United Nations cuts next year’s budget by 5 per cent

RSTV Bureau
Washington ;  President Donald Trump shakes hands with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Washington. AP/PTI

File photo of US President Donald Trump with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Washington. AP/PTI

The United Nations has approved a USD 286 million cut in its annual budget for the next year, which amounts to a five per cent cut.

The General Assembly on Sunday approved the regular budget of USD 5.397 billion for 2018-2019, the UN said in a statement on Tuesday.

The amount sets the budget level around USD 286 million below the final approved level for 2016- 2017, and USD 193 million below the initially proposed budget level for 2018-2019, including all “add-ons”.

The additional reductions come mainly from across-the- board cuts in non-post resources for most Departments and Offices, including the Special Political Missions, the UN statement said.

US took credit for the budget cut. America’s Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that she negotiated a reduction of over USD 285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget.

“In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key US priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system,” Hailey said.

“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked….This historic reduction in spending, in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN, is a big step in the right direction,” she added.

She said that while “we are pleased with the results of this year’s budget negotiations, you can be sure we will continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests”.

File Photo of Nikki Haley, US ambassador to United Nations.

File Photo of Nikki Haley, US ambassador to United Nations.

According to the UN statement, the General Assembly approved resources in the amount of USD 88 million for the establishment and maintenance of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) for the period from October 16, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

It approved resources in the amount of USD 911 million for the maintenance of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) for the period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

This brings the total overall approved resources for peacekeeping operations for the 2017/18 period to USD 7.316 billion, which compares to approved resources for the 2016/17 period of USD 7.909 billion, a reduction of USD 593 million or 7.5 per cent.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the General Assembly’s support to his management reform proposal aimed at enhancing delivery of all mandates and the performance of the Secretariat.

(With inputs from agencies)