General Assembly Adopts $3.4 Billion Programme Budget for 2023, Approves Permanent Shift to Annual Cycle, Concluding Main Part of Seventy-Seventh Session
Texts on Common System, Financing of Human Rights Mechanisms, International Tax Cooperation among 24 Resolutions, 2 Decisions Adopted
Concluding the main part of its seventy-seventh session, the General Assembly today adopted 24 resolutions and 2 decisions, including a $3.4 billion budget for 2023 and an annual budget cycle as part of the Organization’s financial framework.
Adopting a wide-range of drafts recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the Assembly approved resources for 2023 supporting, among other things, the United Nations common system; financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals; and administration of justice.
It also shifted the Organization’s management paradigm by approving, without a vote, a resolution which confirmed the end of the three-year trial period that began with the 2020 fiscal year when the Organization moved from a biennial to an annual budget cycle. In presenting his budget to the Fifth Committee in October, Secretary-General António Guterres said this move would improve the accuracy of resource estimates, enable the Organization to adapt more quickly to mandate changes and allow Member States the opportunity to provide more frequent direction on resource allocations while aligning decisions with recent or sudden events, such as the global pandemic.
Following the defeat of several oral amendments — including of the Russian Federation on the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in investigating and prosecuting the most serious crimes committed in Syria, and of Ethiopia concerning revised estimates of the Human Rights Council — a number of States notably decried the decision to include financing for the Mechanism, despite resolutions on the Organization’s programme planning and budget being adopted as a whole without a vote. Speakers from the Russian Federation, China, Syria, Cuba, Iran, among others, dissociated themselves from references to the Mechanism as delegates from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and several others also dissociated from budgetary estimates of the Council.
Earlier in the session, the Assembly decided that Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia were permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of the current session; delivered $3.52 million to the Secretary-General to ease global food insecurity by facilitating the implementation of two key initiatives aimed at bringing agricultural commodities from Ukraine and the Russian Federation to world markets and countries in need; and appropriated $131.35 million from the 2022 programme budget for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Marinko Avramović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee, reminded in his presentation of that Committee’s reports.
In thanking delegates for preventing a shutdown, Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, congratulated States for prioritizing the Organization’s needs and ensuring adequate financing to respond to the world’s many interlocking crises. “Our 8 billion stakeholders are expecting from us solutions,” he said, stressing that “they might have found it difficult to understand any other direction of events when the world needs multilateral solutions more than ever”.
At the outset, the Assembly took up several draft resolutions and decisions which had been postponed to allow the Fifth Committee time to review programme budgetary implications. It adopted without a vote three draft resolutions of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) on international tax cooperation — while rejecting a draft amendment on that topic by a vote of 73 against to 50 in favour with 21 abstentions — and issues and concerns related to landlocked developing countries and small island developing States; one draft resolution of the Sixth Committee (Legal) on the exchange of views on draft articles on crimes against humanity; and its draft resolution on the investigation into the conditions and circumstances surrounding Dag Hammarskjöld’s tragic death.
By a recorded vote of 87 in favour to 26 against, with 53 abstentions, the Assembly also adopted draft resolution I contained in the report of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) on “Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories”. Several delegations spoke in explanation of vote, with the representatives of the United Kingdom and Romania stressing that asking the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion would not settle the conflict, while the representative of Malta underscored that all parties should have recourse to judicial organs.
Turning to the reports of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and the drafts contained therein, it adopted draft resolution XXXVII, titled “Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities”, without a vote and draft decision III, titled “Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus”, by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to none against, with 6 abstentions. The Assembly also held a series of separate recorded votes on six paragraphs in draft resolution IV on “Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space” before adopting the text as a whole by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 47 against, with 7 abstentions.
On its draft resolution titled “Oceans and the law of the sea”, the Assembly adopted the text by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 1 against with 3 abstentions, with the representatives of El Salvador, Türkiye, Colombia and Venezuela all pointing out in their explanations of vote that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is not the only legal framework governing activities on the seas and oceans.
Also speaking were the representatives of Portugal, Mongolia, Belgium, Nicaragua, Belarus, Bolivia, and Eritrea, as well as the observer for the State of Palestine.
