2020 Contingent-Owned Equipment Working Group

The General Assembly, in its resolution 50/222 of 11 April 1996, authorized the implementation of procedures for determining reimbursements to Member States for contingent-owned equipment (COE). The Manual on Policies and Procedures concerning the Reimbursement and Control of Contingent-Owned Equipment of Troop/Police Contributors Participating in Peacekeeping Missions (the COE Manual) details the procedures authorized by the General Assembly. The current version of the COE Manual is document A/72/288.

MONUSCO UN peacekeeping troops patrolling the area.

The basic principles of the COE system are simplicity, accountability, and financial and management control. Adhering to these principles requires reducing the administrative burden on troop/police contributors, the Secretariat, and peacekeeping missions; standardizing reimbursement rates on an equitable basis; and applying common standards to the provided equipment and services. Accountability and control are ensured by the system relying on an agreement (the Memorandum of Understanding) between the United Nations and the troop/police contributor.

To ensure full and consistent implementation of General Assembly decisions, the COE Manual contains policies, procedures and actions to be followed by United Nations Headquarters and peacekeeping missions. The COE Manual also provides clarification and explanations, where required, on the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly. The document is also intended to provide assistance to troop/police contributors.

The COE Manual is subject to review every three years through the COE Working Group which is a subsidiary body of the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly. The COE Working Group, a technical body comprising representatives of Member States, provides recommendations on the rates of reimbursement for COE and the associated policies, procedures, standards and definitions. The COE Working Group makes recommendations on the basis of proposals submitted by both the Secretariat and individual Member States in the form of issue papers. In the context of the review of COE reimbursement rates, the COE Working Group also considers national cost data provided by Member States. The recommendations of the COE Working Group are presented to the General Assembly, through its Fifth Committee (along with recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions), for its endorsement.

The 2020 meeting of the COE Working Group convened in New York from 20 to 31 January 2020. As decided by the General Assembly in its resolution 71/296, an organizational pre-session was held in New York on 21 November 2019. The organizational pre-session meeting elected the Bureau of the 2020 COE Working Group and agreed the agenda of the 2020 session.

The 2020 COE Working Group agreed on 48 recommendations. This is the highest number of recommendations ever agreed in a Working Group since the inception of the system in 1996 and almost double the number of recommendations agreed in the 2017 COE Working Group. The recommendations of the Working Group are contained in its report A/74/689. The General Assembly in its resolution 74/279 of 30 June 2020 endorsed the recommendations of the 2020 COE Working Group.

The recommendations of the 2020 COE Working Group as endorsed by the General Assembly will be reflected in a new edition of the COE Manual.  In accordance with General Assembly resolution 59/298, the 2020 version of the COE Manual will be distributed as a United Nations document in all six official languages.