PR Observer

Latest Breaking News and Updates

Health Maintenance

Speakers Call for Cooperation in Tackling Management Issues, Reform Agenda, as Fifth Committee Opens Session, Approves Work Programme

Members of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today urged one another to work harmoniously to tackle a complex agenda that includes management issues, the Secretary-General's reform agenda and the possible readjustment of a methodology used to assess Member States' contribution to the regular budget as well as its peacekeeping operations.

In opening remarks, the President of the General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces (Ecuador) told the delegates their work was critical to turning political visions for the Sustainable Development Goals into reality and maintaining the Organization's relevancy in today's world. Committee Chairperson Gillian Bird (Australia) said the Fifth Committee's work goes to the heart of the Organization's functioning. Without the Fifth Committee, the United Nations would � quite simply � not be able to perform its vital role, she said.

At today's organizational meeting, the Fifth Committee approved a wide-ranging programme of work that enveloped crucial financial and human resources issues meant to help manage the Organization's thousands of employees and keep its vast global operations running smoothly. It also began discussing whether the methodology used to establish the scale of assessments for the regular budget and the peacekeeping operations should be adjusted, a task that is taken up every three years.

The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, said the Group rejects any changes to the methodology, which underpins the scale of assessments, that would boost the amount owed by developing countries. Core elements of the current methodology � such as base period, gross national income, conversion rates, low per capita income adjustment, gradient, floor, ceiling for least developed countries and debt burden adjustment � must be kept intact. They are not negotiable, he said.

The representative of Antigua and Barbuda, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), agreed that the core elements must remain unchanged. He said the capacity-to-pay principle must remain the fundamental criterion for assessing Member States' shares in paying for the Organization's regular budget. The peacekeeping scale should reflect the principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities, he added. Placement of developing countries above Level C in the peacekeeping scale is unacceptable, he said, as it fails to represent fair, balanced treatment of the Member States' economic realities.

Bernardo Greiver, Chair of the Committee on Contributions, introduced the report of its seventy-eighth session, held from 4 June to 29 June of this year. He said the conclusions of the Committee's study are included in chapter III, part A of the report. The Contributions Committee reaffirms that the scale of assessment must be based on the latest, comparable and available data on gross national income (GNI).

Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General and Acting Controller, introduced the Secretariat reports on multi-year payment plans and the implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236 concerning the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations.

In addition to the scale of assessments, Fifth Committee delegates this session will consider critical issues on the biennial management of its staff and physical operations, special political missions and the management aspects of the Secretary-General's reform agenda.

As in previous years, delegates urged the Secretariat and Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) to issue their reports in a timely manner so Member States have sufficient time to make well-informed decisions.

The European Union's delegate said the Fifth Committee must be part of the solution in carrying out the Secretary-General's reforms. That means being strategic and open-minded to change, she added. With a particularly heavy workload this session, the Fifth Committee needs to use its limited time wisely and resist the temptation to micromanage. Simplification is needed, duplication has to be avoided and our processes should be streamlined to the maximum extent possible, she said.

El Salvador's delegate, speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), placed priorities on respecting the session's completion date and the receipt of all reports in all official languages on time. The late issuance of reports continues to hamper the work of this Committee, and it is past time to change this trend, he added.

Regarding the United Nations budgetary resources, China's delegate, associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said more attention must be paid to overall performance management. In September, China issued a regulation pertaining to a new budget performance evaluation system for the country. He said its basic concepts are useful for United Nations budget performance management.

The representative of the United States commended the Secretary-General for sustained efforts to move the United Nations reform agenda forward. While the upcoming session's negotiations may be challenging, the agenda is full of important items, including the remaining elements of the reform agenda, the scales of assessments, the budgets of special political missions and major construction�related items.

Also speaking today were the representatives of Morocco (on behalf of the African Group), Singapore (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Japan, Pakistan, Russian Federation, South Africa, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Uganda (on behalf of the African Group).

The Fifth Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Wednesday, 10 October, to continue its discussion on the scale of assessments and take up other issues.

