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Programme and Programme support costs (decision 13/35)

At the 13th meeting of the session, on 23 May, the Council had before it a draft decision on this

Subject by the Bureau (UNEP/GC.13/L.26).

Changes suggested by the Bureau to the wording of paragraphs 2 and 8 were introduced orally.

Several representative questioned the changed, recalling that the wording as it stood had been

Agreed to by the majority of delegation after lengthily discussion. However, provided that the

Wording in paragraph 2 requesting the Executive Director to take all practicable steps as soon as

Possible was retained; they were prepared to agree to the delegation being suggested at the end of paragraph 8.

110. The Deputy Executive Director pointed out that, in paragraph 2 of Council decision 12/19, the Executive Director was requested to “continue to attempt to limit the programme and programme support costs budget to within 33 per cent of estimated contributions in 1984”, which was not something which could be complied with “as soon as possible”. The Executive Director could either be requested to continue his attempts or to reach the 33 per cents target in a given period of time. In the latter case it would be essential to give him specific directives as to what practical steps he should take.

One representative remarked that the points currently raised should have been brought up during

The discussion of the item.

Other representatives considered that the problems was merely one of drafting and suggested a

Wording which would avoid the problems the Bureau had with the text as it stood. Moreover, in

Their view, it should be left to the executive Director to manage the secretariat and to determine how to met the target only a general directive on how we should proceed was required.

The Deputy Executive Director stressed the implications of a decision that the executive Director

Should limit expenditures under the programme and Programme support costs budget to within 33 per cent of the level contributions. It should be understood that the Executive Director would not be able to achieve such a target at the existing level of contributions unless he reduced the staffing level significantly, thereby reducing the capacity of UNEP to implement the programme currently being approved by the Governing Council. Given the alternatives, the Executive Director would assume that the Council wanted him to operate in such a way that the programme approved by the Council would not be undermined.

The draft decision, reworded in paragraph 2 and 8 as suggested by a number of representatives,

Was adopted by consensus.

The represented of Mexico, noting that the paragraph relating to the transfer of a p-5 post from the

Programme and programme support costs budged to the relevant section of the regular budget of

The United Nations had been deleted from the original text of the draft decision discussed by the

Council and that the matter was not reflected in the drat decision just adopted, said he wished to

Make it clear that his delegation, along with other delegations, had been in favour of the transfer in

Question.