KINSHASA: MONUSCO Budget at the Heart of the Visit by UN General Assembly Commission
A delegation from the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly paid a working visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, from April 18 to 22, 2022, as part of the preparations for the annual budget of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
The Fifth Committee is responsible for administrative and budgetary matters. It is based on the reports to be issued by this commission that the General Assembly reviews and approves UN budgets including that of the Peacekeeping Missions, such as MONUSCO.
The objective of the visit was to allow the delegation to assess the realities facing the Mission on the ground through collecting concerns from representatives from the different components on the overall situation of peace in the DRC. This is in order to prepare the discussions relating to the draft annual budget of the Mission.
In Kinshasa, members of the Fifth Committee discussed at length on Wednesday April 20, 2022 with the various components of MONUSCO. The discussions took place under the moderation of Bintou Keita, head of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Head of MONUSCO clarified that MONUSCO's draft budget contains the necessary elements to ensure that the Mission can implement the main priorities of its mandate and achieve progress in the implementation of the Joint Transition Plan, being aware of the risks associated with such an unstable and complex operating environment. “The budget proposal follows a trend of steady reduction in Mission resources over the past eight years, reflecting the withdrawal to Kasai and Tanganyika provinces, in line with the joint transition plan,” she said..
During this meeting, MONUSCO’s components presented their concerns, which take into account the priority needs to be included into the next budget of the Mission.
Ebrima Ceesay, Director of the Department of Mission Support (DMS), specified that "these needs relate to the improvements the Mission will have to make for the protection of civilians, support for human resources and especially MONUSCO Forces which consume 50% of the Mission's annual budget".
According to the Director of the UN Mission’s Support in the DRC, it is more likekely that MONUSCO will see a small budget cut of less than 1%. “Which could not affect MONUSCO civilian staff in this transitional phase of the Mission,” he said.
In the same vein, Ebrima Ceesay said MONUSCO has proposed a budget of one billion 40 million US dollars for this year 2022. An amount that will be the subject of discussions shortly between the stakeholders in the process of crafting the Mission's budget. These discussions will take place on May 11, 2022, he said.
After the Kinshasa leg, the delegation of the 5th commission flew to Goma in North Kivu and to Kalemie in Tanganyika where MONUSCO office will be closed next June.
In Kalemie, the delegation met with representatives of MONUSCO and United Nations Agencies. The discussions focused on Tanganyika's transition plan, as well as protection and security issues in the Bendera area, which is still plagued by the presence of armed groups.
The delegation also visited several Quick Impact Projects (QUIPS) initiated in Kalemie prison by the Prison Administration Support Section of MONUSCO. The head of the Correction unit led, for this purpose, the guided tour of the prison which received significant support from MONUSCO in terms of infrastructure and training. These include the construction and equipment of an already operational courtroom, the donation of a Prado vehicle which serves as an ambulance.
Kalemie prison has also benefited from several training courses for both prisoners and staff, in computers learning, in soap making for female prisoners as well as young prisoners.
Quick impact projects are an important component of MONUSCO's budget