Timeline: Funding and Developments at the Office of the Special Advisers
August 31, 2007: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sends a letter to the Security Council president requesting approval to:
• Upgrade Deng from Assistant Secretary-General to Under-Secretary-General;
• Expand his title to Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (SAPGMA) (the mandate would remain unchanged, however, as attention to mass atrocities – potentially early warning signals of genocide – would be geared toward the prevention of genocide); and
• Appoint Edward Luck to the position of Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.
October 30, 2007: SG issues report on resource requirements for the two positions, which fall under “Special Political Missions.” The report:
• Reports on work of SAPGMA in 2007 as well as the development and function of his early warning role; Outlines expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement for the SAPGMA Office;
• Includes the budget request for Office of the SAPGMA: $1,902,900 (including salaries for 8 posts), and breakdown of request including staffing requirements;
• Explains that the upgrade to USG is necessary to emphasize importance of the mandate, and to ensure a high-level liaison role with Member States, regional organizations, etc.;
• Notes that the mandate of SAPGMA is linked closely to the mandate of the Special Adviser on RtoP; and
• States that SAR2P will have the sole focus of developing the concept and mandate of the Responsibility to Protect;
November 29, 2007: SG issues additional information on the SAPGMA’s office.
• Proposes staffing allotment for the office in 2008: 1 USG, 1 ASG, 4 P-level, 2 GS (8 posts total)
• December 11, 2007: The Security Council replies to Ban’s August letter. The Council:
• Acknowledges Luck’s appointment, leading to the public announcement of his appointment; and
• Asks for clarification from Ban on the addition of “Mass Atrocities” to Deng’s title (reportedly China and Russia were opposed to this change).
December 2007: The General Assembly’s Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) begins to discuss funding for the two positions.
• Some States deny that they had endorsed the Responsibility to Protect provision in the World Summit Outcome Document (WSOD). There was disagreement regarding the definition of the norm to which they had committed. This led to questioning the need for a Special Adviser on the norm. Some States proposed that the GA formally discuss how to implement the commitment in the WSOD (paragraph 139) before deciding on the Secretary-General’s proposals.
December 14, 2007: The ACABQ sends its recommendations to the GA’s Fifth Committee on budgetary issues. It recommends:
• Leaving the decisions about upgrading Deng’s position to Under-Secretary-General – and adding “Mass Atrocities” to his title – to the General Assembly;
• Leaving the decision about the appointment of an Assistant Secretary-General to serve as the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect to the General Assembly; and
• Requesting further explanation of the need for both of these changes.
December 24, 2007: In Fifth Committee negotiations, several delegations express opposition to the expansion of Deng’s title to include “Mass Atrocities”, as well as to the creation of the SAR2P (Cuba, Venezuela, Pakistan, China, Egypt, Nicaragua, Iran, India). Other delegations, including Argentina, supported both mandates. (See Press Release GA/AB/3832.)
The Committee negotiates a draft GA budget resolution reflecting a compromise agreement to:
• Approve upgrade of Deng’s position to USG [and establish an additional P3 and GS post for the office];
• Omit reference to the request to expand Deng’s mandate to include Prevention of Mass Atrocities; and
• Omit any mention of Edward Luck’s appointment, a new ASG post, or the role of Special Adviser on RtoP, reportedly due in part to concerns about national sovereignty.
The final text reads:
Decides to upgrade the position of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide to the Under-Secretary-General level, and to establish an additional P-3 and an additional General Service (Other level) position in his office (Para V.10).
The draft also:
• Regrets the recurrent late submission of the reports under consideration, which hinders the proper examination of the matter by the General Assembly, and requests the Secretary-General to present future budget proposals for the special political missions not later than the first week of November (Para V.2);
• Recalls its resolution 48/259 of 14 July 1994, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that functions and responsibilities of special envoys, special representatives and other special high-level positions are more clearly defined and streamlined, avoiding any possible duplication, and that the current financial regulations and budgetary procedures are fully complied with (Para V.6);
February 21, 2008: Secretary-General appoints Edward Luck as Special Adviser with a focus on the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanities.
December 2010: the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly voted to regularize three existing positions and fund three additional posts in the Office of the Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide (OSAPG). One of these positions will reportedly be focused on assisting with an emergency convening mechanism (as described in the SG’s report on Early Warning, Assessment and the Responsibility to Protect).