Opening Remarks

MARA�A FERNANDA ESPINOSA GARCA�S (Ecuador), President of the General Assembly, in opening remarks, said the Fifth Committee has the ability to ensure that the United Nations achieves its potential amid a complex global landscape and a myriad of challenges that are impeding progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. She recalled that, during the Assembly's General Debate, many leaders called for strengthening multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core and fit for purpose. Through its decisions, the Committee turns political vision into concrete reality, she said, and therefore its work is critical to making the Organization relevant.

The Committee's agenda this session includes several complex topics, she said. They include the scale of assessments, human resources management, special political missions and decisions related to the reform process. Noting that her role as Assembly President has evolved, with more than 30 mandates, she said she hopes it will be possible to strengthen her office in line with Assembly resolution 72/313 on revitalization of the Assembly's work. She went on to say that the Committee should capture the essence of multilateral diplomacy, working in a spirit of transparency and inclusiveness. Hopefully it will complete its work in a timely manner, she said, wishing the Committee a productive session.

GILLIAN BIRD (Australia), Committee Chair, recalling that she was a Fifth Committee delegate in the 1980s, said the issues before the Committee go to the heart of the Organization's work and functioning. Without the Fifth Committee, the United Nations would � quite simply � not be able to perform its vital role, she said. Several critical issues are before the Committee during this main session, including scales of assessment, the biennial human resources management reports, the development system and management aspects of the Secretary-General's reform agenda, and special political missions. She encouraged delegations to conduct negotiations as efficiently as possible and to start their discussions as soon as possible. For her part, she said she plans to start meetings on time to promote the efficient use of United Nations resources and out of respect for delegates' time.

Organization of Work

MOHAMED FATHI AHMED EDREES (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, said the Fifth Committee needs to build on the spirit of compromise and constructive engagement achieved during the seventy-second session in order to tackle the challenging agenda in the coming session. Beyond compromise, practical steps need to be taken to improve the Fifth Committee's functioning. The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and Secretariat must provide reports in all official languages to Member States in a timely manner in line with the rule of procedures. The Fifth Committee will address crucial issues. The Group attaches great importance to the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations and for peacekeeping expenses, and it calls for all Member States to fulfil their legal obligations to bear the Organization's expenses. Another key priority for the Group is human resources management and it will pay attention to gender parity and equitable geographical representation at all levels, refining performance management and addressing deficiencies in the staff selection process.

RUBA�N ARMANDO ESCALANTE HASBASN (El Salvador), speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said that the proposed programme of work includes issues of great importance, such as the scale of assessment for the apportionment of the United Nations expenses. He emphasized the importance of respecting the session's completion date. For the past few sessions, Member States have proved that no matter how complex the issues are, if there is political will, consensus is possible. He reiterated the importance of receiving reports from the Secretary-General and the ACABQ in all official languages in a timely manner. The late issuance of reports continues to hamper the work of this Committee, and it is past time to change this trend, he added. Pledging commitment to collaborate on all agenda items and to actively engage in formal and informal negotiations, he said that negotiations must remain transparent and inclusive.

OMAR HILALE (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the African Group, aligned himself with the Group of 77 and China, and noted that the large number of documents relating to various agenda items created a heavy workload. He noted the Chairwoman's efforts to ensure the programme of work is completed on time. The African Group expects the human resources management and related agenda items to be prioritized during the session and the Group will pay close attention to many matters, including those related to the Board of Auditors, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Umoja and construction and property management. The Group believes the timely conclusion of work will depend on the conduct of negotiations by delegations. It does not believe in conducting the Fifth Committee's business as in other committees, especially in negotiating a predetermined text. The African Group strongly believes in the timely issuance of reports and constructive engagement. Dedication and sacrifice will solve the Committee's challenges.

BURHAN GAFOOR (Singapore), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the Secretary-General must be given sufficient resources to effectively implement mandates approved by the Assembly and to realize his vision for reform. ASEAN will follow with interest the Committee's deliberations on the scale of assessments for the regular and peacekeeping budgets, construction, special political missions, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and human resources management. On the latter, the Association welcomes progress on gender parity in the Organization, he said, but emphasized that gender parity and equitable geographical distribution must go hand in hand. In that regard, the Secretary-General is encouraged to do more to achieve geographical diversity, especially at senior levels. He also hoped that the Chair and the Bureau will work closely with the Secretariat and the ACABQ to make progress on the timely issuance of documents.