The General Assembly will reconvene on Monday, 6 February, at 10 a.m. to hear a briefing by the Secretary-General on his priorities for 2023 and take up his report on the Organization’s work.
Action on Draft Resolutions and Decisions
The General Assembly first considered proposals on which action had been postponed to allow time for the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) to review their programme budget implications.
The Assembly took up the report of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) on “Macroeconomic policy questions” (document A/77/441) to take action on a draft resolution, “Promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations”, as well as an eponymous draft amendment (A/77/L.39) to that draft resolution recommended in the report.
The Assembly rejected “L.39” by a vote of 73 against to 50 in favour with 21 abstentions.
The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution as a whole without a vote. The text’s budget implications, as considered by the Fifth Committee, are contained in a related report (document A/77/666).
By that text, the Assembly decided to begin intergovernmental discussions in New York at United Nations Headquarters on ways to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation through the evaluation of additional options, including the possibility of developing an international tax cooperation framework or instrument that is developed and agreed upon through a United Nations intergovernmental process. It also requested the Secretary-General to prepare a report analyzing all relevant international legal instruments, other documents and recommendations that address international tax cooperation.
The Assembly then turned to the report of the Second Committee on “Follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States” (document A/77/443/Add.2), and without a vote, adopted draft resolution II contained therein.
By the text, the Assembly reiterated the call to itself, the Economic and Social Council and their subsidiary bodies to monitor the full implementation of the Declaration of Barbados 14 and the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the Mauritius Strategy and the Samoa Pathway.
It also called for immediate and substantial actions to facilitate the responses of small island developing States to recover from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and address the unprecedented health and economic crisis in these States, while preserving their sustainable development achievements and commitments, and reinforce their resilience to climate change in line with the Samoa Pathway and the political declaration of the high-level meeting to review progress made in addressing the priorities of small island developing States through the SAMOA Pathway’s implementation.
The draft’s budget implications, as considered by the Fifth Committee, are contained in a related report (document A/77/668).
Taking up the report of the Second Committee on “Follow-up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries” (document A/77/446/Add.2), it adopted the eponymous draft resolution in that report.
By its terms, the Assembly called upon States to ensure the normal functioning of open markets, global supply chain connectivity and cross-border travel for essential purposes, and to enhance the sustainability and resilience of supply chains that foster the sustainable integration of landlocked developing countries and promote inclusive economic growth, including through the increased participation of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in international trade and investment.
It further called upon the landlocked developing countries and transit countries to enhance cross-border collaboration by minimizing disruptions to international transport, eliminating unnecessary trade restrictions and facilitating free movement of, primarily, essential goods such as food, medical supplies and personal protection equipment, consistent with World Trade Organization rules.
The draft’s budget implications, as considered by the Fifth Committee, are contained in a related report (document A/77/667).
The Assembly then turned to the report of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) on “Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories” and draft resolution I contained therein (document A/77/400).
The representative of Portugal, speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, said that there should have been more in-depth consultations regarding the new operative paragraph on seeking an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, pointing out questions about the technical formulation of the request and the over-judicialization of international relations. Recognizing the crucial role of the Court, he said that Portugal would vote in favour of the text.
The representative of the United Kingdom said that he will vote against the resolution because he does not believe that a referral to the Court would bring the parties back to dialogue. Pointing out that it is inappropriate — without the consent of both parties — to ask the Court for an advisory opinion on a bilateral dispute, he reiterated his delegation’s regret over the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry by the Human Rights Council, outlining the disproportionate focus on Israel and failing to include a time limit on a mandate. Noting that the resolution refers to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in “purely Islamic terms”, he stressed the need to adequately reflect the significance of this holy site to Christianity, Islam and Judaism in future resolutions.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution I by a recorded vote of 87 in favour to 26 against, with 53 abstentions.
By its terms, the Assembly demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all measures contrary to international law, as well as discriminatory legislation, policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people, and that it fully respect human rights law and comply with its legal obligations in this regard, including in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions. It also called for urgent measures to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and as called for by the Security Council in its resolution 904 (1994).
The representative of Mongolia, speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, said that his delegation voted in favour of the text. He, however, voiced reservations with regard to operative paragraph 18, noting that both the Israeli and Palestinian people can achieve a comprehensive solution in line with international resolutions.
