22 December 2018: As it concluded the main part of the 73rd session, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted 16 texts recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). The approved drafts include decisions on management and on the scales of assessments for the regular budget and peacekeeping operations, which set out UN Member States’ “collective responsibilities to finance the Organization for 2019-2021,” as highlighted by UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces.

Espinosa congratulated Fifth Committee delegates for concluding their work “fashionably on time,” noting that finalizing their work on 22 December is the Committee’s best record in the past decade. She welcomed the adoption of a resolution that approved an additional appropriation of the UN Secretariat’s share for the Resident Coordinator (RC) system, which she said reflects Member States’ support for a “reinvigorated and independent” system. Changes to the RC system are part of an overall set of reforms taking place in the UN development system to better align it with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On management, the UNGA adopted a resolution titled, ‘Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations: Comparative assessment of human resources structures’ (A/C.5/73/L.14). The Assembly approves proposals by the Secretary-General on this topic, and emphasizes the need for “regular and direct engagement” between the Department of Operational Support and the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance. The Assembly had approved the creation of the two departments, which were proposed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in July 2018.

On the scale of assessments for the peacekeeping operations, the US emphasized that no single Member State should pay more than a quarter of the UN’s budget. The US added that the lack of agreement on a 25% ceiling will result in a 3% shortfall in the UN peacekeeping budget, as the US will pay no more than 25% of peacekeeping expenses. Going forward, the US underlined that she will keep calling for more equitable financial burden sharing, and said discounts for wealthy countries should be eliminated.

On the scale of assessments for the regular budget, China pointed out that the new scale of assessments means that China will become the second-largest contributor to the regular budget, after the US.

On human resources management, Uganda, for the African Group, expressed regret over the lack of a pronouncement by the Committee on issues such as equitable geographical representation and gender parity. [UN meeting coverage, Fifth Committee] [UN meeting coverage, UNGA plenary] [UNGA President’s remarks]