Annotated Agenda: Item 1-10
General Conference, Seventh session
Annotated Agenda, Item 1-10
Item 1. Opening of the session
In accordance with rule 34 of the rules of procedure of the General Conference, the President of the sixth session, or, in his absence, the head of the delegation from which the President of that session was elected (Russian Federation), will open the seventh session of the General Conference.
Item 2. Election of officers
At each regular session the Conference shall, with due regard for equitable geographical representation, elect, from among the representatives of Members, the following officers: a President and nine Vice-Presidents, as well as a Chairman for each Main Committee (rule 35). The officers elected shall constitute the General Committee. In accordance with rule 35 and appendix A of the rules of procedure, the President of the seventh session should be elected from the African States in List A of Annex I to the Constitution. However, following an agreement reached between the Members in List B and the Members from the African States in List A, the President of the fifth session which was to be elected from List B was elected from the African States in List A with the understanding that, for the seventh session, the President should be elected from List B. The nine Vice-Presidents shall be elected so as to ensure the representative character of the General Committee (rule 35.3). Should the Conference decide to establish Main Committees (see item 4 below), the Conference shall also elect a Chairman for each Main Committee.
Item 3. Adoption of the agenda
In accordance with Article 9.4 (g) of the Constitution, the Industrial Development Board at its seventeenth session adopted the provisional agenda for the seventh session of the General Conference, as reflected in decision IDB.17/Dec.9. The provisional agenda to be submitted to the Conference for approval is contained in document GC.
Item 4. Organization of work
In accordance with Article 9.4 (g) of the Constitution, the Industrial Development Board at its seventeenth session adopted the provisional agenda for the seventh session of the General Conference, as reflected in decision IDB.17/Dec.9. The provisional agenda to be submitted to the Conference for approval is contained in document GC referred for a more focused debate aimed at the preparation of consensus draft decisions and resolutions for submission to the plenary. When considering the organization of work, it should be kept in mind that the budget for the Conference in the programme and budgets of UNIDO, 1996-1997, provides only for ten plenary meetings, five Main Committee meetings and five geographical group meetings.
Item 5. Credentials of representatives to the Conference
As stipulated in Article 8.1 of the Constitution of UNIDO, the Conference shall consist of representatives of all Members of the Organization. Membership in the Organization is defined in Article 3 of the Constitution. In accordance with rule 27 of the rules of procedure of the Conference, the credentials of representatives and the names and titles of the other persons constituting the Member's delegation shall be submitted to the Director- General if possible not less than one week before the opening of the session which the delegation will attend. Any later change in the composition of the delegation also shall be submitted to the Director-General. The credentials of representatives shall be issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Member concerned. A Permanent Representative to the Organization does not require special credentials if his/her letter of accreditation to the Organization specifies that he/she is authorized to represent his/her Government at sessions of the Conference, it being understood that this does not preclude that Government from accrediting another person as its representative by means of special credentials.
A Credentials Committee of nine members shall be appointed at the beginning of the Conference on the proposal of the President. Its composition shall be based on that of the Credentials Committee of the United Nations General Assembly at its fifty-second session, which is as follows: Argentina, Barbados, Bhutan, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Norway, Russian Federation, United States of America and Zambia. The Committee shall examine the credentials of representatives and report without delay to the Conference which shall decide any question arising (rule 28).
Item 6. Election to organs
Industrial Development Board
In accordance with Article 9.1 of the Constitution, the Industrial Development Board shall consist of 53 Members of the Organization elected by the Conference, which shall give due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution. In electing the members of the Board, the Conference shall observe the following distribution of seats: 33 members of the Board shall be elected from the States listed in Lists A and C, 15 from the States listed in List B, and 5 from the States listed in List D of Annex I to the Constitution.
Programme and Budget Committee
In accordance with Article 10.1 of the Constitution, the Programme and Budget Committee shall consist of 27 Members of the Organization elected by the Conference, which shall give due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution. In electing the members of the Committee, the Conference shall observe the following distribution of seats: 15 members of the Committee shall be elected from the States listed in Lists A and C, 9 from the States listed in List B and 3 from the States listed in List D of Annex I to the Constitution.
In accordance with Article 10.2, "members of the Committee shall hold office from the close of the regular session of the Conference at which they were elected until the close of the regular session of the Conference two years thereafter. members of the Committee may be reelected."
At its sixth session, the Conference elected the following States to hold office until the close of the seventh regular session of the Conference in December 1997: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay. Other stipulations concerning the election of the members of the Industrial Development Board and the Programme and Budget Committee are contained in rule 102 of the rules of procedure of the General Conference.
Item 7. Reports of the Industrial Development Board on the work of its fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth regular sessions and of its seventh special session
In accordance with Article 9.4 (c) of the Constitution, the Board shall report to the Conference at each regular session on the activities of the Board. Since the closure of the sixth session of the General Conference, the Board will have held four regular and one special session.
Item 8. Annual reports of the Director-General on the activities of the Organization for 1995 and 1996
In accordance with rule 13.1 (b), the provisional agenda for each regular session of the Conference shall include the annual reports of the Director-General on the activities of the Organization. The Conference will thus have before it the annual reports of UNIDO for 1995 and 1996, which were submitted to the Board at its sixteenth and seventeenth sessions
In resolution GC.6/Res.2, the Conference requested the Director-General to adapt, beginning with the Annual Report of UNIDO, 1995, the annual report into a consolidated report covering (i) new technical cooperation programmes, (ii) progress on current programmes and (iii) an assessment of completed programmes. The implications for the structure of the annual report of the requirements stipulated in that resolution were discussed with Permanent Missions in a briefing held on 5 June 1996.
