25 December 2012

Africa: UN General Assembly Wraps Up Main Part of 67th Session

Capping off days of intense negotiations, the General Assembly concluded the main part of its sixty-seventh session with the adoption of nearly two dozen texts recommended by its administrative and budgetary committee, also known as the Fifth Committee.

When the 193-member body met Monday evening, it took action on a range of resolutions, covering the rates Member States will pay for the regular and peacekeeping budgets over the next three years, as well as the United Nations pension system and the proposed 2013 budget for 33 political missions.

Acting by consensus, the Assembly retained the existing formula for assessing Member States' financial contributions to the UN regular budget and its peacekeeping operations during the 2013-2015 period.

It also maintained the 0.01 per cent ceiling for assessing the rate of least developed countries (LDCs) and the 22 per cent maximum assessment rate for all other countries.

On the issue of peacekeeping assessments - where each Member State is assigned to 1 of 10 levels, with corresponding discount rates - the Assembly adopted a consensus text, taking note of updates to those levels, as suggested by the Secretary-General. Noting the need for reform, the Assembly decided to review the structure of the assessment scale during its seventieth session.

Regarding budgetary matters, Member States approved a little over $566 million to keep 33 special political missions running next year.

Noting that the more than 300 draft resolutions and decisions adopted since September ran the gamut of contemporary global challenges, Assembly President Vuk Jeremić told delegations last Friday that "what happens in one part of the world invariably affects us all."

It was with that in mind, he said, that he had chosen "bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means" as the session's overarching theme. "In these tumultuous times, the enormity of this challenge is evident," he said.

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