The representative of Belgium said that his position in favour of the resolution does not imply a change of his stance on the terminology concerning Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. He stressed the need for the language on the holy sites of Jerusalem to reflect their importance and historical significance for the three monotheistic religions and respect religious and cultural sensitivities, noting that the future choice of language may affect Belgium’s support for the resolution.
The representative of Romania said that his delegation voted against the resolution and noted that asking for the Court’s advisory opinion does not serve the aim of settling the conflict, while pointing out that more time is necessary to thoroughly assess all implications. Noting that the relevant paragraph reflects Romania’s position on the relevance of international humanitarian law, he said that the request of the Court’s assistance must include questions for clarification to assist the parties.
The representative of Malta underscored that all parties should have recourse to judicial organs, including in their advisory capacities, while highlighting that the specific proposal of the resolution would have benefited from further discussions and consultations with a wider United Nations membership.
The observer for the State of Palestine, noted that the vote for the request for an advisory opinion came one day after the formation of the new Israeli Government which is accelerating colonial and racist policies against the Palestinian people. He encouraged the States to uphold the opinion of the Court when delivered.
The Assembly next took up the draft resolution “Oceans and the law of the sea” (document A/77/L.36).
The Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 1 against (Türkiye) with 3 abstentions (Colombia, El Salvador, Syria). The draft’s budget implications, as considered by the Fifth Committee, are contained in a related report (document A/77/669).
The text contained various provisions related to implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related agreements and instruments; capacity-building; meeting of States parties; commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the adoption and opening for signature of the Convention; peaceful settlement of disputes; the Area; effective functioning of the Authority and the Tribunal; the continental shelf and the work of the Commission; maritime safety and security and flag State implementation; marine environment and marine resources; marine biodiversity; marine science; regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socioeconomic Aspects; regional cooperation; Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea; coordination and cooperation; activities of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; and the seventy-eighth session of the Assembly.
Among them, the Assembly called upon all States that have not done so, in order to fully achieve the goal of universal participation, to become parties to the Convention and the Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982. It further called upon States that have not done so, in order to achieve the goal of universal participation, to become parties to the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (the Fish Stocks Agreement). It also called upon States to harmonize their national legislation with the provisions of the Convention and, where applicable, relevant agreements and instruments, to ensure the consistent application of those provisions and to ensure also that any declarations or statements that they have made or make when signing, ratifying or acceding to the Convention do not purport to exclude or to modify the legal effect of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the State concerned and to withdraw any such declarations or statements.
Speaking in explanation his country’s abstention after the vote, the representative of El Salvador voiced his regret that preambular paragraph 6 does not reflect the applicable relationship with other relevant principles and international legal instruments. International law, in particular that of the sea, has an adaptation function to address issues of common interest and ensure widespread cooperation, he underscored, adding that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is not the only applicable framework on oceanic activities. Turning to the chapter on security, marine protection and the flag State, he expressed his concern and further regret that certain delegations did not admit any alternative language to the proposal of his Government, Türkiye and Bangladesh on bolstering the protection of the right to life of all migrants in all circumstances. These delegations, he pointed out, impeded consensus on such an important and cross-cutting issue by stating that this should not have been reflected in the draft.
The representative of Türkiye said his country voted against “L.36” and was obliged to call for a vote due to the nature of the references to the Convention. While his Government agrees in principle with the general content of “L.36”, Türkiye is notably not a party to the Convention and therefore does not agree that it has a universal and unified character. Until the Assembly finds an appropriate solution that will duly address the concerns of several States, the concerned language on the Convention cannot be referred to as agreed language and must not set a precedent for other United Nations resolutions, he underscored. Detailing the reasons preventing his country from becoming a party to the Convention, he spotlighted in particular its absence of sufficient safeguards for particular geographical situations, lack of consideration for conflicted interests and sensitivities stemming from special circumstances and the inability of States to make reservations on its Articles. Regarding his Government’s proposals, including its joint concern with Bangladesh and El Salvador over the increasing loss of migrant lives on sea and land, he expressed his regret that a cross-regional proposal on humanitarian matters could not be reflected in the text. It was disappointing and perhaps telling to see some States objecting to quoting the fundamental elements and considerations highlighted by the Secretary-General in his report, he said. He then emphasized the importance of avoiding double standards on this text’s scope.
