Assembly Acts on Procurement Reform, Peacekeeping Financing, Budget Allocations

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The General Assembly on 31 March adopted 25 drafts, including 7 resolutions and 16 decisions, recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). Acting on procurement reform, it asked the Secretary-General to examine the possibility of awarding contracts to equally qualified vendors from countries that were current in the payment of their assessed contributions. The Assembly also asked him to examine ways to increase contract opportunities for developing countries.

By another text, the Secretary-General was requested to entrust the Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to conduct a comprehensive analysis of reasons for the increase in contract costs for the Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), and to have a study of the System conducted by independent experts and submitted to the Assembly no later than the end of the main part of its fifty-third regular session.

Noting an unspent balance of $9.3 million from the regular budget for the biennium 1996-1997, the Assembly allocated $2.5 million for IMIS for 1998 and $1.3 million for improving conference facilities. The balance was retained, with a view to financing the activities of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

In action related to the programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999, the Assembly accepted the offer of the Swiss authorities for office accommodation at the Palais Wilson in Geneva. It took note of the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on the United Nations International Partnership Trust Fund - established to manage the $1 billion donation from Ted Turner. The Secretary-General was asked to report regularly to the Assembly on the subject. The Assembly also decided to consider the question of honoraria payable to members of organs and subsidiary organs of the United Nations at its fifty-third session. It further deferred consideration of the Secretary-General's report on redirecting non-programme costs to a development account to the second part of its resumed fifty-second session.

In other action, the Assembly decided that documents issued by the Secretariat related to the Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names should be translated into the six official languages of the United Nations.

Regarding the code of conduct proposed for United Nations staff, the Assembly invited the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) to examine the draft code at its forthcoming session. It asked the Fifth Committee to revert to the matter during its resumed fifty-second session. …