USUN New York

1. (U) Summary.  The selection of the thirty-one members of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Organizational Committee remains stalled over the regional breakdown of the ECOSOC seats (reftel).  USUN, however, has managed to facilitate a rotational agreement among the top ten financial contributors regarding their representation on the PBC over the first two-terms, which allows for participation by each of the top contributors.  The agreement will allow the financial contributors to name their representatives as soon as ECOSOC acts, in accordance with the process spelled out in the resolutions.
2. (C) The donors’ discussions were not without controversy as Germany, in particular, demanded a longer-term rotational scheme to ensure that Japan would not become a de facto permanent member of the PBC (a proposal the Japanese termed “insulting”).  In the end, the leading contributors were able to agree on a rotation for the first four years while agreeing that the German proposal would serve as “an indicative template” beyond that.  As is common in New York, the agreed language masks an underlying unresolved difference of opinion.  End Summary.

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  1. shinichi Post author

    Cable: 06USUNNEWYORK457_a

    Public Library of US Diplomacy

    WikiLeaks

    http://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06USUNNEWYORK457_a.html


    C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000457

    SIPDIS

    SIPDIS

    E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/09/2011
    TAGS: PREL, EAID, KPKO, KUNR, UNSC, UNGA
    SUBJECT: UN REFORM/PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION: FINANCIAL
    CONTRIBUTORS AGREE, BUT PBC REMAINS STUCK ON MEMBERSHIP
    ISSUES

    REF: USUN 326

    Classified By: Ambassador Alex Wolff, Deputy Permanent Representative,
    for reasons 1.4 b,d.

    1. (U) Summary. The selection of the thirty-one members of
    the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Organizational Committee
    remains stalled over the regional breakdown of the ECOSOC
    seats (reftel). USUN, however, has managed to facilitate a
    rotational agreement among the top ten financial contributors
    regarding their representation on the PBC over the first
    two-terms, which allows for participation by each of the top
    contributors. The agreement will allow the financial
    contributors to name their representatives as soon as ECOSOC
    acts, in accordance with the process spelled out in the
    resolutions.

    2. (C) The donors' discussions were not without controversy
    as Germany, in particular, demanded a longer-term rotational
    scheme to ensure that Japan would not become a de facto
    permanent member of the PBC (a proposal the Japanese termed
    "insulting"). In the end, the leading contributors were able
    to agree on a rotation for the first four years while
    agreeing that the German proposal would serve as "an
    indicative template" beyond that. As is common in New York,
    the agreed language masks an underlying unresolved difference
    of opinion. End Summary.

    Identifying the big donors
    --------------------------

    3. (U) The UNGA and UNSC resolutions to operationalize the
    PBC determined that five top providers of assessed and
    voluntary contributions to the UN system "selected by and
    among the ten top providers" shall be members of the PBC
    Organizational Committee. The UN Secretariat was asked to
    produce the list of top contributors, based on a rolling
    three-year average of contributions to all UN funds, programs
    and agencies. The list was immediately controversial. A/SYG
    Bob Orr, in presenting the first draft to member states,
    noted that there was no agreed upon UN system-wide financial
    reporting that allowed for the easy collection of data.
    Countries lower on the initial list (e.g., Italy) complained
    that important UN agencies had been omitted. EU countries
    complained that their share of contributions made to the UN
    system through Brussels were not reflected.

    4. (U) The final list included a more complete accounting of
    UN contributions and was accepted as definitive for the
    purposes of this year's PBC selection process. It also
    illustrated the disparity in UN contributions. Over three
    years, the U.S. provided a total of nearly 11.5 billion
    dollars to the UN system; Japan nearly 5.5 billion dollars;
    and the UK nearly 3.5 billion. The Germans were next on the
    list at 2.4 billion dollars over three years. Netherlands,
    Italy, Norway, France, Sweden and Canada (at 1.6 billion)
    rounded out the top ten. Though not listed, we understand
    that Denmark is in the eleventh position, but with a
    substantial gap between its contributions and those of Canada.

    Arguing among friends
    ---------------------

    5. (U) Already on the PBC via the Security Council (along
    with the UK and France), USUN agreed to facilitate the
    decision among the ten donors on the process of selecting the
    five representatives. There was quick agreement within the
    group that the top five donors not already on the PBC would
    serve for the first two-year term. With five seats to divide
    among seven countries, there was also agreement that each of
    the top contributors should be given an opportunity to serve
    on the PBC within the first two terms (four years). The
    difficulty came in determining whether or not - and then how
    - to address rotation beyond those four years.

    6. (C) Among the Europeans, particularly the Italians and
    Dutch, there was a desire to prevent Germany from setting
    itself apart from the rest of the Europeans. The Germans, in
    turn, would not agree to a rotation scheme that included them
    but not the Japanese (rumored to reflect German unhappiness
    with Japan's failure to remain with the G-4 on Security
    Council expansion
    ). The Japanese, seeing their contribution

    as significantly higher than any of the other seven, took
    offense at the suggestion that they should agree now to come
    off the PBC in 2011. (Japanese DPR Ozawa told the assembled
    group of ten that Japan considered it an "insulting"
    proposal.
    ) Canada and Norway were unhappy that the EU
    countries had quickly sought to establish a group negotiation
    position.

    7. (U) Ambassador Wolff, over a period of weeks, emphasized
    the importance of avoiding a protracted negotiation among the
    leading donors that could cause a delay in the establishment
    of the PBC. He successfully secured agreement from the ten
    on the immediate issue of representation (the top five for
    2006-2007, with Sweden and Canada to join the top three for
    2008-2009). The contributors also agreed that the
    German-proposed longer-term rotation would serve as "an
    indicative template" for future years, but would be reviewed
    by the group prior to the third term.

    Reassuring the Japanese
    -----------------------

    8. (C) In practice, the vague language relating to the German
    scheme will have little effect four years from now, when the
    issue will be re-opened by the donors. We should expect
    another political negotiation, reflecting the rivalries of
    that time. The Japanese delegation in New York appears to
    understand this, but remains deeply upset that the Europeans
    "ganged up" on the one Asian country among the top
    contributors. Our Japanese contacts also report serious
    concern in Tokyo that the language of the agreement might be
    used to force them off the PBC in the future. We do not
    believe that to be the case. As long as Japan's
    contributions remain so significantly higher than all the
    others campaigning for a seat, we believe they should have
    the political capital here in New York to maintain their
    participation in the PBC for as long as they like.
    BOLTON

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