown of the proposed budget by non-recurrent and recurrent costs are shown in columns 3 and 4, respectively. Non-recurrent costs amount to $2,517,000 gross and net while recurrent costs amount to $29,851,000 gross ($28,949,000 net).
26. Supplementary information on the cost estimates is presented in annex II. Section A provides mission-specific cost parameters, while non-recurrent requirements are provided in section B and a supplementary explanation on the cost estimates is provided in section C.
27. The proposed budget reflects an overall increase of $874,000 gross in comparison with the resources provided for the operation of the Force for the prior 12-month period from 1 July 1996 to 30 June 1997. The increase arises mainly from requirements for the leasing of contingent-owned equipment under the new programme for reimbursement to troop-contributing Governments, for the replacement of vehicles, communications equipment and data-processing equipment and under vehicle third-party liability insurance.
VIII. Staffing requirements
28. The current and proposed staffing is shown in the table below. There are no proposed changes in the staffing requirements during the budgeted period. The detailed breakdown of the staffing table is contained in annex IV.
Current and proposed staffing table
IX. Observations and comments on previous recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
29. In paragraph 8 of its report (A/51/684), the Advisory Committee noted that military observers from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) had been deployed in UNDOF from the beginning of the mission. In paragraph 9 of the same report, the Advisory Committee expressed the view that the budget of UNDOF, as well as that of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), was understated by those amounts that were charged to the regular budget in relation to UNTSO. In that regard, the Advisory Committee requested the Secretary-General to submit proposals to the General Assembly, through the Advisory Committee, on how to deal with the situation.
30. The Secretary-General has considered the request of the Advisory Committee. Bearing in mind the mandates approved by the Security Council in respect of UNTSO, UNDOF and UNIFIL, which are still in force and have not been revised by the Security Council, the Secretary-General has no proposals to put forward at the present stage.
31. It may be recalled that information on UNTSO estimated support costs to UNDOF and UNIFIL for the biennium 1996-1997 was provided by the Secretariat to the Advisory Committee during its consideration of the financing of UNDOF and UNIFIL and was reflected in annex I to the Advisory Committee's report (A/51/684). Information relating to 1997 has been updated and is shown in annex VI to the present report. For comparison purposes, column 1 of the annex provides the original estimates for 1997 ($9,952,400) while column 2 shows the revised estimates ($9,526,300).
X. Action to be taken by the General Assembly at its fifty-first session
32. The actions to be taken by the General Assembly at its fifty-first session in connection with the financing of UNDOF are as follows:
(a) The appropriation of the amount of $32,368,000 gross ($31,466,000 net) for the 12-month period beginning 1 July 1997, to be assessed at the monthly rate of $2,697,333 gross ($2,622,166 net), subject to the extension(s) of the Force by the Security Council;
(b) A decision to credit Member States the surplus balance of $2,358,000 for the period from 1 December 1993 to 30 November 1994 against their assessments in respect of such future mandate periods as may be approved by the Security Council.
Supplementary information on the cost estimates for the period
from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998
A. Mission-specific cost parameters
B. Requirements for non-recurrent costs
(United States dollars)
C. Supplementary explanation
1. Emplacement, rotation and repatriation of troops . Provision is made for the cost of rotating contingents upon completion of their tour of duty of approximately six months' duration and for the cost of repatriating individual members of the Force for commercial, compassionate, medical or other reasons. This estimate also includes the cost of chartered aircraft as well as transportation between airports of arrival/departure, baggage services and ground handling charges. The reduced requirement compared with the previous amounts budgeted under this heading was due to the fact that there have been significant savings under this heading for the last two periods as a result of more favourable rates obtained for both commercial and government aircraft.
2. Contingent-owned equipment . The estimate includes provision for the wet lease cost of 22 military pattern vehicles (4 2.5-5 ton cargo trucks; 5 jeep type cargo trucks; 1 snow blower; 3 over snow; 1 6-10 ton cargo truck; 1 light, front loader; 1 medium bulldozer; 1 medium, mobile crane; 1 excavator; 1 trailer truck; and 1 heavy transporter) assumed to be leased by the United Nations during the budget period in accordance with the new procedure for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment ($368,000). This estimate is based on the available lease rates provided in document A/C.5/49/70. If a new contingent-owned equipment programme is not effected, the cost for direct purchase of the above-mentioned military vehicles will be $2.5 million.
3. In addition, the estimate under this heading provides for partial payment to troop-contributing Governments of the cost of contingent-owned equipment furnished to their contingents at the request of the United Nations ($52,500). The estimated cost is based on the former approved general guidelines, which provide for payment over a period of 4 years or a period of 10 years. After full payment has been made the ownership of an item vests in the United Nations unless otherwise agreed upon for specific items.
4. Death and disability compensation . This estimate provides for the reimbursement to troop-contributing Governments for payments made by them to members of their military personnel for death, injury, disability or illness resulting from service with UNDOF, based on past experience.
5. Other travel costs under civilian personnel cost . The cost estimate includes provision for travel and subsistence allowance for two internal auditors for two trips between New York and the mission area ($7,000) and subsistence allowance for 14 days ($6,440). It also includes provision for the travel and subsistence expenses of the Force Commander ($6,720) and the Chief Administrative Officer ($6,720) to New York for consultations.
6. International staff salaries . Salaries and common staff costs of internationally recruited staff are estimated on the basis of the 1997 standard cost rates for New York while local salaries reflect the scale currently applicable in the mission area. The estimate provides for 36 international and 84 local staff for the 12-month period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998.
7. General temporary assistance . Provision is made for the replacement of locally recruited staff on maternity and extended sick leave.
8. Vehicle insurance . Increases from $196 to $425 per civilian pattern vehicle per annum and from $250 to $286 per military pattern vehicle per annum in worldwide vehicle third-party liability insurance premium rates for the Middle East area, effective 1 June 1996.
9. Data-processing equipment . No budgetary provision has been made for the replacement of data-processing equipment since the 1992-1993 financial period. As a result, all data-processing equipment in UNDOF will be more than five years old during the forthcoming financial period, hence the requirements requested.
10. United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi . No provision is made under this heading since the budget of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi will be presented separately to the General Assembly.
11. Support account for peacekeeping operations . No provision is made under this heading since the budget for the support account will be presented separately to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session.
12. Air and surface freight . This estimate provides for the cost of shipping and handling of supplies and equipment for which no provision has been made elsewhere.
13. Staff assessment . The estimate represents the difference between gross and net emoluments, that is, the amount of staff assessment to which United Nations staff members are subject, in accordance with the Staff Regulations of the United Nations.
14. Income from staff assessment . Staff assessment requirements provided for under expenditure line item 19 have been credited to this item as income from staff assessment and are credited to the Tax Equalization Fund established by the General Assembly in resolution 973 A (X) of 5 December 1955. Member States are given credit in the Fund in proportion to their respective rates of contribution to the UNDOF budget.
15. Other income . Included under this heading is the estimated income to be derived from the sale of obsolete or surplus equipment and stores.
Resources made available and operating costs for the period
from inception to 31 May 1997
as at 31 January 1997
(Millions of United States dollars)
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization:
estimated support costs to the United Nations
Disengagement Observer Force for the period
from 1 January to 31 December 1997
(Thousands of United States dollars)