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SITUATION AS REGARDS EXTRABUDGETARY FUNDS

On Monday, 14 August 1995, Executive Secretary Arba Diallo presented the situation as regards extrabudgetary funds, as contained in documents A/AC.241/41 and A/AC.241/41/Add.1. He said that for greater transparency, the document contained a report on the use of funds provided through the regular budget of the UN. These expenditures were disbursed in accordance with the programme budget implications (PBI) statement. The report also highlights expenditures from the Trust and Voluntary Funds, as well as the staffing situation. He said the situation regarding staffing was precarious. The six staff members funded from extrabudgetary resources have contracts that are linked to specific government contributions that are running out. The Voluntary Fund, through which participants from developing countries are funded to attend the INCD sessions, is almost exhausted.

Several delegations said the document was transparent and well prepared, however, Canada would like to see the costs listed by activity.

A few countries made financial pledges. Germany will provide DM70,000 for the participation of developing country delegates in future sessions of the INCD. Japan is committed to providing US$700,000 for both the Trust and Voluntary Funds. However, its voluntary contributions should fund LDC delegates. Israel pledged US$3,000 and the European Union pledged ECU50,000. Canada said it will continue funding the legal officer for another year and will donate funds for the participation of LDCs. France said it will soon pay the FF300,000 pledged at INCD-6 for the participation of LDC delegates. Sweden will continue to support the work of the Secretariat and contribute to the Voluntary Fund for LDC delegates. Mauritania said it was considering making a contribution to the Trust Fund. Egypt, supported by Benin, urged the Secretariat to look into the possibility of tapping into private funding sources.

Some developing country delegates expressed concern about the Secretariat's funding situation, noting that this differed from the situation of other secretariats. Others drew attention to the need to fund developing countries delegates as well, not just those from the LDCs. Algeria called for the provision of funds to affected developing countries to enable them to prepare their reports for the first COP.

The question of funding drew greater attention towards the end of the two week session, which resulted in protracted debate during the closing plenary, after the Chair presented two papers: Conclusions by the Chairman (A/AC.241/CRP.15/Add.1) and the Chairman's revised proposal for a draft decision (A/AC.241/L.27) on dates and venues of future sessions of the INCD.

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