Global Policy Forum

China to See Large Rise of Contributions to UN Budget in New Year


By Gu Zhengqiu, Wang Xiangjiang, Bai Jie

December 30, 2009

China will see a large increase of its contributions to the UN budget next year, and China, as the largest developing country in the world, is ready tocarry out its international obligations under the UN Charter, a senior Chinese diplomat said here Tuesday.

Liu Zhenmin, the deputy Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, told reporters here that according to the budget for the UN 2010-2011 biennium, the Chinese contributions will increase considerably next year.

Starting from Jan. 1, 2010, the Chinese contributions to the UN regular budget will rise from 2.667 percent to 3.189 percent, an increase of 0.522 percentage points over the current level, Liu said, adding that the Chinese contributions to the peacekeeping budget will increase from 3.147 percent to 3.9390 percent, an growth of 0.7916 percentage points.

According to the just-adopted scale of assessments, the Chinese contributions to the regular budget will cap 80 million U.S. dollars and the contributions to the peacekeeping budget will reach 300 million U.S. dollars, he said, adding that all Chinese contributions to the world body will total some 400 million dollars.

"China will be the eighth largest contributor to the UN regular budget, just following the seven industrialized countries," he said. "We will overtake Canada in contributions to the UN peacekeeping budget, simply to be preceded by the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France and Italy."

"The increased Chinese assessment originates from the economic growth in our country, rather than the change of calculating method," Liu said. "In fact, the calculating method remains unchanged."

Last Thursday, the UN General Assembly (GA) adopted a 5.16-billion-U.S. dollar budget for the United Nations 2010-2011 biennium, maintaining current scale of assessment for regular budget and peacekeeping budget.

The 64th General Assembly session concluded the main part of its substantive session with the adoption of the budget in the small hours on Dec. 24, after three months of negotiations, at which representatives were locked in the most difficult part of the talks night and day in the last three days, he noted.

The budget covers the costs of United Nations programs in areas such as political affairs, international justice and law, international cooperation for development, public information, human rights and humanitarian affairs. The main source of funds for the budget is the contributions of member states.

In addition to the regular budget, member states are assessed for the costs of the international tribunals and, in accordance with a modified version of the basic scale, for the costs of peacekeeping operations.

China has increased its assessment for three times over the past nine years, Liu said, adding that this will be the fourth increase for the Chinese assessment.

"As the most important, most universal and most authoritative inter-governmental organization in the world, the United Nations needs a very strong financial support for all its activities under the UN Charter," Liu said. "The UN budget increases with the development of the world body."

The fundamental criterion on which the scale of assessments is based is the capacity of countries to pay.

"China takes the lead in its gross national product (GNP), but it just ranks after the 100th in the world in terms of its per capita incomes," Liu said, adding that China, as a developing country whose per capital income is below 7,000 U.S. dollars, is entitled to enjoy the adjustments for low-income countries in accordance with relevant UN regulations.

The GA adopted the budget in a resolution that maintains the current scale by which member states are assessed dues to the Organization, reflecting a compromise between the need to review that formula and maintain a balanced approach to assessments.

"This is the compromise reached by member states after rounds of difficult talks," he said. "it is very hard to come by."

Approved by a vote, the scale of assessments for the regular budget reflects a country's capacity to pay, measured by such factors as a country's national income and size of population.

Assessments would be based on estimates of gross national income (GNI) that were converted into U.S. dollars using market exchange rates, except where that would cause excessive fluctuations and distortions in the income of some member states.

The regular budget of the United Nations is approved by the General Assembly for a two-year period. Peacekeeping budgets are approved by the General Assembly for a one-year period beginning on July 1.

"With the development of the Chinese economy, the Chinese assessment will surely increase, and this means increased Chinese share in the world economy," he said.


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