The representative of Colombia expressed his reservation regarding any reference to the Convention as the only legal framework which governs activities on the seas. The International Court of Justice, he pointed out, has said that customary law applies to States, like his, which have not ratified the Convention. In this regard, the Court recognized that the Assembly cannot affirm that the entire Convention contains customary standards; every respective provision must be established as containing this character. He then reiterated that the present resolution and his country’s participation in its process cannot be considered or interpreted in such a way which enables Colombia’s implicit or tacit acceptance of the Convention’s provisions apart from those of a customary nature which have been recognized by his Government.
The representative of Venezuela, noting that his country is not a State party, emphasized that the Convention does not have a universal character and is not the only legal framework which governs activities on the seas and oceans. Despite the inclusion of some positive aspects, he warned that the present resolution contains elements that will result in his Government expressing its reservations.
The Assembly then turned to report of the Sixth Committee (Legal) “Crimes against humanity” (document A/77/416) and the resolution contained therein. The draft’s budget implications, as considered by the Fifth Committee, are contained in a related report (document A/77/665).
The Assembly adopted the draft resolution without a vote.
By its terms, the Assembly decided that the Sixth Committee shall resume its session for five days, from 10 to 14 April 2023, and for six days, from 1 to 5 April and 11 April 2024, in order to exchange substantive views, including in an interactive format, on all aspects of the draft articles, and to consider further the recommendation of the Commission contained in paragraph 42 of its report on the work of its seventy-first session for the elaboration of a convention by the Assembly or by an international conference of plenipotentiaries on the basis of the draft articles.
The Assembly then turned to report of the First Committee on “Prevention of an arms race in outer space” (document A/77/383), in order to take action on draft resolution IV on “Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space” contained therein.
The Assembly held separate recorded votes on a number of paragraphs in that text. By a recorded vote of 103 in favor to 48 against, with 5 abstentions (Chile, Gabon, Georgia, Switzerland, Togo), it decided to retain the fifth preambular paragraph of that text. By a recorded vote of 92 in favor to 47 against, with 15 abstentions, it decided to retain operative paragraph 8, and by a recorded vote of 90 in favor to 47 against, with 18 abstentions, it decided to retain operative paragraph 9.
By a recorded vote of 90 in favor to 47 against, with 16 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain its operative paragraph 10. By a recorded vote of 92 in favor, to 47 against, with 16 abstentions, it decided to retain its operative paragraph 11. By a recorded vote of 93 in favor to 47 against, with 15 abstentions, it decided to retain its operative paragraph 12.
Finally, the Assembly adopted the text as a whole, by a recorded vote of 115 in favor to 47 against, with 7 abstentions (Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, Georgia, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland).
By that text, the Assembly proclaimed it a historic responsibility of all States to ensure that the exploration of outer space is carried out exclusively for peaceful purposes for the benefit of mankind. It declared that the exclusion of outer space from the sphere of the arms race and the preservation of outer space for peaceful purposes should become a mandatory norm of State policy and a generally recognized international obligation. It called upon all States, and above all those with major space capabilities, to this end, among other things, to take urgent measures to prevent for all time the placement of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force in outer space, from space against Earth and from Earth against objects in outer space.
The report of the Fifth Committee on the programme budget implications of that text is contained in a related report (document A/77/662).
The Assembly then turned to the report of the First Committee on “General and complete disarmament” (document A/77/385) with a view to taking action on draft resolution XXXVII, titled “Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities” and draft decision III titled “Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus”.
The budget implications of draft resolution XXXVII, as considered by the Fifth Committee, are contained in a related report (document A/77/663).
The Assembly adopted draft resolution XXXVII without a vote.
By its terms, the Assembly, among other things, stressed the importance of the report of the Group of Governmental Experts on Transparency and Confidence-building Measures in Outer Space Activities, considered by the Assembly on 5 December 2013. It also encouraged Member States to continue to review and implement, to the greatest extent practicable, the proposed transparency and confidence-building measures contained in the report, through the relevant national mechanisms, on a voluntary basis and in a manner consistent with the national interests of Member States.
The budget implications of draft decision III, as considered by the Fifth Committee, are contained in a related report (document A/77/661).
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution III by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to none against, with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria).
