World Economy

UNGA Trims Budget

UNGA Trims BudgetUNGA Trims Budget

Despite ever increasing demands on the United Nations, its core budget for the next two years has just been trimmed.

The 193-member General Assembly has agreed to a $5.4 billion budget for the years 2016/2017, which is $100 million less than for the past two years, DW reported.

The US, which pays the maximum 22%, said the 2016/2017 budget was a “great step forward” for reforming management and budgetary practices .

“For the first time in 26 years, the committee adopted a staff compensation package that slows previously-mounting staff costs, which had hindered service delivery,” said a US official.

“The elimination of 150 redundant posts is a further step in the direction of the organization’s efficiency, as are 5% reductions in supplies, travel, and furniture and other equipment costs,” the official said.

But it remains to be seen whether these cuts will improve efficiency , or lead to diminished services.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the assembly that the cuts were effectively penny-wise but pound-foolish.

“The budget you have approved reflects the difficult global financial reality we have faced for a number of years,” Ban Ki-moon said. “Funding continues to shrink while demands on the United Nations grow.”

“Your hard work, unwavering commitment and flexible cooperation have contributed to reaching that agreement,” Ban said, noting that delegates have worked through the night and reached agreement earlier than in past years.

“The budget you have approved reflects the difficult global financial reality we have faced for a number of years,” he told the 193-member General Assembly, which wrapped up its work for the main part of its seventieth session by taking action on a number of texts recommended by the Fifth Committee, which focuses on administrative and budgetary issues.

The budgets cuts, however, do not include peacekeeping–which has a separately negotiated budget of $8.27 billion for the year to June 30, 2016–or the costs of several major UN agencies funded by voluntary contributions from member states.

Other top contributors for 2016/2017 will be Japan with 9.68%, China 7.92%, Germany 6.38% , France 4.85%, Britain 4.46%, Brazil 3.82%, Italy 3.74%, Russia 3.08% and Canada 2.92%.