WALTON ALFONSO WEBSON (Antigua and Barbuda), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), associating himself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, and reading his statement from Braille, said the ability of Member States to consider reports and prepare for negotiations are still being undermined by the late issuance of reports. Delegations' readiness to consider agenda items hinges on the availability of all relevant documents in all six of the Organization's official languages, with sufficient time to coordinate positions and ensure a successful outcome. During this session, CARICOM will pay close attention to, among other topics, the scale of assessments for the regular and peacekeeping budgets, human resources management, the revised estimates for reforming the United Nations development system, the United Nations pension system, administration of justice, and related subjects including capital projects for the Regional Commissions and the Strategic Heritage Plan.

JOANNE ADAMSON, European Union, said the Fifth Committee must support and carry out the necessary reforms undertaken by the Secretary-General. Instead of being seen as an obstacle, the Fifth Committee must be part of the solution: strategic, open-minded to change and honouring the trust the delegates have placed in the Secretary-General and his team in steering the Organization towards greater effectiveness. With a particularly heavy workload this session, the Fifth Committee needs to use limited time wisely, resist the temptation to micromanage, and work in the shared interest of the Organization. Simplification is needed, duplication has to be avoided and our processes should be streamlined to the maximum extent possible, she said. Points of particular importance to the European Union include the timely submission of documents and reaching decisions by consensus during normal working hours. The budget committee has a key role to play in steering the Organization towards more transparency, effectiveness and efficiency.

CHERITH NORMAN-CHALET (United States) said it is important to continue to demonstrate the added value of international cooperation by delivering peace, defending human rights, and driving economic and social progress. The United States has been at the forefront of calling on the United Nations to do its best to ensure that it is optimally positioned and configured to best support goals outlined by the Secretary-General. She stressed the need to ensure that resources match mandates and that the Organization finds more efficient ways of working. She also commended the Secretary-General for his continued efforts in pushing the United Nations reform agenda forward. While negotiations for this session may be challenging, the agenda is full of important items, including the remaining elements of the reform agenda, scales of assessment, the budget of special political missions, and major construction�related items. The United States is committed to remaining focused and completing the session.

TOSHIYA HOSHINO (Japan) said the Fifth Committee had numerous pressing and complex agenda items, including those related to United Nations reforms, human resources management, special political missions and the scale of assessments. Japan strongly supported the reform initiatives undertaken by the Secretary-General to make the United Nations stronger, more integrated, coherent and accountable. Japan hopes to see their effective implementation as early as possible. During deliberations, Japan will continue to call for strict budgetary discipline as it is indispensable to the successful and sustainable operation of the United Nations. In this connection, the Fifth Committee should strive to strictly observe the contingency fund's ceiling.

MA ZHAOXU (China), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said that the capacity-to-pay principle must continue to serve as a basis for calculating the scale of assessments. Some inappropriateness now in the methodology of calculating assessments blurs the distinction between developed and developing countries. Concerning the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations, China supports the principle of collective responsibility and special responsibility. Regarding human resources management reform, China is deeply concerned about the unresolved issue of inequitable geographic distribution of United Nations staff in the Secretariat and hopes for an early solution. The Organization is currently faced with financial difficulties which require all parties to actively fulfil their obligations in terms of assessed contributions. Despite experiencing rapid economic growth, China is still a developing country with a per capita income that ranks seventieth in the world, he stressed, noting that its assessed contributions to the United Nations and its peacekeeping operations are set to increase in 2019-2021. For a developing country like China, this is certainly not a small amount, he added. Regarding United Nations budgetary resources, more attention must be paid to overall performance management, he said, noting that in September China issued a regulation regarding a new budget performance evaluation system for the country; its basic concepts are also useful for United Nations budget performance management. The Secretariat should take effective measures to strengthen budget performance, financial discipline, supervision and accountability. Money must be spent effectively and those not doing so must be held accountable, he said. Documents for the session should also be disseminated early enough to provide much needed service for the consultations of the Committee.

