X Close

World

Published: Saturday December 28, 2013 MYT 7:51:04 AM
Updated: Saturday December 28, 2013 MYT 7:52:06 AM

U.N. General Assembly approves $5.5 billion budget for 2014/15

A United States Coast Guard boat patrols the waters of New York's East River in front of the United Nation's building during the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Zoran Milich

A United States Coast Guard boat patrols the waters of New York's East River in front of the United Nation's building during the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Zoran Milich

(Reuters) - The United Nations General Assembly on Friday approved a $5.53 billion U.N. budget for 2014-2015, down 1 percent from the total spending during the previous two years.

The new biennial budget includes a 2 percent staffing cut, or some 221 posts, and a one year freeze in staff compensation.

The so-called core U.N. budget that was adopted does not include peacekeeping, currently running at over $7 billion a year and approved in separate negotiations, or the costs of several major U.N. agencies funded by voluntary contributions from member states.

As in past years, the biennial budget negotiations were marked by a tussle between poor countries seeking to raise U.N. development spending and major developed countries, which are the biggest budget contributors, trying to rein in the figures as they struggle to reduce expenditures in their own national budgets.

Fiji's U.N. Ambassador Peter Thomson, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing nations, said the 2014-2015 budget "represents the best that we as member states can muster at this time of continuing austerity in the world economy."

He said the G77 bloc supported the budget "with deep concern that budgetary austerity may negatively affect the development pillar of the work of the United Nations."

Critics of the United Nations, especially in the United States, have long charged that it is a bloated and sometimes corrupt bureaucracy that wastes taxpayers' money.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Joe Torsella, who focuses on U.N. management and reform at the U.S. mission, said the 2014-2015 budget marked a "new commitment to real fiscal discipline at the United Nations at a tough time for hardworking families around the world."

"Our shared goal should be to ensure that the United Nations can maximize the results that it delivers with the amount of resources that member states are collectively able to provide," Torsella said.

The United States, which pays 22 percent of the U.N. budget, is the biggest financial contributor to the United Nations.

advertisement

  1. MH370 search: Next 48 hours crucial, says Hishammuddin
  2. Gobind: My father was a simple man, who enjoyed simple things
  3. CM proposes that sea front be renamed Karpal Singh Drive
  4. Former police chief recalls fond memories
  5. Dr Mahathir: Kassim Ahmad's arrest wrongly portrays Islam as 'hard and unmerciful'
  6. Karpal Singh: He never feared defeat, says Guan Eng
  7. Karpal Singh, my loving husband
  8. MERS virus: 64 villagers from Kampung Bintang quarantined for a week
  9. ‘Don’t play the fool’ and other quotes by Karpal Singh
  10. Michael — shy man whose care spoke volumes

advertisement

advertisement