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Fifth Committee considers financing of peacekeeping missions in Democratic Republic of Cong and East Timor

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Press Release - GA/AB/3363 - 20000329
Never before had assurances of security been a condition for sending United Nations peacekeeping forces, as was the case with the Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) was told this morning as it considered the financing of United Nations peacekeeping in that country and in East Timor.

It was unacceptable to subject the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to such a provision, the representative of United Republic of Tanzania continued. Troops needed to be sent precisely because there was a need to normalize the situation. When there had been a similar situation in Kosovo and other regions, no such provision had been included in the Security Council’s resolutions.

Several speakers this morning expressed concern over the stipulation in Council resolution 1291 (2000) that the deployment of MONUC personnel would be carried out only after the Secretary-General had received credible assurances from the parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement regarding adequate security to allow United Nations personnel to carry out their functions.

Where had the United Nations ever sent a peacekeeping force where peace already existed? Uganda’s representative asked. Expressing concern about "foot- dragging", he said that emphasizing the need for peace before an operation could be sent seemed to be a way to marginalize Africa.

On budgetary requests for MONUC, he added, anyone with even the slightest idea of the size, terrain and conditions in the country could appreciate the difficulties that the peacekeepers would go through and would not question the money being requested. The Committee should focus on technical aspects, such as the amounts requested by the Secretary-General, rather than propose arbitrary figures.

Zimbabwe’s representative said that the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement was already under great strain. United Nations involvement would eventually improve the chance for lasting peace. His delegation was concerned about the proposal to deploy within four to six months. The fact that the Lusaka Agreement had "run on its own steam" for so long was indicative of its strength, but it must be supported expeditiously.

Many speakers stressed the importance of MONUC for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the Great Lakes region as a whole. The need to provide adequate resources to ensure the Mission could successfully implement its mandate was stressed by speakers including the representatives of Portugal (for the European Union and associated States) and Australia (speaking also for Canada and New Zealand).

While affirming his delegation’s full support for the goals of the Mission, the representative of the United States said the figures requested by the Secretary-General appeared high. Currently, there were 103 military personnel supported by 97 civilian personnel, which was but a fraction of the authorized 5,537 military staff, plus civilian staff. Even assuming the most favorable circumstances for deployment, he questioned whether the full $200 million being sought would be spent in the next six months. It might be better to agree to the request for authority of up to $200 million while assessing a lesser amount, perhaps $160 million.

During the discussion on East Timor, the representative of Australia said that the Secretariat should not assume that office accommodations in Darwin would continue to be provided rent-free. The Secretariat should build contingency arrangements into the budget of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) for that purpose. Also, he emphasized the importance of training and employment of local staff, because the success of a future administration depended on that. For that reason, UNTAET must give priority to the employment and training of East Timorese people.

Responding, the Director of the Field Administration Logistics Division, Hocine Medili, said the number of general service staff was commensurate with the labor market capabilities in East Timor and the tasks to be performed. It was not now possible to employ East Timorese to perform the complex tasks involved, but replacing staff with East Timorese as soon as possible was a priority.

In reports introduced by the United Nations Controller, Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, the Secretary-General asked for an additional appropriation of $26.5 million and an assessment of $23.2 million for the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) for six months ending in November 1999. For UNTAET, some $386.3 million was being sought for the period from December 1999 through June 2000. For MONUC, commitment authority, and assessment, of $200 million was being sought.

The Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), C.S.M. Mselle, introducing that body’s related reports, recommended acceptance of the requests for UNAMET and MONUC, but said resources for UNTAET should not exceed $350 million.

Also this morning, statements were made by the representatives Norway, Malaysia (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)), China, Nigeria (for the "Group of 77" developing countries and China), Zambia, Zimbabwe

Czech Republic, Algeria, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Latvia, Cyprus, Cameroon, Namibia and Bulgaria.

The Committee also heard from the Director of the Peacekeeping Finance Division in the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, Yeo Bock Cheng.

The Committee is scheduled to meet again on Friday, 31 March at 3 p.m. to conclude its first resumed session.

Committee Work Programme

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to consider the financing of peacekeeping operations in East Timor and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Financing Operations in East Timor

In his report on financing the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) (document A/54/775), the Secretary-General asks the Assembly to appropriate an additional $26.914 million gross (roughly $26.5 million net); and assess some $23.242 million gross (some $22.828 million net). The Assembly is also asked to take note of UNAMET's performance report for the period from 5 May to 30 November 1999, which is in the report.