NABEEL MUNIR (Pakistan), associating himself with the Group of 77, said the capacity to pay must remain the basis for negotiations. Gross national income (GNI), low per capita income and external adjustments are the best way to measure Member States' capacity to pay, he said, emphasizing also the special responsibility of permanent members of the Security Council. He supported applying the current methodology for the 2019-21 period but expressed concern at the lack of discussion on payments to troop-contributing countries on account of closed peacekeeping missions and on the slow pace of troop reimbursement payments. He went on to say that the unilateral withholding of contributions to the United Nations severely undermines its work.

MARIA V. FROLOVA (Russian Federation) said her delegation will focus on, among other things, human resources management, the scale of assessments, improving the Organization's financial situation, the United Nations pension system and the Umoja enterprise resource management system. Her delegation hopes that the Committee will find common ground during its current session on departmental restructuring, she said, adding that the most recent data should be used to calculate the scale of assessments.

JERRY MATTHEWS MATJILA (South Africa), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said that the vision of the Secretary-General's reforms must be carried through to the human resources strategy of ensuring geographic diversity and gender parity. Underscoring the long-held principle that geographical diversity must be reflected in the Secretariat to enrich the experience of each Member State, he expressed concern the Secretariat is far from multicultural and diverse to the Organization's great detriment. He commended the Secretary-General for achieving gender parity and greater geographic diversity in his senior-level appointments. This demonstrates that the policies of the Organization are not the obstacle, but a matter of political will and commitment of line managers. He also emphasized the importance of paying close attention to the scale of assessment for both the regular budget and peacekeeping operations, stressing the importance of the fundamental principle of capacity to pay.

TAREQ MD ARIFUL ISLAM (Bangladesh), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, said the Fifth Committee's agenda is packed with important, difficult and challenging agenda items. To keep the Organization functional and vibrant, the Fifth Committee has to uphold its spirit of compromise and accomplish its assignments on time. In addition to punctuality and prudence, the Committee needs to address practical realities with more efficiency and curb the obstacles to its day-to-day work. Bangladesh strongly supports the priorities set by the Group of 77 and China. A top priority should be ensuring the Organization's administrative and financial efficiency and adequate resources are pivotal to this priority. He urged a greater number of Member States to give the same priority to the administrative management and budget of peacekeeping operations that Bangladesh does.

Ms. AL MANSOURI (United Arab Emirates), associating herself with the Group of 77, said her delegation attaches great importance to the scale of assessment for the regular and peacekeeping budgets as well as human resources management. She noted her country's support for the Secretary-General's gender parity initiative as well as its efforts to prepare Emirati nationals to work for the United Nations through the Young Professionals Programme.

JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico) said that, in discussions on the scale of assessments, the principle of Member States' capacity to pay must be respected. He also emphasized the need for clarity on human resources management, bearing in mind the need to avoid duplication while considering the specificities of the Organization's different pillars. Other issues his delegation would focus upon include Umoja and the funding of ongoing construction projects in Bangkok, Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Santiago. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development must be the overarching goal, he said.

The Committee then adopted, without a vote, its programme of work.

It also decided to set 2 November as the date for elections under the agenda item titled Appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other appointments, and 19 October as the deadline for the submission of candidatures and regional group endorsements, as applicable.

Scale of Assessments � Expenses of United Nations, Peacekeeping Operations

BERNARDO GREIVER, Chairman of the Committee on Contributions, introduced its report (document A/73/11) which covered its seventy-eighth session held in New York from 4 June to 29 June of this year. Mr. Greiver said that through resolution 70/245 the General Assembly approved the current scale of assessments and requested the Committee to review and make recommendations on the elements of the methodology of that scale in order to reflect Member States' capacity to pay. He said the conclusions of the Committee's study are included in chapter III, part A of the report, also noting that the Committee reaffirms that the scale of assessment must be based on the latest, comparable and available data on gross national income.