Turning to the draft resolution “Investigation into the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him” (document A/77/L.31), the Assembly adopted it without a vote.
By its terms, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to reappoint the Eminent Person appointed pursuant to General Assembly resolution 74/248 to continue to review the information received and possible new information made available by Member States, including by individuals and private entities, to assess its probative value and to draw conclusions from the investigations already conducted. It also urged all Member States, in particular those referred to in the report, to release any relevant records in their possession and to provide to the Eminent Person and the Secretary-General relevant information related to the death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him, and to ensure that they have conducted a full review of their archives and records.
The programme budget implications of that draft resolution are contained in document A/77/670.
MARINKO AVRAMOVIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee, introduced its reports to the Assembly and provided an overview of its work. During the main part of the seventy-seventh session, the Committee met from 3 October to 30 December, holding 25 plenary meetings and numerous informal consultations in person and virtually. (For background, see Press Release GA/AB/4414 of 30 December). He also noted that the Committee’s reports on several items were already considered by the Assembly at its earlier plenary meetings.
At its fifteenth meeting on 7 October, the Assembly, acting without a vote, adopted a draft resolution titled “Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations: requests under Article 19 of the Charter”, contained in the Committee’s report (document A/77/484). Through the text, the Assembly agreed that the failure of Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia to pay the full minimum amount of their assessments, necessary to avoid the application of Article 19 of the Charter, was due to conditions beyond their control. It decided that those three Member States shall be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of its seventy-seventh session.
At its twenty-first meeting on 27 October, the Assembly adopted a resolution delivering $3.52 million to the Secretary-General to ease global food insecurity by facilitating the implementation of two key initiatives aimed at bringing agricultural commodities from Ukraine and the Russian Federation to world markets and countries in need. By the terms of the resolution, titled “Revised estimates on United Nations activities to mitigate global food insecurity and its humanitarian impact” contained in the Committee’s report on the 2022 programme budget (document A/77/535), the Assembly approved additional resource requirements and authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments up to $3.52 million, noting that the use of this commitment authority will be included in the 2022 financial performance report.
At its twenty-third meeting on 31 October, the Assembly adopted without a vote a draft resolution titled “Revised estimates relating to the programme budget for 2022 under section 3, Political affairs, and section 36, Staff assessment: special political missions — United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)”, contained in the Committee’s report (document A/77/535/Add.1). By its terms, the Assembly appropriated $131.35 million and a related staff assessment portion of $10.9 million from the 2022 programme budget to operate UNAMA.
During its thirty-fourth and thirty-ninth plenary meetings on 15 November and 21 November, the Assembly appointed members to its subsidiary bodies, including the 16-member Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), which plays a crucial role in helping the Fifth Committee examine the Organization’s budget and manage its employees; 18-member Committee on Contributions, which advises the Assembly on the distribution of the Organization’s expenses among Member States; the nine-member Investments Committee, which advises the Secretary-General on investment strategy and reviews the investments of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund; the 15-member International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), which advises the Assembly and the executive heads of the United Nations system member organizations on staff employment conditions; and the five-member Independent Audit Advisory Committee, which serves in an expert advisory capacity and helps the Assembly fulfil its oversight responsibilities. It also appointed members to the United Nations Staff Pension Committee, which helps administer the Joint Staff Pension Fund, and the Joint Inspection Unit, an oversight body that conducts evaluations, inspections and investigations of the United Nations system.
CSABA KŐRÖSI (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, noted that the reports are only available in English since the Fifth Committee just finished its work. They will be issued in all languages as soon as possible, he shared, thanking the Assembly for its understanding.
The Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee, first considered the draft contained in the report of that Committee titled “Financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors” (document A/77/658). The Assembly adopted the resolution without a vote.
Turning to the report on “Programme planning” (document A/77/655), the Assembly considered the draft resolution contained therein.
The representative of the Russian Federation spoke to submit an oral amendment, by whose terms would delete the paragraph relating to the financing of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under International Law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.
By a recorded vote of 18 against to 84 in favor, with 53 abstentions, the Assembly rejected that oral amendment.
The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution on “Programme planning”
Speaking in explanation of position after adoption, the representative of the Russian Federation dissociated himself from the provisions related to the financing of the Mechanism.