In resolution 54/20, the General Assembly had approved resources of some $92.466 million gross (almost $90.022 million net) for the period from 5 May to 30 November 1999, inclusive of budgeted voluntary contributions, the report states. With expenditures at some $81.342 million, an unencumbered balance was left of roughly $11.123 million gross (some $10.581 million net). The balance was largely the result of under-implementation of mission activities caused by the political disturbances that followed the popular consultation.

The requested $26.914 million gross represents the difference between overall expenditures of some $81.342 million gross (about $79.441 million net) and the initial appropriation of $54.428 million gross (some $52.941 million net), the report states. The initial appropriation was made up of assessments and budgeted voluntary contributions of some $43.835 million in cash, and $3.439 million in kind.

Annexes to the report show a summary statement of the performance report for UNAMET; supplementary information on significant variances; and voluntary contributions in kind received by UNAMET.

In its related report (document A/54/802), the ACABQ recommends that the Assembly approve an additional appropriation in the amount of almost $26.914 million gross (almost $26.5 million net) and assessment in the amount of close to $23.243 million gross (some $22.828 million net) for the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET).

The ACABQ was informed that total unliquidated obligations amounted to $35.3 million, including $21.7 million under operational activities, $10 million under civilian personnel, $2.1 million under other programmes and $1.5 for military personnel. It was also informed that the Secretariat had not planned for a formal liquidation of the Mission. Assets lost during the political disturbances in East Timor are estimated at $4.1 million. All remaining UNAMET assets have been transferred to UNTAET.

The Committee also had before it the Secretary-General's report on financing the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) (document A/54/769). The proposed UNTAET budget for 1 December 1999 to 30 June 2000 is about $386.341 million gross (about $377.43 million net), inclusive of the $200 million already authorized by the Assembly. Roughly 28.5 per cent of resources relate to civilian personnel costs. Operational costs account for 40.1 per cent of the budget. Military personnel costs are some 28.9 per cent, and staff assessment comprises 2.3 per cent. Less than 1 per cent of the total resources relates to other programmes. Expenditures for 1 December 1999 to 24 February 2000 amount to some $61.26 million, the report notes.

The UNTAET was established by the Security Council on 25 October 1999 and endowed with overall responsibility for East Timor's administration. Its headquarters is in Dili, East Timor, the report notes, with offices in 13 districts. It also has a liaison office in Jakarta and will have a satellite office in Kupang, West Timor, and a logistics base in Darwin, Australia. The mission will consist of 200 military liaison officers, 8,950 troops, 1,640 civilian police, 602 Professional staff, 435 Field Service staff, 148 General Service staff, 1,892 local staff, 13 National Professional Officers and 486 United Nations Volunteers. The proposed staffing table is included in the report.

The mission has three components -- the Office of the Deputy Special Representative for Governance and Public Administration, the Office of the Deputy Special Representative for Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Rehabilitation, and the military component. It is expected that troops will be contributed by Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Fiji, France, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

In related comments by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Question (ACABQ) (document A/54/802), that body notes that virtually no performance date were used in preparing the budget estimates for the period from 1 December 1999 to 30 June 2000. The advance copy of the report was difficult to analyse as it was prepared under great time pressure and without the usual level of intra-Secretariat coordination. Information on standard and mission-specific costs was incomplete, and the narratives in the report do not explain the assumptions being made. Clarifications and additional information were received after the ACABQ report was finalized, and it asked that this information be provided to the Fifth Committee during its review.

The ACABQ recommends that, under the circumstances, the Assembly appropriate some $350 million for 1 December 1999 to 30 June 2000, inclusive of the $200 million already authorized by the Assembly. It also recommends the Assembly authorize assessment of some $150 million for 1 December 1999 to 30 June 2000, taking the $200 million already assessed into account.

It recommends the Secretariat submit the mission budget for 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 in September 2000, taking the results of a planned review. It trusts that the Secretariat will gain performance experience and thus more accurately estimate the mission's requirements for the next financial period.

If additional resources are required for UNTAET before the General Assembly authorizes the 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 budget, the ACABQ recommends that the Secretariat submit a progress report in May 2000 indicating what additional requirements are necessary.

Financing Operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In his report on financing the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)(document A/54/808), the Secretary-General asks for authority to enter into commitments with assessment in an amount of up to $200 million to meet the most immediate anticipated requirements of MONUC. That amount would include the $41 million already authorized by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).