During the session, the Contributions Committee noted that the lack of data is no longer a factor in determining whether to base the debt-burden adjustment on total external debt or public external debt and on the debt-stock approach or the debt-flow approach. Data is already available on public external debt and real depreciation. Turning to the matter of low per capita income adjustment, he said the Committee agreed that an alternative approach for establishing the threshold could be the world average per capita debt-adjusted GNI, with another option being an inflation-adjusted threshold.

Mr. Greiver said the current methodology includes a maximum assessment rate of 22 per cent; a maximum rate for the least developed countries of 0.010 per cent; and a minimum assessment rate of 0.001 per cent. The Committee also considered the application of the new data to the methodology used in preparing the current scale of assessments and recommends that non-member States be called upon to contribute for the period 2019 2021 based on a flat annual fee fixed at 50 per cent, which would be applied to notional rates of assessment fixed at 0.001 per cent for the Holy See and 0.008 per cent for the State of Palestine.

Through resolution 57/4 B, the General Assembly endorsed the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee concerning multi-year payment plans, he said, adding that conclusions of the Secretary-General's latest report on multi-year payment plans (A/73/76) are contained in chapter IV of the Committee's report. He said the Committee recalls its recommendation that the General Assembly encourage Member States in arrears that are subject to Article 19 of the United Nations Charter to consider submitting multi-year payment plans. In chapter V, the Committee indicated that the failure of four Member States � the Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia � to pay the full minimum amount to avoid the use of Article 19 was due to conditions beyond their control and that they should be permitted to vote until the end of the current session. The Committee concluded that Dominica's application for a payment exemption does not fall within the scope of Article 19.

CHANDRAMOULI RAMANATHAN, Assistant Secretary-General and Acting Controller, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on multi-year payment plans (document A/73/76), the sixteenth annual report on the status of multi-year payments. Since the introduction of the system in 2002, six Member States have successfully implemented multi-year payment plans which let them pay their assessed contributions in full. The remaining plan in the report was submitted by Sao Tome and Principe in 2002 and the report contains its status of implementation as of 31 December 2017. No new payment plans have been submitted in recent years though several Member States were discussing the issue.

Turning to the agenda item under discussion, Mr. Ramanathan introduced the Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236 (document A/73/350) concerning the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations. With resolution 55/235, the Assembly established a new system for adjusting Member States' regular budget rates of assessment to determine the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said. With resolution 55/236, the Assembly welcomed the voluntary commitment of a number of Member States to contribute to peacekeeping operations at a rate higher than required by their per capita income. The rate of assessment for peacekeeping operations was last considered at the seventieth session and in resolution 70/246, in which the Assembly reaffirmed the principles set out in resolution 55/235. The Assembly also recognized the need to reform the current methodology for apportioning peacekeeping expenses and decided to review the structure of the levels during its seventy-third session, he said.

The report updates the composition of the contribution levels in accordance with established criteria and in conjunction with the review of the regular budget scale of assessments, he said. The updated composition levels, subject to any adjustments stemming from the Assembly's review, will then be used to establish each Member State's peacekeeping rate of assessment for the 2019�2021 budget period. The effective rates will only be determined once a new regular budget scale is adopted.

Mr. EDREES (Egypt), speaking again for the Group of 77, said all Member States should pay their assessed contributions in full, on time and without conditions. It is unrealistic to continuously demand more of the Organization while unilaterally withholding contributions, he said. Stressing that some developing countries face difficulties that temporarily prevent them from meeting their financial obligations, he endorsed the Contributions Committees' recommendation that Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of its seventy-third session. The Committee should act on those countries' requests as soon as possible, he said, adding that multi-year payment plans should remain voluntary.

