Role of the Fifth Committee
Under Article 17 of the UN Charter, the General Assembly may examine and approve the organisation’s expenditure and the apportionment of funding among Member States. These tasks fall in practice to the Fifth Committee, which meets during the main part of the General Assembly’s ordinary session (September to December) and at resumed sessions in March and May.
During the main part of the session, the Fifth Committee primarily examines issues that require the General Assembly to authorise expenditures before the end of the calendar year (such as the approval of the two-year budget). At the resumed session in March, the Fifth Committee then addresses those topics that were not dealt with during the main part. Under UNGA Resolution 49/233, the resumed session in May is devoted to questions on the funding of peacekeeping operations. However, the Fifth Committee may examine a draft budget for a peacekeeping operation at any time should the Security Council mandate an emergency operation. In addition to budget matters, the Fifth Committee may also examine administrative and management issues, as well as human resources matters. On of its functions is to issue opinions on the basis of reports from the Secretary-General and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). The latter comprises 16 independent experts elected by the General Assembly and is a key element in Member States’ monitoring of the UN’s budgets.
Update : July 2010
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