Global Policy Forum

Tables and Charts on UN Regular Budget


UN Regular Budget

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) sets the Regular Budget every two calendar years. The Regular budget funds UN core activities, including staffing costs, in eight headquarter locations in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Among other things, the Regular Budget covers international conferences, public information work, human rights promotion and special UN missions to conflict areas. The budget is financed through assessments to all UN member states. Countries pay according to their economic capacity, but the Fifth Committee has set a "ceiling" rate of 22% to prevent the UN from becoming overly dependent on any one member state. The US, the only country that meets this ceiling, consequently pays much less than its share of the global economy. Over 80% of all member states fail to pay their dues to the UN in full and on time. Failure to pay can lead to loosing one's vote in the General Assembly. According to Article 19 of the UN Charter, a country loses its vote if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount it was billed in the preceding two years. The US, the largest debtor to the UN, pays just about enough to keep its vote in the assembly. Its debt to the Regular Budget has since the beginning of the 1980s averaged around US$200 million by December 31 of each year, i.e. 11 months after the payment deadline. This has caused serious financial difficulties for the organization.

Regular Budget Expenditures in Current vs Real Terms

The following table and graph illustrate the expenditures of the Regular budget in current versus real terms from 1971.

Regular Budget Assessments & Payments

The following tables and graphs illustrate the total payments by member states to the UN regular budget.

Table 2011

Thse table also show US monthly payments. The US debt is then compared to the debt of all member states.

Number of Countries Paying Promptly and in Full to the UN

Similar to the UN's Honour roll (below), this table and graph illustrate which counctries paid all of their regular dues on time. It further shows the percentage of the budget that the shares of these states represent from 1991 to 2011.

To view the table, click here

To view the graph, click here

Regular Budget Payments of the 15 Largest Payers

These tables show the monthly payments of the top 15 member states to the Regular Budget, revealing who pays on time, who pays late or not at all.

Table: 2011

US Regular Budget Debt vs. Regular Budget Debt of All Member States

This table and graphs illustrate the total debt of all member states to the regular budget compared to the total US debt to the regular budget.

United Nations Regular Budget: Comparison of Budget Levels from Initial Appropriations to de Facto Expenditure

United Nations: Programme Budget Outlines

United Nations Programme Budget: Nominal and In Real Prices

List of Payers (1999-2006 only):

Lists member states that have paid their dues to the regular budget in full, by month.

Countries Who've Lost Their General Assembly Vote

A list from the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary General at the United Nations.


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