He reaffirmed the capacity-to-pay principle as the fundamental criterion in the apportionment of United Nations expense. The Group rejects any changes to the methodology for the scale of assessments that would result in developing countries paying more. Core elements must be kept intact. They are not negotiable, he said. The current maximum assessment rate of ceiling is the product of a political compromise that benefits only one Member State with a discount of $142 million, he said, urging the Assembly to review that arrangement and to consider an assessment on organizations with enhanced observer status in the United Nations. Applying the current methodology to the 2019-2021 assessments scale will lead to substantial increases in contributions for many developing countries, he said. The Group's share of the scale of assessments for the regular budget will increase to 25.477 per cent for developing countries � about three times the share its member States bore in 2007-2009. At the same time, the scale of assessments for developed countries continues to decrease. The Group rejects any attempt to unilaterally withhold contributions as a way to pressure the United Nations, he said, stressing also that any attempt to unfairly shift the burden of financing the Organization to developing countries will lead to unproductive discussions with no consensual outcomes.

Turning to the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations, he said current principles and guidelines should be the basis for any discussion. The scale must clearly reflect the special responsibilities of permanent Security Council members. The arbitrary and unilateral withholding of assessments is not in line with proper budgetary practices and has a disproportionate impact on troop� and police�contributing countries. He noted that only one permanent Council member, which is also a member of the Group of 77, has paid its assessments in full as of 30 September. The Group rejects attempts by developed countries to shift obligations to developing countries, which should not be assigned to the same level of contributions as developed countries solely based on per capita income. Special consideration should be given to least developed countries, who should continue to be assessed at the lowest level. Developing countries are unable to agree to further reductions to their discounts, he said, adding that no developing country that is not a permanent Council member should be classified above Level C in the peacekeeping scale.

CAROLINE NALWANGA (Uganda), speaking on behalf of the African Group and associating herself with the Group of 77, rejected any change to the current methodology aimed at increasing the contributions from developing countries. The African Group will closely monitor how reductions in the peacekeeping budget will affect conditions in the field, particularly in terms of the safety and welfare of peacekeepers and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction. It calls upon the permanent members of the Security Council to continue to shoulder their respective premiums of peacekeeping financing based on their capacity to pay and the agreed scale of assessments. Due recognition must be given to the contribution of African countries to peace and security, including the deployment of hundreds of peacekeepers. The contributions of regional and subregional organizations � such as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) or the Group of 5 Sahel Force � should be taken into account. Noting the commitment of African countries to contribute to the African Union Peace Fund from their meagre resources, she said those States must enjoy special status in the framework of revising the scale of contributions for 2019-2021. Concluding, she emphasized the need for open, inclusive and transparent negotiations that uphold the principle of multilateralism and the sovereignty of States.

Mr. ESCALANTE (El Salvador), speaking again for CELAC, reaffirmed the importance of the principle of capacity to pay, with the current methodology constituting a sound basis for apportioning the Organization's expenses. CELAC will oppose any proposals that would result in developing countries paying more or would create artificial ceilings. The methodology has worked well since its inception and there is no need to change it. He called on delegations to remember during their discussions that the current maximum assessment rate is the result of a political compromise that runs against the principle of capacity to pay. Regarding the peacekeeping budget, he said permanent members of the Security Council should keep shouldering their respective premiums. On multi-year payment plans, he said they should remain voluntary and not be used as a way to exert pressure on Member States facing difficult circumstances. Nor, he added, should they be a factor when considering exemptions under Article 19 of the United Nations Charter.

Mr. WEBSON (Antigua and Barbuda), speaking again for CARICOM and associating himself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said that the capacity-to-pay principle must remain the fundamental criterion for the apportionment of the Organization's expenses and that the core elements of the current methodology used to assess the scale of assessment � like gross national income, conversion rates and low per capita income adjustments � must remain unchanged. CARICOM believes that peacekeeping operations must be provided with necessary resources but maintains that the difficulties developing countries face in meeting their financial obligations deserve special consideration. The peacekeeping scale should reflect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, with due consideration for small island developing States and countries with small populations that may be perceived as rich nations if they have nominally high per capita income. Placement of developing countries above Level C in the peacekeeping scale is unacceptable, he said, as it fails to represent fair, balanced treatment of the Member States' economic realities. At present, the Bahamas has been placed in Level B � a level which should be reserved for developed countries. Developing countries with small, trade dependent and exceptionally vulnerable economies cannot and should not be expected to bear the same financial burden as our developed partners, he stressed.

Source: United Nation