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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kofi Annan's budget, mandate and objectives

Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary-General of the UN,
 attended the ceremony at which his portrait
 was unveiled to join the gallery of portraits of his predecessors
 at UN Headquarters. The painting is the work
 of the artist John Keane. October 2010. (Click on picture)
In this report the UN Secretary General estimates that the "requirements for 2012 for the Office of the Joint Special Envoy" Kofi Annan amount to $7,488,000 net ($7,932,200 gross). 
Click here to read the official report. 


"United Nations
General Assembly
Office of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis
($7,488,000)
Background, mandate and objective 
1. Peaceful demonstrations calling for greater freedoms and democratic reforms started in March 2011 in some cities in the Syrian Arab Republic and rapidly grew into a large-scale, anti-Government protest movement across many parts of the country. Further escalation of the violence took place as some of the opposition groups resorted to armed action. There have also been terrorist attacks, most recently in Damascus on 17 March 2012 and in Aleppo on 18 March 2012, for which a known terrorist group claimed responsibility.
2. The Security Council issued a presidential statement on 3 August 2011 (S/PRST/2011/16) condemning widespread human rights violations and the use of force against civilians. The Council called for an immediate end to all violence, urged all sides to act with the utmost restraint and refrain from reprisals, including attacks against State institutions, and noted the slow pace of the reforms announced by the Government. The Human Rights Council has adopted a number of resolutions strongly condemning the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The General Assembly joined in condemnation of the human rights violations in its resolution 66/176.

3. Regional and international stakeholders have continued to search for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. The League of Arab States has actively considered the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic since its ministerial extraordinary meeting on 27 August 2011. On 2 November 2011, the League adopted a Plan of Action calling for a cessation of violence and the withdrawal of the military and tanks from cities, as well as the release of political prisoners. On 16 November 2011, the League decided to deploy an observer mission to the Syrian Arab Republic to oversee the implementation of the Plan. The mission was deployed on 27 December 2011. In its resolution 66/176, the General Assembly called on the Secretary-General to provide support, if requested, to the League of Arab States observer mission.

4. On 22 January 2012, the Council of Ministers of the League of Arab States adopted a new resolution demanding that the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic implement its plan of action of 2 November 2011 and calling for a dialogue under its auspices between the Syrian authorities and the Syrian opposition groups. The resolution also called for a government of national unity to prepare elections for a constituent assembly. It tasked the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to appoint a special envoy to follow the political process. It also requested the Chair of the Arab Ministerial Committee on the Situation in Syria and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to brief the Security Council in support of the League’s Plan of Action, which they did on 31 January 2012.

5. On 12 February 2012, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the League of Arab States adopted a new resolution reiterating their calls on the Syrian authorities to end the violence and implement the League’s previous decisions. They ended the mandate of the League of Arab States observer mission, which had been suspended since 28 January 2012 because of heightened concerns for the safety of the observers. They called on the Security Council to take action.

6. On 16 February 2012, the General Assembly adopted resolution 66/253, which endorsed the League’s Plan of Action of 2 November 2011 and its decisions of 22 January and 12 February 2012. The resolution called for an inclusive Syrian-led political process, conducted in an environment free from violence, fear, intimidation and extremism and aimed at effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, without prejudging the outcome. The Assembly also called for safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance. In that regard, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General and all relevant United Nations bodies to support the efforts of the League of Arab States, both through good offices aimed at promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, including through the appointment of a Special Envoy, and through technical and material assistance, in consultation with the League.
7. In that context, on 23 February, based on General Assembly resolution 66/253, the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States announced the appointment of Kofi Annan as the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis. Further to an oral presentation by the Secretariat if the United Nations to the General Assembly on 16 February, before the adoption of resolution 66/253, the Office of the Joint Special Envoy is currently being established in Geneva to support the efforts of the Envoy.

8. The objectives of the Joint Special Envoy include:
(a) Provision of good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, in support of the efforts of the League of Arab States. The Joint Special Envoy will consult broadly and engage with all stakeholders, including neighbouring States and other relevant countries. He will engage the Syrian authorities, Syrian opposition groups and other key civil society organizations. In consultation with the Under- Secretary-General for Political Affairs, he will advise the two Secretaries-General on options for a plan of action aimed at helping to end the violence and launching an inclusive Syrian-led political process, without prejudging its outcome but aimed at facilitating a transition to a democratic, plural political system in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs. He will stand ready, if requested, to undertake mediation and other special assignments;
(b) Working with all relevant United Nations entities and the League of Arab States to end the violence and promote a political solution;
(c) Undertaking broad consultations on the immediate political, socio- economic and security situation, as well as on the humanitarian and wider dimensions of the crisis. As appropriate, the Joint Special Envoy will also support efforts led by the Emergency Relief Coordinator aimed at securing safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to be delivered to persons in need. The Joint Special Envoy will also address human rights issues, as required. He will liaise as appropriate with the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator in the Syrian Arab Republic and the country team, and provide political guidance to them, while drawing on their analysis;
(d) As appropriate, briefing the General Assembly and other relevant United Nations bodies, as well as the Ministerial Council and the Ministerial Follow-up Committee of the League of Arab States.

