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Peacekeeping Finance

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Peacekeeping Finance represents a large part of the UN budget, with a US$7.06 billion annual budget for the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) sets the Peacekeeping Budget each year from July to June. However, the committee reviews and adjusts the budget throughout the year. Since peace missions vary in number and duration, contributions to the Peacekeeping Budget fluctuate widely from year to year.

The Peacekeeping Budget pays for UN peacekeeping operations all over the world. The budget is financed through assessments of all UN member states, based on the scale of assessments for the Regular Budget. But the five permanent members of the Security Council, who approve all peacekeeping operations, pay a surcharge on top of their regular assessments. Poor countries get a discount on their rates. In the 1990s, as the Security Council launched an unprecedented number of peacekeeping operations, the Peacekeeping Budget and total debt to the budget rose quickly.

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Israel to Pay Compensation to UN (January 10, 2010)

Israel's attack on Gaza in December 2008 caused serious damage to UN premises in the territory. Following extensive negotiations with the Office for Legal Affairs, Israel has agreed to pay the UN $10m as compensation. Ian Martin, who led an official inquiry into the Gaza war, accuses Israel of "negligence or recklessness" in its military actions. (The Guardian)


Indonesia Asks for UN AID for Lebanon Peacekeeping (November 22, 2009)

Despite ceasefire announcements, security conditions in northern Yemen continue to worsen. United Nations humanitarian officials once again appeal for better access to an estimated 150,000 displaced people, and they ask donors to respond to a plea for emergency funds. The UN has only received $3.8 million in aid since September 2009 in response to the $23.5 million appeal. (Jakarta Globe)

UN AID Chief Urges More Money for Yemen Displaced (October 10, 2009)

The UN Maritime Force has again asked Indonesia to provide a warship for the Lebanon peacekeeping mission. Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro hopes the nation's contribution to UN peacekeeping missions in numerous conflict zones can leverage funding for its naval involvement off the coast of Lebanon. (Reuters AlertNet)


Can the UN Be Reformed? (June 7, 2007)

Former Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown analyzes the UN reform initiatives taken by Kofi Annan in his last two years as Secretary General. Malloch Brown compares his reform initiatives at UNDP to Annan's initiatives such as the Human Rights Council, the Peacebuilding Commission and management reforms. He asserts that Annan "was hostage to intergovernmental warfare" which prevented him from effectively managing the UN. Malloch Brown claims that UN reform will continue to be a tough task until the member states move away from their individual motives and "allow an empowered accountable management to lead a modern UN." (Academic Council on the UN System)


Japan May Cut Funding to UN (February 23, 2006)

Japan, which funds about 20 percent of the UN's peacekeeping budget, reacted to a UN report alleging that the world body lost tens of millions of dollars through irregularities in peacekeeping procurement activities by threatening to reduce Tokyo's contribution to the peacekeeping budget. However, some experts believe that Japan's threat really represents a sign of frustration at failing to get a permanent seat on the Security Council. Others, like US Ambassador John Bolton, see the report's findings as an opportunity for "whole-scale change in the way many agencies and entities within the UN system operate." (Los Angeles Times)


Cash Crunch Could Force UN Congo Mission Cutbacks (August 12, 2005)

The UN peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo faces a "cash crunch" that could force a reduction in military operations or election preparations, says Reuters. France has introduced a Security Council draft resolution proposing the redistribution of $103 million to get around the budget constraints. But the resolution also calls for adding UN troops, which requires approval from the US Congress because the US pays for nearly a quarter of UN peacekeeping operations. Waiting for US approval pushes back a Council vote until at least September 6, which diplomats say "is going to be too late." (Reuters)

Peacekeeper Opposes Withholding Support (June 17, 2005)

A proposed US Congress bill on UN reform could require the US to withhold peacekeeping mission funds if the UN does not apply several changes, such as creating a universal code of conduct and establishing a branch to investigate accusations against peacekeepers. Though UN Under Secretary General for peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno supports some of the bill's proposals and admits to problems within his department, he warns that holding funds would dangerously punish the countries in need of help. (Associated Press)

Budget Committee Approves $3.2 Billion for 2005-2006 Peacekeeping, as it Concludes Resumed Session (June 8, 2005)

The Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly has approved a "record-breaking $3.2 billion 2005-2006 peacekeeping budget" for ongoing Security Council missions – perhaps reflecting the increase in the number and complexity of UN peacekeeping operations. The Committee also adopted a "milestone" draft text providing "policy guidance for a more efficient and effective management of peacekeeping." (United Nations)


UN Head Seeks $1 Billion Increase for Peacekeeping Budget (May 17, 2004)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has appealed to Security Council members for both political and financial support for UN peacekeeping missions, saying a budget increase of at least $1 billion is needed for the expanding peacekeeping operations in the near future. (Voice of America)

France Pushes Ivory Coast Peacekeepers; US Wavers (January 16, 2004)

Following UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's recommendations, Paris is pressing the Security Council to create a peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire. Washington opposes the idea because of its costs, arguing that the UN is already considering sending missions to Liberia, Sudan and Burundi. (Reuters)


Following the Money (April 24, 2002)

A report of the Stimson Center suggests that President Bush's budget request for 2003 includes an array of unrealistic assumptions. The Administration expects budget reductions in nearly all current UN peacekeeping operations and hopes for no new operations during 2003. The request does not allot additional funds for a peacekeeping reform. (Stimson Center)

UN Peacekeeping: Estimated US Contributions, Fiscal Years 1996-2001 (February 2002)

In this report the General Accounting Office adopts a very broad definition of "support." The US Congress auditing arm claims that the US contributed $3.45 billion directly and $24.2 billion indirectly to support UN peacekeeping operations during the 1996-2001 period.

Nigeria; Soldiers Worry Over Pay for UN Job ' Peacekeeping Entitlements Unpaid' (January 28, 2002)

Where did the payment for the Nigerian UN peacekeepers go? The delay in payments from the Nigerian government is negatively affecting the moral of the peacekeepers.(Africa News Service )


House Approves UN Payment (September 25, 2001)

As a result of the terrorist attack on the US and in order for the US president to have full flexibility in the conduct of Foreign Policy, Republican House leader Tom DeLay dropped his opposition to a payment of US back dues to the United Nations. (Washington Post)

US Public Attitudes on the United Nations (July 31, 2001)

This report, based on extensive surveys of US citizens, finds that a majority of US citizens support the work of the UN, and believe that the US should pay - not withhold - its dues to the UN regular and peacekeeping budgets. (Americans and the World)

Pay the United Nations (March 19, 2001)

In this Washington Post editorial, US Congress is urged to pay $582 million in dues to the UN. The Congress is also criticized for worsening the financial situation of the UN by constantly delaying its payments.

The Check's in the Mail (February 12, 2001)

The US Senate has finally agreed to release more than a half-billion dollars to the UN. However the complete payment of US arrears to the UN (which after this payment will still be over US$700 million) is still locked into Congress' "conditions" on UN policy.(Washington Times)


After Long Fight, UN Agrees to Cut Dues Paid by US (December 23, 2000)

The UN has agreed to reduce the US share of the UN regular budget from 25 to 22 percent and of the peacekeeping budget from 30 to 27 percent. (New York Times)

Annan Appeals for Emergency Funding to Revamp Peacekeeping Operations (November 27, 2000)

The Secretary General asks the General Assembly to approve $22 million in emergency peacekeeping funds so that the Brahimi recommendations can be implemented as soon as possible. (Associated Press)

Fifth Committee Concludes General Debate on Scale of Assessments for Peacekeeping (October 6, 2000)

The fifth committee finished its debate on peacekeeping assessment. The conclusion? The 27-year old scale should be made to reflect today's economic realities and "wisdom, more than expertise or politics, (is) needed if new consensus on dividing UN expenses is to be found". (UN Press Release)

Strengthening the Peacekeepers (September 6, 2000)

The US is the chief culprit in the UN's peacekeeping problems, with commitment of resources for muscular UN action by member states being hampered by the US's arrears of over 1.8 billion US Dollars. Calls for reform of the UN at the Millennium Summit can't help if the UN's strongest members are not committed to the organization and its work. (Washington Post)

Rising US Debt to UN Spurs Fight Over Funds (August 8, 2000)

Once again, the subject of US payment of dues to the UN is a matter of controversy between the US Administration and Congress. This time it is about the peacekeeping budget which includes the UN missions in Southern Lebanon and on the Ethiopia-Eritrea border, both of which the US supported in the Security Council. (Washington Post)

How Safe Would You Feel? US Remiss In Failing to Pay its Share of Maintaining Peace (July 25, 2000)

In a letter to the Editor of the Chicago Tribune, UNA-USA director of policy studies, Jeff Laurenti, scolds Washington naysayers who are UN opponents. Mr. Laurenti asks the essential question of how to strengthen UN peacekeeping in light of the reduction of US contributions by Washington.