The $200 million is a tentative estimate, the report states. It covers requirements under accommodation ($42 million), transport operations ($50 million), communications ($40 million), air operations ($15 million), equipment ($27 million), and personnel ($26 million). The Secretary-General's concept of operations and requirements for the deployment of the Mission includes a military force of four reinforced protected infantry battalion groups accompanied by 500 military observers, two marine companies and supporting military personnel and equipment, as well as civilian personnel. The Mission includes a multidisciplinary staff in the fields of human rights, humanitarian affairs, public information, medical support, child protection, political affairs and administrative support, which would assist the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in addition to more than 5,500 military personnel and observers.

Prior to deployment, the Secretary-General informed the Council that to be effective, any United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would have to be large and expensive, due to the formidable tasks envisioned for the United Nations under the Lusaka Cease-fire Agreement (July, 1999), the report recalls. While the full resource requirements of MONUC are yet to be determined and its full deployment is subject to political, military and logistical constraints, the Secretary-General stresses that it is imperative that the necessary resources be provided so that immediate steps can be taken to establish the infrastructure for the Mission, acquire equipment and supplies and enter into contractual arrangements in anticipation of the early phased deployment of the Mission's military component and civilian staff.

Currently, MONUC's mandate is through the end of August 2000, the report states. It is charged with a large number of tasks, including monitoring and investigating violations of the Cease-fire Agreement; establishing and maintaining liaison with the field headquarters of all the parties' military forces and supervising and verifying their disengagement and redeployment; facilitating humanitarian assistance; cooperating closely with the Facilitator of the national dialogue and providing support and assistance to him; and deploying mine action experts, coordinating and planning mine action activities, and carrying out emergency activities.

In related comments released the day of the meeting (document A/54/813), the ACABQ recommends that to cover the initial operational requirements of MONUC, the General Assembly should authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments, with assessment, of up to $200 million, including the $41 million already authorized.

Statements on Financing of Peacekeeping Missions

JEAN-PIERRE HALBWACHS, United Nations Controller, introduced the Secretary- General’s reports on financing the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

Regarding financing UNAMET, for the period from 5 May through 30 November, he said expenditures came to $81.342 million against an approved provision of some $92.466 million, leaving an unencumbered balance of some $11.123 million. Taking into account voluntary contributions received in cash and in kind, and the unencumbered balance, an additional appropriation of $26.5 million and an assessment of $23.242 million was being requested.

Regarding UNTAET, he said the ACABQ had already agreed to commitment authority of some $50 million for immediate start-up costs, and then the Assembly had approved a $200 million commitment. The current report contained the full budget for December 1999 through June 2000, amounting to some $386.341 million gross.

Turning then to MONUC, he said the Council had, in February, authorized the expansion of the Mission to more than 5,000 military observers, provided that the Secretary-General determine that there was need, and that it could be accommodated within the overall force, size and structure. That left to the Secretary-General the decision about when to deploy personnel. The plan was to deploy in the next 4-6 months, and for this, preparations must begin now. The country was huge and provided quite a challenge to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. That was why the Secretariat was now requesting commitment authority, and assessment, of $200 million.

CONRAD S.M. MSELLE, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introduced that body’s reports. On UNAMET, he said the numbers in the performance report might be confusing, so he would summarize. The costs for the Mission had been funded from both assessed and extrabudgetary resources. The expenditures totalled $81.342 million out of a commitment of $92.5 million gross authorized by the Assembly. The total expenditures were to be funded through extrabudgetary contributions and assessed contributions. The Assembly had assessed some $7.155 million gross, leaving a balance of $23.641 million to be assessed. The ACABQ recommended that the amount be assessed.

Turning to UNTAET, he said the ACABQ recommended that the amount not exceed $350 million and that it be assessed, he said. The body of the report explained the basis for this recommendation. The Assembly had already authorized commitments and assessed $200 million. The ACABQ was therefore recommending an additional assessment of $150 million, which should be adequate to the end of June 2000.

On MONUC, he said the Secretary-General was requesting commitment and assessment of $200 million and the ACABQ recommended accepting that proposal. He drew attention to comments in the report in paragraphs 4 and 6.