In decision IDB.16/Dec.2, the Board took note of a report of the Director-General on the initial proposal of the Government of Turkey for the establishment of an international centre for hydrogen energy technologies (IDB.16/26), financed exclusively by voluntary contributions to UNIDO, as an autonomous technological institution, within the legal framework of UNIDO. The Board requested the Director-General to pursue the discussions with the Turkish authorities for the eventual establishment and long-term operation of the centre. The Board invited the General Conference at its seventh session to take note of decision IDB.16/Dec.2. Subsequently, in response to a request of the Board in the same decision, the Director-General reported on further progress made in the establishment of the centre (GC.7/7).
Item 9. Policy framework of UNIDO
Resolution GC.6/Res.1 adopted by the Conference at its sixth session commended the Director-General and UNIDO staff for the efforts made so far to reform and progress towards a more efficient and leaner Organization. The resolution expressed support for the role of UNIDO in specific areas and provided a mandate for the Director-General to continue to implement the reform process. The Director-General was also requested to pay due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution, to keep Member States informed on the implementation of the reform and to report to the Conference at its seventh session through the Board on the implementation of resolution GC.6/Res.1.
Following developments subsequent to the sixteenth session of the Board and at the request of Mr. S. K. Lee (Republic of Korea), President of the sixteenth session, in accordance with rule 4.2, the seventh special session was convened from 21 to 25 April 1997 for the sole purpose of discussing the future of UNIDO. At that session, the Board decided to establish an intersessional working group with equitable geographical representation, under the chairmanship of Mr. I. Posta (Hungary) (IDB/S.7/Dec.3). In the same decision, the Board invited Member States to continue to contribute to the formulation of basic parameters to guide the work in adapting the Organization to new economic realities.
Following the submission of the report of the intersessional working group to the seventeenth session, the Board adopted the business plan on the future role and functions of UNIDO, as contained in the annex to decision IDB.17/Dec.2. The Board requested the intersessional working group to continue its work under the chairmanship of Mr. Posta and also requested the group in particular to further develop, in consultation with the Secretariat, a set of criteria and indicators that would allow the future assessment of the implications and monitoring of the implementation of the UNIDO reform process, including the performance of the Organization, in particular through the programme and budget. The Board further requested the chairman of the intersessional working group to report to the Board before the seventh session of the General Conference.
Item 10. Financial matters
Financial situation of UNIDO
The Conference will have a report by the Director- General showing the financial situation of UNIDO as of 31 October 1997 (to be updated immediately before the opening of the session). The report will contain a cash flow analysis for 1997, including the status of assessed contributions to the regular budget and the status of advances to the Working Capital Fund.
Scale of assessments of Member States
In accordance with rule 13.1 (k) of the rules of procedure of the Conference, the provisional agenda for each regular session of the Conference shall include recommendations of the Board for the establishment of the scale of assessments. Article 15 of the Constitution stipulates that regular budget expenditures shall be borne by the Members, as apportioned in accordance with a scale of assessments established by the Conference by a two-thirds majority of the Members present and voting, upon the recommendation of the Board. That Article also stipulates that the scale of assessments shall be based to the extent possible on the scale most recently employed by the United Nations and that no Member shall be assessed more than 25 per cent of the regular budget of the Organization.The Conference will have before it the recommendations of the Board, based on conclusion 97/5 of the Programme and Budget Committee (PBC) concerning the scale of assessments for 1998-1999.
Working Capital Fund
In accordance with financial regulation 5.4, upon recommendation of the Programme and Budget Committee and subsequently the Board, the Conference shall determine the amount and purposes of the Working Capital Fund. Financial regulation 5.5 (d) stipulates that advances to the Working Capital Fund shall be assessed and paid in United States dollars. At its sixth session, the Conference in its decision GC.6/Dec.16 decided that for the 1996-1997 biennium the level of the Working Capital Fund and the authorized purposes of the Fund should remain the same as for the previous bienniums (see decision GC.2/Dec.27). The Conference will have to take action on the recommendations of the Board concerning the level and purposes of the Working Capital Fund for the biennium 1998-1999, as contained in a Board decision to be adopted at its resumed eighteenth session, based on PBC conclusion 97/6.
Appointment of external auditor
In accordance with financial regulation 11.1, an external auditor, who shall be Auditor-General (or an officer exercising an equivalent function) of a Member State, shall be appointed in the manner and for the period decided by the Conference. By decision GC.5/Dec.17 the Conference decided to appoint the President of the Federal Court of Audit of Germany as the External Auditor of UNIDO for a period of two years beginning 1 July 1994, and subsequently by decision GC.6/Dec.18 it extended that appointment until 30 June 1998.
In decision GC.6/Dec.18 the Conference requested the Director-General, in future, to invite proposals from Member States for the appointment of an external auditor and to submit such proposals to the PBC for consideration. In a note verbale dated 6 December 1996, Member States were invited to inform the Director- General of their interest in providing the services of an External Auditor. Following the seventh special session of the Board, a further note verbale dated 7 May 1997 invited proposals from Member States. Detailed background information was provided to the PBC in document PBC.13/2. The Conference will thus have before it the recommendations of the Board on the appointment of an external auditor for the period 1 July 1998 to 30 June 2000, based on PBC conclusion 97/8.