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UN Documentation: Peacekeeping

General Assembly & Peacekeeping

The General Assembly discusses select aspects of peacekeeping:

  • general issues relating to peacekeeping in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Fourth Committee;
  • financing of peacekeeping and the authorization of budgets for individual missions in the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and the Fifth Committee.

General Peacekeeping Issues

Since 1965, the General Assembly has considered general topics relating to peacekeeping:

  • agenda item "Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects"
  • allocated to the Fourth Committee since 1993
    • before 1993, it was discussed by the Special Political Committee
  • major document 
    • Report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations
  • Fourth Committee considers this and any other documents, and reports to plenary
  • Plenary considers the report of the Fourth Committee and adopts resolutions based on the report

Peacekeeping financing and budgets

Peacekeeping financing, in general

The General Assembly considers basic financial issues relating to peacekeeping:

  • agenda item "Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations"
  • allocated to the Fifth Committee
  • major documents:
    • Reports of the Secretary-General
    • Reports of the ACABQ (Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions)
      • the ACABQ reviews all reports of the Secretary-General on financial questions relating to peacekeeping
      • submits its findings to the General Assembly
  • Fifth Committee considers these reports, and any other documents, and reports to plenary
  • Plenary considers the report of the Fifth Committee and adopts resolutions based on the report

Financing of specific missions

The General Assembly considers the budgets of individual missions:

  • separate agenda item for each operation
  • allocated to the Fifth Committee
  • major documents, for each mission:
    • Reports of the Secretary-General
      • provide information about the political mandate and operational plan of the mission, the cost estimates and staffing requirements for a given time period as well as recommendations for actions to be taken by the General Assembly
      • symbol pattern A/session/-
      • example: A/69/820
    • Reports of the ACABQ (Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions)
      • the ACABQ reviews all reports of the Secretary-General on financial questions relating to peacekeeping
      • submits its findings to the General Assembly
      • symbol pattern A/session/-
      • example: A/69/839/Add.5
  • Fifth Committee considers these reports, and any other documents, and reports to plenary
  • Plenary considers the report of the Fifth Committee and adopts resolutions based on the report

Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

  • The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations does not have a website at this time
  • Established by General Assembly resolution 2006 (XIX) of 18 February 1965
  • Mandated to conduct a comprehensive review of all issues relating to peacekeeping
  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Sessional reports 
    • Supplement 19 to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR)
    • A/session/19
    • example: A/70/19
  • Press release series symbol

Fourth Committee

Top: UN Photo #279367: Chairman of Fourth Committee; Middle: UN Photo #611086: Assembly’s Fourth Committee Begins Consideration of UNRWA’s Work; Bottom: UN Photo #263749: Fourth Committee Hears Petitioner on Question of Namibia Continues Debate on DecolonizationThe Fourth Committee, one of the six Main Committees of the General Assembly, is allocated agenda items related to special political and decolonization matters, including peacekeeping.

  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Summary records
  • Press release series symbol

The Fourth Committee submits a separate report to the plenary on every agenda item allocated to it, including the item "comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations".

Each report:

  • indicates the meetings at which the item was considered
  • summarizes the committee's consideration of the item
  • identifies the sponsors of draft resolutions
  • reports the vote, if any, of Member States on draft texts
  • transmits the final version of draft resolutions and/or decisions recommended to the plenary for adoption
  • symbol pattern

The plenary considers each report and votes on the draft resolutions or decisions it contains.

For example, the General Assembly adopted resolution 70/92 based on the report of the Fourth Committee (A/70/499).

Historical note

Prior to the 48th session (1993), the Fourth Committee handled only decolonization questions. An additional Main Committee, the Special Political Committee (SPC), handled political questions.

  • symbol pattern: A/SPC/-
  • press release series symbol: GA/SPC/-

Until 1993, the SPC was listed in UN documents and publications after the First Committee. When the SPC and the Fourth Committee merged in accordance with General Assembly resolution 47/233, the Fourth Committee moved to the second spot. Today, in some publications such as the Journal, the order of the Committees is: First, Fourth, Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth.

Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)

The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) is a subsidiary of the General Assembly responsible for "expert examination of the programme budget of the United Nations" and assists the Fifth Committee.

  • ACABQ website
  • Established by General Assembly resolution 14 (I) of 13 February 1946
  • Membership increased by resolution 32/103 of 14 December 1977
  • Functions described in rules 155 to 157 of the Rules of procedure of the General Assembly (A/520/Rev.18)
  • Meets in New York in closed sessions
    • Meeting records and press releases are not issued
  • Reports to the General Assembly on:
    • Proposed programme budget
    • UN Accounts
    • Specific topics relating to the budget and finances of the organization
  • Only ACABQ reports on matters related to the proposed biennial programme budget have a unique symbol pattern 
  • Reports on other matters are issued without any particular symbol pattern

Fifth Committee

Member of the Fifth Committee at work.

The Fifth Committee, one of the six Main Committees of the General Assembly, is allocated agenda items related to administrative and budgetary matters.

  • Chapter IV, Article 17 of the UN Charter concerns the budget and finances;
  • General Assembly resolution 45/248 B, Sect. VI, reaffirmed the Fifth Committee's role in administrative and budgetary matters;
  • The Fifth Committee meets in 3 sessions throughout the year:

    • from September - December, during the General Assembly main session
    • in March of the following year in resumed session
    • in May for its second resumed session:
      • while the Committee may consider urgent matters relating to the financing of a peacekeeping mission authorized by the Security Council at any of its sessions, the second resumed session deals exclusively with administrative and budgetary aspects of UN peacekeeping
    • reviews reports of Secretary-General, ACABQ, and other bodies regarding budget and finances and reports to the plenary
    • the Links and Resources section of the website has useful information about the budget process and peacekeeping financing
  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Summary records
  • Press release series symbol 

The Fifth Committee submits a separate report to the plenary on every agenda item allocated to it. Each report:

  • indicates the meetings at which the item was considered
  • summarizes the committee's consideration of the item
  • identifies the sponsors of draft resolutions
  • reports the vote, if any, of Member States on draft texts
  • transmits the final version of draft resolutions and/or decisions recommended to the plenary for adoption
  • symbol pattern

The plenary considers each report and votes on the draft resolutions or decisions it contains.

For example, the General Assembly adopted resolutions 69/369/26269/263 and 69/274 based on the report of the Fifth Committee (A/69/422 + Add.1 + Add.2).