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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06USUNNEWYORK774 2006-04-12 16:40:00 UNCLASSIFIED USUN New York
Cable title:  

UN CAPITAL MASTER PLAN: STATUS OF FIFTH COMMITTEE

Tags:   UNGA KUNR AORC 
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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0774/01 1021640
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121640Z APR 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8705
					  UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000774 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNGA KUNR AORC
SUBJECT: UN CAPITAL MASTER PLAN: STATUS OF FIFTH COMMITTEE
NEGOTIATIONS




1. This is an action request. Please see para. 7.



2. SUMMARY: Fifth Committee discussions on the Capital
Master Plan are currently stalled. The Committee is unable
to reach consensus on the level of funding needed for ongoing
work, with the U.S. alone supporting less than the full
$100.5 million request. USUN is concerned that agreeing to
the full amount now would be seen as an endorsement of the
project prior to a final USG decision. USUN believes further
consultations with Members of Congress are necessary before
agreeing to this funding. In addition, it may be necessary to
also receive written assurances from the Secretariat as to
what exactly this resolution would authorize (and not
authorize) and why this level of funding is required at this
time. END SUMMARY.



2. Fifth Committee discussions on the Capital Master Plan
during the March resumed session did not lead to the
endorsement of a strategy or financing plan for the project.
These issues are now to be discussed in the May resumed
session. The Committee is currently debating the level of
appropriation the General Assembly should approve in order to
keep the project moving forward. The Secretariat is
requesting $100.5 million in order to conclude design work
and begin procurement of swing space. USDel has consistently
stated the USG position that a full appropriation is not
appropriate at this time, given the fact that there has not
yet been an endorsement of strategy. USDel has said that an
appropriation of $23.5 million, necessary to complete design
work, would be acceptable.



3. All other delegations are in support of the large
appropriation of $100.5 million, which they say is needed to
avoid budget cost increases due to delay, suggesting that it
is a way of showing commitment to the project. The Committee
was unable to reach consensus and so Committee Chairman John
Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) has tabled a text that he hoped
would achieve consensus. The Chairman's text includes a
$23.5 million appropriation with $77 million in commitment
authority. The Secretariat has indicated that this would be
sufficient for its purposes, and other delegations have not
stated a problem with this approach. This has left the U.S.
alone in supporting the smaller amount.



4. The Fifth Committee negotiations are now also garnering
press attention (New York Sun, April 5 and April 7; Reuters,
April 10) and there is also criticism from other areas. The
Department also recently received a question for the record
from Senator Biden. The U.S. is being pressured by Member
States and the Secretariat to agree to the Chairman's text,
with written assurances from the UN clarifying what is being
decided in the draft resolution, if necessary.



5. USUN is concerned that, despite written assurances,
agreement to the appropriation and commitment authority would
be an implicit agreement to move forward with the project, a
decision which has not yet been made either by the USG or by
the UN General Assembly for that matter. USUN is also
concerned that, at this time, there have not been sufficient
consultations with Members of Congress regarding the $100.5
million or the larger project cost of up to $1.8 billion.
USUN believes that further consultations with Congress are
necessary before agreeing to the $100.5 million.



6. In a conversation with Ambassador Wallace,
Deputy-Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown indicated that
the General Assembly must make a decision on a CMP strategy
during the May resumed session. He also stated that
approving $100.5 million now will allow some Member States
time to budget for their assessment. A decision to
appropriate this amount later might mean that some countries
would have greater difficulty paying their shares.



7. ACTION REQUEST: USUN requests consultations with key
Members of Congress and/or staff as soon as possible and will
discuss with DSG Malloch Brown written assurances. Para. 8
includes a draft letter that may provide adequate assurances
to the USG regarding the resolution. Pending the outcome of
discussions, including the concurrence of key Members of
Congress, USUN recommends that USDel postpone discussion on
the Chairman's text. USUN requests guidance on this approach.



8. Begin text:

In response to questions raised concerning the appropriations
and commitment authority being considered by the Fifth
Committee with respect to the Capital Master Plan, we are
providing the following specific clarifications:




1. The General Assembly has not yet made a decision as to
the future of the Capital Master Plan and must still decide
whether to endorse a strategy and which one to endorse,



2. The work to date and expected under the current request
is strategy-neutral; it neither endorses nor progresses any
particular strategy and therefore does not preclude any
future decision to be made by the General Assembly,


3. Future appropriations and commitment authority will be
decided in the context of a General Assembly decision on
strategy,


4. The current request for funding is made to abide with
established UN procurement rules and regulations,


5. All work is to keep the CMP on the critical path where
delays will result in an increase in project costs due to
cost escalations,


6. The actual liability for procurement by May 2006 is not
expected to aggregate to much more than $1-2 million of
actual obligation,


7. If no strategy is selected during May 2006, it would
not be prudent to continue either the work started under the
first $23.5 million or finish the procurement of work
anticipated by the additional $77 million,


8. In order to allow some Member States that require it
time to budget for their share of assessments, it is
necessary to request this level of funding in advance of, but
with the expectation of, a future decision by the General
Assembly.

End text.
BOLTON