9. On 21 March 2012, the Security Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/6) expressing full support for the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy to bring an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, secure humanitarian access and facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition. The presidential statement expressed full support for the initial six-point proposal submitted by the Envoy to the Syrian authorities on 11 March 2012, and called upon the Government and opposition to work in good faith with the Envoy towards a peaceful settlement of the crisis and to implement the initial six-point proposal. The Security Council also requested the Envoy to provide regular updates on his progress.
10. The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic presents a serious challenge for the United Nations. The political crisis continues to worsen and the human rights situation continues to deteriorate, while the stalemate between the Government and the opposition has not been broken. Although the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic reiterates its commitment to make political reforms, violence against protesters continues.

Cooperation with other entities
11. The primary task of the Joint Special Envoy is the provision of the good offices of the Secretary-General in the search of a solution to the Syrian crisis. While his office is dealing primarily with political issues, the Envoy will draw upon necessary expertise from across the United Nations system. In this regard, the Department of Political Affairs and United Nations Development Programme are co-chairing an inter-agency task force that aims to bring all relevant United Nations entities under one umbrella in support of resolving the crisis. In addition, administrative support and office premises for the Office of the Envoy are provided by the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Performance information
12. The Joint Special Envoy was appointed on 23 February 2012 and his key staff was recruited in March 2012. The Department of Political Affairs has assigned two officers to provide immediate support to the Joint Special Envoy. In March 2012, the Joint Special Envoy visited Cairo, Damascus, Qatar, Ankara, Moscow and Beijing to consult key stakeholders in the implementation of his mandate. His efforts have been aimed at achieving the goals outlined by the Joint Special Envoy in his aide- memoire of 11 March 2012 to the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Planning assumptions for 2012
13. The effective discharge of the activities of the Joint Special Envoy will require international staff to support his Office, liaise with all relevant actors and manage the day-to-day activities. The staff will have an official base in Geneva and travel regularly to the field to liaise with relevant actors.
14. Security conditions will allow for a continuation of the operations of the Office of the Joint Special Envoy on the ground. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, Syrian opposition groups and regional and international stakeholders will continue to support the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy. The Security Council will also continue to express confidence and support in his efforts.

15. The objectives, expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement for 2012 are presented below (Attached document).

Objective: To achieve through peaceful means a political solution to the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic, which will meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people to dignity, freedom and justice, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

Provision of good offices and consultations with all internal, regional and international parties concerned aimed at finding a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Regular visits to Damascus and other capitals to promote a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Advice to all Syrian stakeholders on best practices for reaching a negotiated solution, including on practical arrangements for the cessation of hostilities and other matters.

3 training workshops on negotiation processes for relevant stakeholders.

As appropriate, facilitation of negotiations between relevant parties to reach an agreement to end the crisis and put forward a political solution acceptable to all concerned.

Regular updates to the Security Council on the progress of the mission of the Joint Special Envoy.

Public awareness-raising initiatives of the Joint Special Envoy, including public statements (30) stressing the importance of political dialogue, an end to violence and human rights violations, and humanitarian access.

Regular briefings to the diplomatic community, including members of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the League of Arab States, on the political/security situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy

External factors
16. The objectives would be achieved on the assumption that all domestic, regional and international stakeholders will fully cooperate with the Office of the Joint Special Envoy.
Resource requirements (Thousands of United States dollars) (Attached document).
17. The estimated requirements for the Office of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis for the 10-month period ending 31 December 2012 amount to $7,488,000 net ($7,932,200 gross) and will provide for salaries and common staff costs for 18 positions ($3,022,300), as well as operational costs ($4,465,700), comprising consultancies ($165,700), official travel ($1,590,500), and facilities and infrastructure ($578,400); ground transportation ($100,200); air transportation ($750,000); communications ($94,800) and information technology ($135,700); and other supplies, services and equipment ($1,050,400). Of the non-post items, $111,800 relates to one-time expenditures for the refurbishment of office space ($30,000) and provision of information technology and other equipment ($81,800).

18. The initial resource requirements for the Office of the Joint Special Envoy were funded through the unforeseen and extraordinary expenditures mechanism of the Secretary-General. Since the initial funding was intended as a bridging mechanism, the resource requirement for the entire 10-month period is requested in the present report.

19. Extra budgetary resources have been allocated for three Political Affairs Officers (P-5, P-4, P-3) for six months to provide backstopping within the Department of Political Affairs, and for a general temporary assistance position for a Senior Adviser for three months, based in Geneva. (Attached document). 

20. The Office of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis comprises 11 substantive international staff (1 USG, 2 ASG, 2 D-2, 2 P-5, 2 P-4, 2 P-3), one Senior Administrative Officer (P-5), one Administrative Assistant (General Service, Principal level), one Personal Assistant (General Service, Principal level), three Team Assistants (General Service, Other level) and one Security Officer (General Service, Other level).

21. In addition to the existing staffing above, expertise would be made available from the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to complement the Joint Special Envoy’s team as and when required.
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