NUNO Brito (Portugal), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the Union had welcomed the establishment of the UNTAET last December. As an integrated, multidimensional operation, UNTAET had a very wide, important and complex mandate. It must ensure security and maintain law and order throughout the territory and it was responsible for the establishment of basic structures of public administration, the development of essential public services and the coordination of all humanitarian activities. Although the mission had established the basic elements of an administrative structure, a number of difficulties on the ground persisted. Today, the East Timorese were struggling with basic humanitarian needs. The situation for the people in refugee camps in West Timor needed to be given the highest priority. It was estimated that 80 per cent of the population was currently without viable means of support.

Clearly, it was of utmost importance that UNTAET was provided with adequate resources in order to successfully fulfil its mandate, he continued. It was essential to establish effective communication with the population. In that regard, the Union reiterated to those States that had announced pledges during the Tokyo Conference, the importance of making their contributions available as soon as possible. He looked forward to the second pledging conference on East Timor, to take place in Lisbon, in June.

Turning to the observations of the ACABQ on the structure of governance and public administration for East Timor, he expressed hope that further information would be provided by the Secretary-General in the context of his next report on the Mission, due to be issued in May. The Union concurred with the ACABQ recommendation that an appropriation for UNTAET in the amount of $350 million, inclusive of the $200 million authorized by the General Assembly in its resolution 54/246, be authorized, and that the Assembly authorize an additional assessment of $150 million.

HENRY FOX (Australia), speaking also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, said that the three delegations strongly supported the important Mission in East Timor and welcomed the Secretary-General’s report. According to the report, "It is assumed that the Government of Australia will continue to provide rent-free office space in Darwin". Those accommodations were being provided by the Government of the Northern Territory, and not the Government of Australia. The Secretariat should not assume that those accommodations would continue to be provided rent-free and thus should build contingency arrangements into the present and future UNTAET budgets for that purpose.

In its report, the ACABQ had raised a number of concerns, including about performance data and estimates, he continued. That had led the Advisory Committee to recommend a somewhat lower budget of $350 million. Given the newness of the Mission, the lack of data that was not surprising. However, UNTAET should continue to focus properly on its requirements and to further refine them. Concerning the recommendations in relation to the handling of the budget for UNTAET for the 12 months from July 2000 to June 2001, he said that it was his understanding that it would not preclude the Secretariat from bringing forward a progress report in May to seek resources for the six-month period from July to December 2000, if that proved necessary. He would like Mr. Mselle to confirm that understanding.

The delegations he represented supported the recommendations of the ACABQ for the funding of UNTAET to 30 June 2000. That Mission had been entrusted with the responsibility of providing a transitional administration for East Timor. He attached great importance to the training and employment by UNTAET of local staff, recognizing that the success and viability of a future administration depended on that important function. He urged UNTAET to give priority to the employment and training of East Timorese people. In view of the continuing law enforcement concerns, he also supported the suggestion of the ACABQ that top priority be accorded by the Secretariat and by Member States to the quick and full deployment of civilian police.

Noting the broad support for UNTAET from the international community, he said that countries from all regions of the world were represented in the Mission. In terms of the military component alone, 32 countries had contributed personnel. He welcomed such a commitment. The international donor community had also responded generously to the needs of East Timor. However, he noted with concern that of the $200 million appropriated by the General Assembly in December, only 65 per cent had been received by 21 March 2000. He urged all Member States to pay their assessed contributions to that and other missions as soon as possible. He also urged countries to ensure that pledges made to the UNTAET Voluntary Trust Fund for East Timor be made in full and promptly. The delegations he represented also supported the request for an additional appropriation of $26 million for the earlier East Timor Mission, UNAMET, for the period to 30 November 1999.

ANNE MERCHANT (Norway) said her delegation supported the ACABQ’s recommendation to appropriate $350 million for the period from 1 December 1999 to 30 June 2000, inclusive of the $200 million already authorized. It further supported the ACABQ’s recommendation to increase the number of national professional officers and United Nations Volunteers.

The economic and social conditions in East Timor remained a primary concern, she said. High unemployment rates and high prices were threatening social stability. Human security must be ensured and refugees allowed to return home in a safe and orderly manner. Reiterating her country’s support for the United Nations work in East Timor, she said that in addition to providing support through the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, it had agreed to contribute $1.2 million to the Trust Fund for East Timor since its establishment last October. Other donors should also contribute.