Washington Takes a Blast From Its Envoy at the U.N. (July 21, 2000)

Surprisingly, US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke publicly criticized Washington's funding of UN peacekeeping efforts. This is the first time since his tenure at the UN that Ambassador Holbrooke has turned against his Washington cronies. (New York Times)

Nigeria Denies Stealing Peacekeeping Funds (July 6, 2000)

Nigeria claims that UN peacekeeping funds are still "very much intact," despite charges of embezzlement. In fact, Nigeria believes that the UN still owes Nigerian peacekeepers US $10 million. (Xinhua News)

Costs Of UN Deployments Rise Sharply (June 20, 2000)

By next June, after increasing levels of peacekeeping troops worldwide, the UN will have spent $2.2 billion. As the number and expense of peacekeeping troops increases, US contributions to the peacekeeping budget decrease.

Demoralized Sierra Leone Peacekeepers 'Not Being Paid' (June 18, 2000)

The Ottawa Citizen reports that peacekeeping troops in Sierra Leone are surrendering their weapons with little or no resistance due to the lack of peacekeeping funds. ''It is not exactly a motivating force if troops whose lives may be in danger are not being paid,'' reported a UN official.(The Ottawa Citizen)

US Senator Posed to Lift East Timor Funds Block (June 9, 2000)

Australia's Ambassador in Washington, Michael Thawley, assured Senator Gregg of the US that Australia was "interested in ensuring the UN operation proceeds as smoothly as possible". Ambassador Thawley commented that the meeting was positive and feels sure that Senator Gregg will respond within the week by freeing up funds for the peacekeeping mission in East Timor.(The Australian)

G.O.P. Senator Frees Millions for UN Mission in Sierra Leone (June 7, 2000)

Senator Judd Gregg released US$50 million for peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone, hailed The New York Times today. In order to demonstrate his strong disagreement with the Lomé accord, Senator Gregg blocked the transfer of US$368 million for UN peacekeeping operations. In response to a letter from US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, assuring that Sankoh would have no political future in Sierra Leone, Senator Gregg released the money for the peacekeeping mission. (New York Times)

One G.O.P. Senator Blocks Spending on Peacekeepers (May 20, 2000)

Republican Senator Gregg blocked the transfer of US$ 368 million of peacekeeping contributions to the UN already approved by the US Congress. This not unexpected move is tremendously hurting the effective functioning of current PKO in volatile areas, and affecting payments to third world PKO troop contributors. (New York Times )

Fifth Committee Concludes Discussion On Aspects Of Peacekeeping Finance, Including Revision Of Scale Of Assessments, Gratis Personnel (May 18, 2000)

The Fifth Committee's debate concluded that time is ripe to consider the revision of the peacekeeping scale of assessments. The question of PKO finance is interfering with effective UN operations due to reluctance of the US to abide by its obligations to the UN. (UN Press Release (GA/AB/3373)

Fifth Committee Continues Debate On Peacekeeping Scale Of Assessments, As Four States Announce Voluntary Increase In Share Of Costs (May 17, 2000)

As the debate continues over the scale of assessments for peacekeeping operations, various countries express their views. Some support reform, others support keeping the current system. Yet most agree that the debate should proceed carefully.(UN Press Release (GA/AB/3372)

Developing Countries Defend Principle in U.N. Peacekeeping Financing (May 17, 2000)

Members of the Group of 77 and China called to uphold the "capability to pay" principle in financing the UN peacekeeping operations. Some allies of the US also support the G77's rejection of any modification to the scale of assessment of member states' financial contribution to the UN peacekeeping operations. (Xinhua General News Service)


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