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Cablegate: Fifth Iom Standing Committee On Programs And

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGV #1021/01 3201006
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161006Z NOV 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0170

UNCLAS GENEVA 001021

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR PRM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL PHUM SMIG
SUBJECT: FIFTH IOM STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROGRAMS AND
FINANCES

1. (U) Summary: The fifth session of the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) Standing Committee on
Programs and Finance (SCPF) took place October 27-28 in
Geneva with Ambassador Mudaran (Venezuela), SCPF Chair,
presiding. Member states continued discussion of the 2010
administrative budget in advance of the 98th IOM Council
scheduled for November 23-26; recommended the Council approve
the revised 2009 budget; agreed to add the proposed
Structural Review to the Council's agenda, and to raise the
funding cap on projects under Line 1 of the 1035 Facility.
Member states rejected a proposal from the Chair to hold a
preliminary vote during the SCPF among the six candidates for
External Auditor. Unless a consensus forms around a single
candidate before the Council meeting, members agreed to hold
a formal vote at that time. IOM staff gave presentations on
the organization,s oversight and evaluation mechanisms and
its border management programs. IOM also reported on an
initiative in New York to included IOM in periodic UNGA
reporting on cooperation betwen international organizations
and UN agencies. End Summary.

----------------------------
Director General's Statement
----------------------------

2. (U) IOM Director General (DG) William Swing opened the
SCPF by welcoming newly elected Deputy Director General Laura
Thompson, who took office September 1. Swing then outlined
the aggressive agenda for IOM he has undertaken in his first
year in office: Budget Reform (including the Program and
Budget for 2010), Staff Rotation, and an ambitious Structural
Review. Swing said he understood the current global economic
environment was not the best time to be asking for additional
resources. However, in the same spirit of openness and
dialogue under which he campaigned for the Director General
position, he wanted the 2010 Budget presentation to
accurately reflect the needs of the organization in view of
the unprecedented growth in projects and staffing IOM has
experienced in recent years.

--------------------------
Discussion of Agenda Items
--------------------------

3. (U) Program and Budget for 2010: Ovais Sarmad, Director
for Resources Management, presented the 2010 Program and
Budget Report in a new, user-friendly format intended to more
clearly set out the needs of the organization, the
Administration,s best judgment on the resources necessary to
accomplish strategic objectives, and the decisions member
states needed to take at Council.

4. (U) The presentation document included two alternate
scenarios for the 2010 administrative budget. Under scenario
one, the administrative budget would rise 2.55 percent over
the 2009 level to account for statutory increases in core
staffing costs mandated by the UN Common system. Scenario
two includes those same statutory increases as well as an
additional 5.5 million Swiss francs (CHF) to fund IOM
participation in the UN combined security mechanism, CHF 3.3
million for maintenance of IOM,s new financial and human
resources management system (PRISM), and CHF 200,000 to
mainstream IOM,s responsibilities as UN cluster lead for
camp coordination and camp management. Including these items
would increase the administrative budget by 25.74 percent
over 2009 levels. Mr. Sarmad noted the need for broader,
long-term budget reform to simplify the IOM budget structure.

5. (U) A majority of countries who spoke at the session
supported scenario one. However, a number of member states,
including Canada, Spain, France, Japan, Portugal,
Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and Italy, supported a zero
nominal growth 2010 budget. Only a single delegation
(Ecuador) supported scenario two. Member States agreed on
the importance of reaching consensus on an overall budget
level before Council, and undertaking informal discussions
toward that end.

6. (U) Outstanding Contributions to the Budget: Mr. Sarmad
also reported that the 2009 outstanding assessed
contributions have decreased to CHF 2.8 million; twelve
Member States have entered into repayment plans; but twelve
others are still in arrears. The Africa Group reported that
discussion of arrearages has been upgraded to the
Ambassadorial level. Brazil reported the legislative process
for ratification of its membership is continuing.