SITI HAJJAR ADNIN (Malaysia), also speaking for the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), stressed the importance of ensuring that adequate funds were made available to the Secretary-General to enable him to discharge the responsibilities entrusted to him through the Security Council and the General Assembly. While, in principle, the ASEAN could go along with the ACABQ’s recommendation in paragraph 42 of document A/54/804, it sought assurances that this would not adversely affect the implementation of UNTAET’s mandate, or the level and number of posts proposed by the Secretary-General. The ASEAN supported the assessment proposals for UNAMET.

ROYAL WHARTON (United States) said his delegation fully supported the goals and objectives of the operations in East Timor, and supported the ACABQ’s recommendations on this important question. But he had a few questions. The staffing table showed that 158 general service personnel - 21 of whom were at the principal level - were being assigned to UNTAET. The General Assembly had repeatedly requested that the Secretariat reduce the numbers of general service staff at existing peacekeeping operations, replacing them when feasible with local personnel as a cost-cutting measures. Why was the number of general service personnel on this mission so high? he asked. What would be done in the future to identify general service posts for conversion to local posts?

Regarding the report’s table dealing with air and surface freight, he noted that $19.1 million was budgeted for transporting contingent-owned equipment. But such equipment costs were only estimated at $16.3 million, in that same table. The reason that shipping costs were so high should be clarified.

On transportation operations, the report stated that 633 vehicles would be acquired for $14.8 million. How would those vehicles be procured? he asked. Would the Secretariat obtain those vehicles under a "systems contract", as it had done in other missions, thereby lessening the costs to the Organization?

SUN MINQIN (China), associating her delegation with the statement made on behalf of ASEAN, fully supported the recommendations made by the ACABQ and believed that the current situation in East Timor had been obtained by means of hard efforts. She supported the responsibility of the Mission to ensure stability and protect the population. She expressed hope that the civilian police would be deployed soon and said that adequate funds must be provided for the operation.

HASSAN MOHAMMED HASSAN (Nigeria), speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, agreed with the comments and recommendations of the ACABQ contained in the reports before the Committee and said that his delegation was looking forward to the future reports of the Secretariat.

Responding to questions raised in the discussion, YEO BOCK CHENG, Director of the Peacekeeping Finance Division in the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, said that the Secretariat had already submitted a maintenance budget until June 2001 based on the operational requirements before the Committee. Following a review about to be undertaken by the Secretary-General regarding the security situation, there was a possibility that in May, the Committee would be informed about the consequential impact of the military component of the Mission. However, it was expected that any such review would not likely be forthcoming until late in June. Unless something dramatic happened, just a short note would be sent to the Committee in May, that there was no basis for changing the assumptions. A provisional report would then be submitted to the Assembly.

Regarding the rent-free space in Darwin, he said that at the time of the preparation of the budget, no new information had been received in that respect. If it became necessary, the adjustments would have to be made. Turning to another question, he said that recommendations of the ACABQ would require the reduction of estimates of about $13 million. As a result of slippages in deployment and updated rations, there had already been a reduction. The ACABQ recommended dollar amount would not negatively affect the operation. The post levels would be reviewed, and that left the Secretariat a measure of flexibility. He felt the recommendations before the Committee would not affect the operation.

HOCINE MEDILI, Director of the Field Administration Logistics Division, said he would link his response to the United States question on the use of general service staff with the comments made by Australia urging UNTAET to give priority to the training of East Timorese. Currently, it was not possible to employ East Timorese to perform the complex tasks involved. The number of general service staff was commensurate with the labor market capabilities in East Timor, and the tasks to be performed, and would contribute to the training of local staff. Replacement of these staff by East Timorese as soon as possible would be a priority.

The cost of transportation included the costs of units not in theater, he said, including engineering units. The costs regarded the transportation of those units. Equipment costs only reflected costs to 30 June. While the movement of contingent-owned equipment was a one-time expenditure, the cost of the wet lease would continue. Because of the requirements of right-hand drive vehicles, the contract in place for acquisition could not be used. Procurement had been done as if on an ad hoc basis. Now the vehicles had been procured and deliveries were ongoing, which would be of great use to the civilian police. Mr. MSELLE, Chairman of the Advisory Committee, responded to a query about his earlier statement on the ACABQ’s recommendation on handling estimates for UNTAET for the period 1 July 2000 through 30 June 2001. In his statement, he had said that the ACABQ requested that the Secretariat provide a progress report to it in May 2000, so that the ACABQ would report to the General Assembly, also in May, on additional resources for the mission, pending the examination of the estimates for the financial period.

