Resolution VI.17: Financial and budgetary matters


6th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Brisbane, Australia
19-27 March 1996

1. RECALLING the budgetary provisions established by Article 6, paragraphs 5 and 6, of the Convention;

2. ACKNOWLEDGING with appreciation the prompt payment by the majority of Contracting Parties of their contributions to the core budget of the Convention;

3. INVITING Contracting Parties that have not done so also to pay promptly their contributions in order to facilitate the work of the Convention and in particular the smooth financial running of the Convention Bureau;

4. NOTING with gratitude the additional financial contributions made by many Contracting Parties for activities undertaken under the Convention and the financial contributions also made for this purpose by intergovernmental institutions and non-governmental organizations; and

5. ACKNOWLEDGING with appreciation the effective financial and administrative services provided by IUCN - The World Conservation Union to the Ramsar Bureau;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

6. DECIDES that the Terms of Reference for the Financial Administration of the Convention contained in Annex 3 to Resolution 5.2 shall be applied in toto to the 1997-1999 triennium;

7. APPROVES the budget for the 1997-1999 triennium attached as Annex I;

8. DECIDES that the contribution of each Contracting Party to this budget will be in line with the scale of assessments for the contributions of Member States to the United Nations budget already approved by the UN General Assembly for 1997 (Annex II) and yet to be approved for 1998 and 1999;

9. INSTRUCTS the Standing Committee to report to the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties on its further investigation into alternatives to the use of the United Nations scale of assessments as the basis for the calculation of annual contributions to the Convention budget, taking into consideration the need for an equitable burden sharing among the Parties and the situation in developing countries;

10. FURTHER DECIDES that:

    a) the Ramsar Bureau shall establish a Reserve Fund to meet unforeseen and unavoidable expenditures, which shall not have implications for the core budget;

    b) the Fund’s source of income shall be:

      i) savings which result from limiting expenditures or efficiencies realized within the budget of the previous fiscal year;

      ii) payment of Contracting Party subscriptions that had been written off as bad debts;

      iii) interest earned on funds received, with the approval of the donor;

    c) the resources kept in the Fund should not be higher at any time than one-twelfth of the core budget of the current fiscal year;

    d) the Fund should be administered by the Secretary General under the guidance of the Subgroup on Finance as established by the Standing Committee; and

11. FURTHER DECIDES that:

    a) the Standing Committee shall establish a Subgroup on Finance, with a minimum of five and a maximum of seven members from different regions, and shall designate one of the members to act as Chair of the Subgroup;

    b) the Subgroup shall deal with all financial matters of the Convention and report and make recommendations on these matters to the Standing Committee;

    c) the Subgroup Chair, in consultation as appropriate with the Chair of the Standing Committee and, when so required, the Subgroup as a whole, shall provide guidance and advice to the Secretary General in the discharge of his/her duties in connection with the administration of the finances of the Convention (this shall include all issues related to the sourcing and use of funds in the Reserve Fund); and

    d) the Subgroup on Finance shall meet in anticipation of each Standing Committee meeting and prepare recommendations on all financial aspects that are submitted to the Standing Committee; otherwise, the Subgroup shall work by correspondence.

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