The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) should be provided with adequate resources given the vastness of the territory it covers and the volatile situation prevailing in parts of the country, African delegates told a UN Administrative and Budgetary Committee meeting in New York on Tuesday.
The committee met to consider reports on the administrative and budgetary aspects of peacekeeping financing.
Speaking on behalf of the African delegates, Jean Christian Obame of Gabon said that MONUC had proved to be one of the most complex missions in the history of UN peacekeeping, "and for its achievements to be sustained, there should be a sufficient deployment of troops".
He added, "Recruitment and training of civilian police would guarantee a smooth future exit strategy."
The committee was told that a new budget was to be submitted later in 2003 in connection with the UN Security Council’s revision of MONUC's mandate. The African delegates said the merits of providing the secretariat with a degree of flexibility should be explored, to ensure MONUC's ability to fulfil its mandate.
Responding to the delegates, the director of the UN's Peacekeeping Financing Division, Catherine Pollard, said the secretariat had made progress in lowering the vacancy rates for MONUC.
"As of 30 April, the vacancy rate for international staff was some 18 percent compared to 38 percent as noted in the performance report," she said.
Regarding the budget and its impact on troop numbers, she said the secretariat had prepared a budget based on 13,000 military personnel.
The committee is due to continue its meeting on Thursday.
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