UN budget will fund Commission on Cameroon-Nigeria border, Annan says

17 August 2005

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has notified the Security Council that he will request funds from the organization’s regular budget to help pay for the crucial implementation of the World Court ruling on the demarcation of the land and sea border between Nigeria and Cameroon.

Up to 2003, the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, which has been negotiating how to implement the ruling, was funded entirely from extra-budgetary funds, he said in a letter to the Council president for August, Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan.

“During 2004-2005, the activities of the Commission were funded through the United Nations regular budget. Given the important tasks that remain at this crucial juncture in the work of the Commission, it is my intention to ask for additional resources from the regular budget for the Commission for 2006 to help advance the peaceful implementation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ),” Mr. Annan said.

The demarcation, expected to last approximately 96 weeks, had been delayed and placing pillars along the formerly disputed boundary would most likely begin in 2006, he said.

The two presidents asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set up the Mixed Commission after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in October 2002 that sovereignty rights over certain of the areas extending 1,600 kilometres from Lake Chad to the Bakassi Peninsula should go to Cameroon, while other areas should go to Nigeria. In its irrevocable judgement, the ICJ cited early 20th century agreements between the then colonial powers, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Using a net allotment of just over $9 million from the UN regular budget for the 2004-2005 biennium, the Mixed Commission, meeting every two months until last October, was able to move the process smoothly and peacefully and maintain communication between the two countries, Mr. Annan said.

Out of an estimated budget of $12 million for the demarcation of the land boundary, the Mixed Commission has been able to raise voluntary contributions of $8.15 million, with Cameroon and Nigeria contributing $3 million each, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland £1 million and the European Commission €400,000.

 

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