EDUARDO RAMOS (Portugal), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said that his delegation strongly supported the Secretary- General’s efforts to bring lasting peace to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In order for a United Nations peacekeeping Mission to be effective, it would have to be provided with adequate financial resources. While the resource requirement for the mission had yet to be determined, the formidable tasks envisioned for the United Nations under the Lusaka Agreement required adequate preparations and subsequent financial support. The wide scope of MONUC’s mandate included the monitoring of the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement and investigating its violations, maintaining a continuous liaison with all field military headquarters; facilitating humanitarian assistance and developing emergency mine action activities.

In that regard, he said, the Union commended the Secretary-General for his report and concurred with the ACABQ’s recommendation that the General Assembly authorize him to enter into commitment with assessment for MONUC in an amount not exceeding $200 million, inclusive of the $41 million already authorized by the Assembly.

Mr. FOX (Australia), speaking also for Canada and New Zealand, strongly supported the request for commitment authority with assessment for $200 million. The Mission marked an important step forward in the peace process and should be provided with resources to fulfil its mandate. The delegations he spoke for had long advocated that peacekeeping missions should be provided with adequate financial resources to achieve the tasks set out for them. The Secretary-General, in a report to the Security Council, had noted the size of the Mission and the complexity of the task before it. A full assessment for the amount of $200 million would improve the ability of the United Nations to fulfil the mandate it had before it.

Mr. WHARTON (United States) affirmed his delegation’s full support for the goals of the Mission. In the Security Council, the United States had set as high priority the achievement of peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. United Nations resources devoted to that purpose should be used to the maximum effect.

On the surface, the figure requested by the Secretary-General and endorsed by the ACABQ appeared high, he said. His delegation understood that the requested amount would cover a period of just a little over six months. Presently, there were only 103 military personnel supported by 97 civilian personnel - only a fraction of the authorized 5,537 military staff, plus civilian staff. He asked what the deployment schedule was, under optimistic projections. How many troops would be deployed next month and monthly thereafter? he asked. Even under the most favourable circumstances, would the full $200 million be spent over the next six months? It might be better to agree to the request for authority of up to $200 million while providing a lesser amount, perhaps $160 million, in assessments.

Ms. MERCHANT (Norway) strongly supported the Secretary-General’s efforts to bring peace to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although the full resource requirements had yet to be determined, and MONUC’s full deployment was subject to political, military and logistical constraints, the enormous task for the United Nations required adequate financial support. Norway supported the proposals that the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to enter into commitments totalling $200 million gross, including the $41 million already authorized by the ACABQ.

The peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was crucial for the country itself and to ensure lasting peace and development in the Great Lakes region, she said. Her Government had decided to contribute $1.2 million to the United Nations Trust Fund in support of the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, intended to support the mediation efforts of Sir Ketumile Masire, facilitator for the inter-Congolese political dialogue, as well as the demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, particularly of child soldiers.

MATHIAS DAKA (Zambia) associated himself with the statement by Nigeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and said that his delegation attached great importance to the Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in view of the role his country played in seeking a solution in that country. He supported the recommendations before the Committee and agreed that advance arrangements needed to be made. He also wanted to thank the Member States for their support for the efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

LOVEMORE MAZEMO (Zimbabwe) said that the small effect that the United Nations had so far had in the Democratic Republic of the Congo placed the Lusaka Accord under great strain. He hoped that the eventual United Nations involvement would improve the chance for lasting peace in that country. His delegation was concerned about the suggestions that deployment was considered within four to six months. The Lusaka Agreement needed to be supported expeditiously. The fact that it had "run on its own steam" for so long was indicative of its strength. He supported the request for funding and the recommendations of the ACABQ contained in its report. He was looking forward to the detailed budget proposals and wished to express gratitude to the members of the international community, which had supported the efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mr. STRUCKA (Czech Republic) said that his country aligned itself with the statement made by Portugal on behalf of the European Union.

Mr. BOUHADOU (Algeria) supported the statement by Nigeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and expressed full support for the authorization of funds for the deployment of the important mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also supported the recommendations of the ACABQ regarding the fact that locally available expertise should be used, as well as the recommendation implying the need to learn the lessons of the past and make use of local contractors.

