Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee)
How is UN peacekeeping financed?
According to Article 17 of the United Nations Charter the General Assembly shall consider and approve the budget of the Organization and the expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly.
In its resolution 55/235 of 23 December 2000, the General Assembly reaffirmed the general principles underlying the financing of peacekeeping operations:
- The financing of such operations is the collective responsibility of all States Members of the United Nations and, accordingly, the costs of peacekeeping operations are expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member States in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations;
- In order to meet the expenditures caused by such operations, a different procedure is required from that applied to meet expenditures under the regular budget of the United Nations;
- Whereas the economically more developed countries are in a position to make relatively larger contributions to peacekeeping operations, the economically less developed countries have a relatively limited capacity to contribute towards peacekeeping operations involving heavy expenditures;
- The special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Security Council for the maintenance of peace and security should be borne in mind in connection with their contributions to the financing of peace and security operations;
- Where circumstances warrant, the General Assembly should give special consideration to the situation of any Member States which are victims of, and those which are otherwise involved in, the events or actions leading to a peacekeeping operation;
The same resolution decided the rates of assessment for peacekeeping based on ten levels of contribution.
General Assembly Resolution 55/236 on voluntary movements in connection with the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations also decided that:
- ...at any time during the scale period, a Member State may make a voluntary commitment to contribute at a higher rate than its current rate by information the General Assembly through the Secretary-General, and the Assembly may take note of that decision.
Most recently in 2015, by its resolution 70/246, the General Assembly endorsed updated levels of contribution for peacekeeping operations contained in annex II to the Secretary-General's report on the Implementation of General Assembly resolutions 55/235 and 55/236 (A/70/331 and Add.1) and decided to review the structure of levels of contribution for peacekeeping at its seventieth session.
In its resolution 49/233 A of 23 December 1994, on the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the General Assembly decided that the financial period for each peacekeeping operation shall be from 1 July to 30 June.
According to the timetable endorsed by this resolution the Fifth Committee resumes its work annually for a period of four weeks in May to consider the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of peacekeeping operations.
Peacekeeping budgets are prepared based on the mandate from the Security Council. A start-up team is deployed as soon as feasible after the Security Council establishes mandate. A detailed budget is then prepared on the basis of findings of survey mission. It is prepared on an annualized basis (1 July of first year to 30 June to the following year) and therefore covers one mandate period and beyond.
In line with the provisions of resolution 55/231 on results based budgeting, the budgets of peacekeeping missions are prepared based on the measures approved in the resolution including to:
- Ensure that the expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement are directly and clearly linked to the objectives of the programmes and in accordance with the different nature of the activities of the programmes, taking into account rules 104.7(a) and 105.4(a) of the Regulations and Rules Governing Programme Planning.
This resolution was reaffirmed in section III of resolution 61/276, which:
- Requests the Secretary-General to integrate operational, logistical and financial aspects fully in the planning phase of peacekeeping operations by linking results-based budgeting to the mandate implementation plans of peacekeeping operations.
In 2010, the General Assembly, in section VI it's resolution 64/269, decided that:
- If a decision of the Security Council relating to the start-up phase or expansion phase of peacekeeping operations results in the need for expenditure, the Secretary-General is authorized, with the prior concurrence of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to enter into commitments up to 100 million dollars from the available balance of the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund and that the cumulative total of outstanding commitment authority in respect of the start-up or expansion phase of peacekeeping operations should not exceed the total level of the Peacekeeping Reserve Fund at any one time
More information about peacekeeping budgets is available in this presentation.
Strengthening the capacity of the Organization on peacekeeping operations
In its resolution 61/256 of 15 March 2007, the General Assembly supported the restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including the establishment of a Department of Field Support and stressed that the actions to restructure the Department of Peacekeeping Operations should be implemented with full respect for the relevant mandates, decisions and resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council.