7. (U) Appointment of the External Auditors for the period
2010-2012: At the suggestion of the Chair, this item was
moved up in the agenda. Member States discussed a variety of
methods to narrow down the current list of six candidates,

but rejected the Chair,s suggestion to hold a straw poll
during the SCPF. As no consensus on a preferred process for
making a final decision emerged from the discussions, the
chair asked the six candidates to meet in the weeks before
Council to try to narrow the number of candidates. If no
consensus emerges from that process, Member States will hold
a formal vote at the Council session.

8. (U) Proposed Structure Review: Discussion of this agenda
item took up almost half of the two-day SCPF meeting.
Chairman of the ad-hoc Structure Review Team (SRT), Gervais
Appave, presented a brief overview of the comprehensive
process the team undertook. After his presentation, nearly
forty member states took the floor to comment on the
proposal. Member States were generally supportive, though
many asked IOM to share a timeline for implementation and
conduct a review of the implementation process as it proceeds
over the next 2-3 years. Some member states voiced concerns
about the proposed location of some of the eight new Regional
Offices. Kenya and many other members of the Africa Group
were particularly worried about a perceived downgrading of
IOM's Nairobi office. Likewise, member states around the
Mediterranean felt there needed to be a more formal mechanism
to coordinate efforts in that region -- possibly a regional
or sub-regional office -- given its importance in migratory
flows and the fact that it falls under the responsibility of
two of the proposed new regional offices.

9. (U) Exchange of Views on Items Proposed by Membership:
Christophe Franzetti, Evaluation Officer in the Office of the
Inspector General, gave a very brief overview of IOM,s
oversight and evaluation processes. The Netherlands noted
the review was superficial and recommended that the
discussion continue in more detail during the next SCPF.

10. (U) David Knight, Head of the Technical Cooperation
Division, discussed IOM,s global efforts to enhance
individual country capacity for effective border management.
IOM,s work in this area includes border management
assessments conducted in cooperation with the applicable
state, and technical advice and training on border management
systems. IOM also recently contributed a chapter to a World
Bank publication on Border Modernization.

11. (U) Support for Developing Member States and Member
States with economy in transition (1035 Facility): Mr.
Knight also presented briefly on the 1035 Facility, noting
the administration's request to increase the funding cap for
projects funded under 1035 line one from USD 50,000 to USD
100,000. Many member states, including the United States,
supported the increase.

12. (U) Staff Association Committee Statement: Richard
Danziger, Chairman of the Staff Association Committee (SAC),
urged the administration to consider the impact of the
rotation and the restructuring on IOM staff, to ensure
equitable treatment of staff during the implementation of the
rotation policy, and to address taxation issues for those
staff members living in France and working in Geneva. Mr.
Danziger also voiced SAC,s concern with modifications to the
staff rules and regulations that could impact taxation on IOM
income and allowances. DG Swing thanked the SAC for their
statement; noted efforts made on the part of the
administration to address these concerns and to actively
consult with SAC during the structure review process; and
explained that the text of concern to the SAC has been part
of the staff rules and regulations since 2006.

13. (U) Report on Human Resources: New IOM Director of
Human Resources Michael Veltman briefed member states on the
progress made in Human Resource Management (HRM) over the
past year, including improvements in the transparency of
staff rotations, the review of staff rules and regulations,
and the extension of health insurance to local staff
worldwide.

14. (U) UN Reporting Mechanism: Bob Paiva, Director of
External Relations, described the efforts of the IOM
administration to work more closely with the United Nations
(UN), including pursuing pooled funds and participating in
relevant working groups, while maintaining its separate
observer status. Recently, IOM has undertaken an initiative
in New York to add IOM to a UN-produced report on cooperation
between observer organizations and UN organizations. This
report, produced every two years, provides a brief
description of UN cooperation with various organizations.
IOM hopes inclusion in the report would raise IOM's profile
among New York-based missions and organizations, and
disseminate information on IOM's range of activities more
widely. Mr. Paiva emphasized that participation in this
report would in no way affect IOM,s current observer

relationship with the UN.
GRIFFITHS

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