SUN MINQIN (China) said that her delegation fully agreed with the statement on behalf of the Group of 77. Her Government had always attached great importance to the Africa question and supported the peace process there. The MONUC would play a very important role in maintaining stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She therefore supported the expansion of the Mission and endorsed the recommendations of the ACABQ to the effect that authority should be given to the Secretary-General to commit the amount not exceeding $200 million, inclusive of the amount of $41 million already authorized by the ACABQ.

PARK HAE-YUN (Republic of Korea) attached great importance to the mandate of MONUC. Though the full resource requirements were yet to be determined, the tasks were important and should be provided with adequate financial resources, so his delegation supported authorizing the Secretary-General to enter into requirements not exceeding $200 million. His delegation looked forward to the submission of full budgetary requirements.

NESTER ODAGA-JALOYMAYO (Uganda) appreciated the support expressed by a number of speakers for the peacekeeping operation and their emphasis on the need for adequate financial resources. For obvious reasons, his delegation had particular attachment to the operation.

The operation must be provided with adequate resources, just as all other operations were, he said. He thanked all those who had joined efforts to ensure that a United Nations peacekeeping force be sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the sake of peace in the country and the Great Lakes Region.

The "foot-dragging" that had been witnessed regarding this Mission was a bit of a concern, he said. Member States had repeatedly been told that the United Nations could only send a peacekeeping operation to a country when peace had been restored. But delegations had yet to be informed of where the United Nations had ever sent a peacekeeping force where there was peace. Always emphasizing the need for peace before an operation could be sent was one of the ways used to marginalize Africa.

Anyone who had an idea of the size and terrain of the Democratic Republic of the Congo could appreciate the difficulties that the peacekeepers would go through, he said. Anyone with even the slightest idea of the conditions there would not question the money being requested. Proposing arbitrary figures would not be useful to the Mission. The Committee should be technical, and focus on the amounts requested by the Secretary-General. He hoped the amount would be approved.

AHMED DARWISH (Egypt) supported statements made by the Group of 77, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. All necessary financial and human resources should be provided to make the Mission successful. Egypt attached great importance to the Mission and supported the recommendations contained in the report of the ACABQ.

BAIBA RUDZITIS-PINNIS (Latvia) said her delegation aligned itself with the statement made for the European Union.

DEMETRIOS THEOPHYLACTOU (Cyprus) also aligned his delegation with the Union’s statement.

MUHAMMAD YUSSUF (United Republic of Tanzania) associated himself with the statement made by the representative of Uganda. He said that according to the Secretary-General’s report, the phased deployment of MONUC personnel would be carried out if the Secretary-General determined that the personnel would be able to deploy to their assigned locations and after he received firm and credible assurances of the parties to the Ceasefire Agreement to that effect. However, he did not think it would be easy to obtain such information. The situation in the country was still very tense. There was no other mission where the United Nations

forces had been sent only after assurances on the security situation had been received.

The troops needed to be sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo because there was a need to normalize the situation in the first place, he continued. To say that the Secretary-General needed a "firm commitment" was incorrect, for it would be impossible to get such a commitment from the parties to the conflict. The delegates knew that when there was a similar situation in Kosovo and other regions, no such provision had been included in the Security Council resolution. The fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was subjected to such a provision was unacceptable. He fully supported the recommendations of the ACABQ and believed that it was necessary to deploy troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo "the sooner the better".

EKORONG A DONG PAUL (Cameroon) stressed that his delegation was concerned by the conditions surrounding the operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and agreed with the statement by Uganda. His delegation supported the recommendations of the ACABQ and expressed gratitude for the support to the efforts undertaken to bring peace to the Democratic Republic.

GEBHARD KANDANGA (Namibia) aligned himself with the position of the Group of 77 and China on the financing of the three missions and said that his delegation supported the recommendations of the ACABQ regarding the financing of MONUC. He was concerned about the suggestions to reduce the proposed amount and urged all delegations to support the provision of assessment of $200 million as proposed by the Secretary-General.

ZVETOLYUB P. BASMAJIEV (Bulgaria) said that his country aligned itself with the statement by the representative of Portugal on behalf of the European Union.

Mr. YEO said the United States representative had asked whether the proposed assessment of $200 million to accompany the commitment authority in the same amount was overstated. In his view, it was not. The United Nations had a fairly good sense of the areas in which such expenditures would be required. The request was to set the wheels in motion for Member States to provide funds. It normally took an average of three months after assessment before the first monies were received.

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