The representative of China also himself dissociated from the reference to the Mechanism.
The representative of Syria, also dissociating himself from the inclusion of the Mechanism in the text, said the States sponsoring it want to place the burden for its financing on Member States.
The representatives of Nicaragua, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Iran, Belarus, Bolivia, Eritrea and Venezuela also spoke in explanation of position to dissociate themselves from references to the Mechanism.
The Assembly then turned to the report of the Fifth Committee on the “Pattern of conferences” (document A/77/659), adopting the draft resolution contained therein without a vote.
The Assembly then turned to the report of the Fifth Committee on the “United Nations common system” (document A/77/671), adopting draft resolution I “United Nations common system” and draft resolution II “Review of the jurisdictional set-up of the United Nations common system” contained therein without a vote.
The Assembly then considered the draft contained in the report of the Committee titled “United Nations pension system” (document A/77/656) and adopted the resolution without a vote.
Taking up the Committee’s report on the “Review of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations” and the “Report on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services” (document A/77/657), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution contained therein without a vote.
The Assembly then adopted the eponymous draft resolutions contained in the reports on “Administration of Justice at the United Nations” (document A/77/654) and “Financing of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals” (document A/77/660).
The Assembly next took up the report “Proposed programme budget for 2023” (document A/77/672) and five draft resolutions contained therein.
The representative of Ethiopia, speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, introduced an oral amendment to the decision of the Fifth Committee on “Revised estimates resulting from resolutions and decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council at its forty-ninth, fiftieth and fifty-first regular sessions, and at its thirty-fourth special session: Human Rights Council Resolution 51/27, Situation of human rights in Ethiopia”. He requested a preambular paragraph to read “Takes note of paragraph 26 of the report of the Advisory Committee” and an operative paragraph to read “Decides not to approve any resources for the implementation of the resolution 51/27”. Noting that the Commission of Experts on Ethiopia was created by the initiative of proponents bent upon advancing a geo-strategic goal by multiplying pressure points against Ethiopia, she said that the Commission has proven its political disposition and called on States to put an end to this abuse of the multilateral human rights system.
The representative of the Russian Federation proposed an oral amendment to delete the paragraph “takes note of paragraphs 3/64, 3/65, 3/66 and 3/67 of the report of the Advisory Committee” and to delete the text “Decides that resources of the regular budget for the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Investigation in Syria in section 8 (Legal Affairs) for 2023 will be $17,129, 200 before re-costing”.
The representative of Cuba introduced a number of oral amendments. He noted that the first preambular paragraph should read “Recalling that the General Assembly has not decided on the concept of the responsibility to protect scope, implications and possible ways of implementation”; preambular paragraph 2 should read “Noting that the estimates of diplomatic clause 1 comprised narratives, functions, strategy and external factors, results performance measures, deliverables and other information related to the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Responsibility to Protect”; operative paragraph 1 should read “Decides to delete narratives, functions, strategy and external factors, results performance measures, deliverables and other information related to the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Responsibility to Protect, as contained in Strategic Framework and related narratives of the office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the prevention of genocide, as contained in document A/77/6/Section3/Add.2”; and operative paragraph 2 should read “Requests Secretary-General to issue a corrigendum to his report A/77/6/Section 3/Add 2”.
The representative of Syria supported the oral amendments submitted by the Russian Federation and reiterated his rejection of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Investigation in Syria, including the decision of the Assembly establishing it, noting that his country has not requested technical assistance to establish the Mechanism. He called the Mechanism illegal, saying that it was created without consultation with the country concerned and the respective authorization.
The Assembly rejected the oral amendment to draft resolution I “Questions relating to the proposed programme budget for 2023” presented by the Russian Federation by a recorded vote of 82 against to 18 in favour, with 56 abstentions.
The Assembly then adopted resolution I without a vote.
The Assembly next considered draft resolution II, “Special subjects relating to the proposed programme budget 2023” (document A/77/672), as orally amended in the Fifth Committee (document A/C.5/77/L.24).
Prior to considering the resolution as a whole, the Assembly took action on two oral amendments. It rejected Ethiopia’s oral amendment to Section XIV of draft resolution II by a recorded vote of 71 against to 33 in favour, with 51 abstentions.
