ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

89th Session, 5 - 21 June 2001



Reports of the Finance Committee of Government Representatives

Committee report

Submission, discussion and adoption

The PRESIDENT — We shall now move on to the second item on our agenda which is the adoption of the report of the Finance Committee of Government Representatives, contained in Provisional Record No. 11 and its addendum.

I now call on Mr. Elmiger, Government delegate of Switzerland, Chairperson and Reporter of the Committee, to submit the report of the Finance Committee.

Original French: Mr. ELMIGER (Government delegate, Switzerland; Chairperson and Reporter of the Finance Committee of Government Representatives) — It is my honour to present the report of the Finance Committee of Government Representatives which appears in Provisional Record No. 11 and contains the Committee’s recommendations on the issues examined.

The resolutions placed before the Conference for adoption appear at the end of the report along with a certain number of informative appendices.

The Finance Committee has examined the requests received from the Governments of the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a view to obtaining permission to vote at the Conference

Satisfied that the non-payment of their due contributions was due to conditions beyond the control of these States, and that the required measures had been taken to settle their arrears, the Committee has recommended that the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo be granted permission to vote.

Proposals concerning amendments to the Financial Regulations, the composition of the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO and nominations to the ILO Staff Pension Committee were also examined by the Committee, which unanimously recommended the adoption of the resolutions pertaining to these issues.

The Committee looked particularly carefully at the proposals of the Director-General concerning the programme and budget for 2002-03 and the scale of assessment of contributions to the budget for the 2002-03 financial period. These two questions had already been the subject of discussions three months ago, during the 280th Session of the Governing Body. Following lengthy discussions, the Governing Body agreed to recommend that this Conference adopt a programme and budget fixed on the basis of a nominal increase of some US$5 million. The Governing Body also decided to recommend that the Conference adopt the scales of assessment of contributions for 2002-03, which, as is our usual practice, is fixed on the basis of the United Nations scale of assessment.

I am pleased to inform you of the very strong will to reach a consensus within our Committee during all the discussions concerning these two issues.

The report which you have before you presents the views expressed by members during a rich and fruitful debate. During this debate we listened to eloquent statements particularly highlighting the urgent and continual need for ILO programmes in developing countries, but also the difficulties encountered by certain member States when faced with increased contributions.

In spite of the delicate and sensitive nature of the subjects discussed, I would like to point out that the various meetings took place in a harmonious atmosphere of mutual understanding, thus enabling the Committee to find the consensus it was seeking. I can therefore make a specific appeal to you who represent governments, employers, and workers, to support fully the resolutions concerning the scales of assessments of contributions and the programme and budget for 2002-03.

I would also like to express my particular thanks to the Vice-Chairperson of the Committee, Mr. Klekner, Government adviser of Hungary, and all members of the Committee and the secretariat who helped me considerably in my job as Chairperson.

In conclusion, I can but ask you to adopt, on the basis of a consensus, the report of the Finance Committee.

The PRESIDENT — The general discussion on the reports is now open.

Original Spanish: Mr. MORA GODOY (Government delegate, Cuba) — I would like to make a statement on behalf of the Group of 77, which represents more than 130 developing countries. In view of the importance our members in the ILO attach to this matter, we felt that we must make a statement in this regard.

The Group endorses the decisions taken by the Finance Committee on the budget for the biennium 2002-03 and the scale of contributions as regards the membership of the ILO. We would like to see the interests of developing countries given special attention in the implementation of the programme and budget.

We want to make it clear that the new scale of contributions of the ILO can in no way be seen as a precedent as regards the application of the same scale in any other specialized agencies of the United Nations family, in accordance with paragraph 3(c) of resolution 55/5 of the General Assembly of the United Nations. We have noted that, according to the scale of contributions approved by the Finance Committee, a group of developing countries will benefit from a reduction of their contributions, which has our full support. Nevertheless, we note with some concern that there is a considerable reduction in the amount of contributions of some of the major contributors from the developed world, at a time when the dues of many developing countries are being increased.

We believe that both the developed as well as the developing countries have a joint commitment towards international cooperation and particularly towards ensuring that the international organizations of the United Nations family function properly. Nevertheless, it does not seem to be fair and equitable that certain countries which have the means to make an important contribution to the International Labour Organization should benefit from a reduction in their contributions, whereas another group of the developing countries, which face increasing problems of unemployment, social security deficit and external debts, disease, a lack of financial resources for development purposes and technological development, quite simply because they do not have the necessary funds to solve these issues, must bear the burden of the reductions which are being enjoyed by a number of developed countries.

This situation should be analysed very carefully so that in future no developing country finds itself negatively affected. Any new discussion of budgetary issues and the scale of contributions should ensure the full participation of developing countries in the adoption of any decisions.

Original Spanish: Ms. ROVIROSA (Government adviser and substitute delegate, Mexico) — The Government delegation of Mexico endorses the statement made by the Government delegation of Cuba on behalf of the Group of 77.

Despite the fact that the new scale of contributions does mean an increase in Mexico’s contribution to the ILO at a time when we are making substantial reductions in our domestic budget, we do accept the application of the United Nations scale of contributions to the ILO, on the understanding that it will not constitute a precedent for other international organizations, as set out in paragraph 3(c) in United Nations General Assembly resolution 55/5 on this subject.

Original Arabic: Mrs. SAAB (Government adviser and substitute delegate, Lebanon) — On behalf of Lebanon I would like to repeat certain ideas which I have already developed in the Finance Committee discussions.

A multisectoral mission went to Lebanon to observe the projects, plans and efforts being developed by Lebanon to rebuild the country, particularly since the liberation of the south of the country.

The expert group in question which went to Lebanon understood the requirements of the country. I am sure you are aware of the fact that there is an ILO action programme on countries emerging from armed conflicts. As we can see from the ILO budget, that project has not been sufficiently funded. Many countries have expressed a request for financial assistance and support in this connection.

We hope that in this Organization the employment creation programmes will have the necessary resources allocated to them. Lebanon requires assistance for the creation of jobs.

Original Chinese: Mr. LI (Government adviser and substitute delegate, China) — We are very happy to have this opportunity to take the floor. We support the budget proposals for 2002-03. We welcome the efforts made by the Director-General to adjust the budget. However, with regard to the scale of assessments of the ILO, we would like to make the following comment.

According to the resolution adopted by the 55th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the reductions of the highest quota in the scale of assessments adopted by the United Nations should have no automatic implication for the specialized agencies. We hope the ILO will respect that consideration.

Secondly, with regard to the basic principle of the scale of assessments and the capacity to pay, this is a universal principle that the ILO should not disregard.

We think that amending the scale of assessments is a very complicated financial issue, and requires more detailed study.

The PRESIDENT — As there are no requests for the floor to speak on the programme and budget proposals and other financial questions, we shall proceed with the adoption of the report, i.e. the summary of the Committee’s debates in paragraphs 1-152, the six appendices, the seven resolutions at the end of the report in Provisional Record No. 11, as well as paragraphs 1-6 and the resolution appended to the report contained in Provisional Record No. 11(Add.).

If there is no objection, may I take it that the report, i.e. paragraphs 1-152 and the Appendices I-VI, are adopted, as well as the second report, i.e. paragraphs 1-6 and the annex?

(The report — paragraphs 1-152 — and Appendices I-VI, are adopted; the second report — paragraphs 1-6 and the annex — are adopted.)

Updated by HK. Approved by RH. Last update: 20 June 2001.