It also rejected Cuba’s oral amendment to Section V of draft resolution II by a recorded vote of 78 against to 22 in favour, with 57 abstentions.
Through a separate recorded vote of 102 in favour to 14 against, with 30 abstentions, the Assembly adopted Section XIV of draft resolution II.
It then adopted draft resolution II as a whole without a vote.
The Assembly then turned to draft resolution III, “Programme budget for 2023”, and adopted it without a vote.
Next, it adopted draft resolution IV, “Unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for 2023”, and draft resolution V, “Working Capital Fund for 2023”, without a vote.
The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, dissociated himself from the consensus on the provisions of the regular budget pertaining to financing of the Mechanism on Syria and Human Rights Council resolutions, which do not enjoy consensus.
The representative of China expressed support for the oral amendments submitted by the Russian Federation, Ethiopia and Cuba, saying that his country voted against the revised estimates for the Mechanism on Syria, and dissociated itself from the consensus on resolutions.
The representative of Sri Lanka rejected Council resolution 51/1 and dissociated himself from all of its budgetary provisions.
The representative of Ethiopia dissociated herself from the resolution on the revised estimates to finance implementation of Human Rights Council decisions.
The representative of Iran dissociated himself from the revised resolutions on the Human Rights Council and the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Iran.
The representative of Syria said that his country will comply with all of its financial obligations in 2023, however Syria rejects Human Rights Council resolutions, including resolution 49/27 and its financing. He stated his delegation’s reservations concerning the allocation of resources to the Mechanism relating to Syria.
The representative of Bolivia dissociated herself from all the provisions related to the allocation of funds from the regular budget to the Mechanism on Syria and reiterated her support for the amendment put forward by Cuba on the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, which was not adopted.
The representative of Nicaragua dissociated herself from the consensus on financing the Mechanism on Syria and all financing related to Human Rights Council resolutions, which are not met with consensus, including resolution 48/3. She supported Cuba’s amendment on financing of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect.
The representative of Cuba dissociated himself from the provisions pertaining to the Mechanism on Syria as it causes harm to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of that country.
The representative of Belarus said that he voted in support of the oral amendments submitted by the Russian Federation, Ethiopia and Cuba and expressed regret that they were not adopted. He, thus, dissociated himself from the provisions related to country mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and the provisions of the programme budget on the responsibility to protect.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea expressed support for amendments presented by Cuba, Ethiopia and the Russian Federation and dissociated himself from the programme budget relating to Mechanism on Syria and Human Rights Council resolutions.
The representative of Venezuela dissociated himself from the budgetary estimations of the Human Rights Council, including resolution 51/29 pertaining to his country.
The representative of Eritrea dissociated himself from the allocation of resources arising from the Human Rights Council resolutions and country-specific mandates, including resolution 50/2. He further dissociated himself from the resolution regarding the Mechanism on Syria.
Finally, the Assembly turned to the report on “Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations” (document A/77/673), which contained a draft resolution entitled ““Shifting the management paradigm for the United Nations: review of changes to the budgetary cycle”, as well as a draft decision on “Questions deferred for future consideration”. Both texts were adopted without a vote.
Mr. Kőrösi (Hungary), Assembly President, thanked the Fifth Committee’s Chair, Philippe Kridelka (Belgium), its Bureau and its members for their active participation, flexibility and collective decision to ensure that the United Nations is adequately funded to respond to the world’s many interlocking crises. “Our 8 billion stakeholders are expecting from us solutions,” he said, adding that “they might have found it difficult to understand any other direction of events when the world needs multilateral solutions more than ever”.
In thanking them for preventing a possible shutdown, he congratulated Member States for the collective effort and determination to prioritize the Organization’s needs and ensure its budgetary matters and operation are implemented in accordance with all procedures and mandates; their successful tenacity in setting aside differences; and resolve in joining hands to address the funding concerning global food insecurity.
Citing Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change,” he encouraged the Assembly to keep its openness, faith and strong willingness to cooperate in the resumed sessions ahead. This ability to accept inputs and new ideas and work together to achieve the Organization’s common goal will determine the capacity to overcome challenges, he stressed.
Turning to its programme of work and the items retained on its agenda for the current session, the Assembly decided to take note of those items that remain open for consideration or have not yet been considered during its seventy-seventh session.