UN Headquarters

23 December 2015

Remarks to the General Assembly following adoption of the programme budget for the 2016-2017 biennium

Ban Ki-moon

Thank you all for adopting by consensus the programme budget for the 2016 and 2017 biennium.

Your hard work, unwavering commitment and flexible cooperation have contributed to reaching that agreement.

I applaud the Member States for this collective achievement. Our Secretariat staff were proud to support you in this successful endeavour.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency, Ambassador Durga Prasad Bhattari, Chairman of the Fifth Committee, for his skilful chairing of the Committee. And I also thank you, Mr. President, in particular, for your strong commitment and leadership in leading this very difficult process.


Ladies and gentlemen,

The budget you have approved reflects the difficult global financial reality we have faced for a number of years.

Funding continues to shrink – while demands on the United Nations grow.

Through it all, we are doing everything possible to fulfil the mandates you give us.

We are guided by two pressing obligations:

First, our duty to respond to the needs of the world’s people.

And second: our responsibility to make the most of the resources you entrust to us.

Through creativity, hard work and diligence, we are rising to the challenge.


Ladies and gentlemen,

The Assembly has wisely decided to add resources to strengthen the very important pillar of development.

I commend the Assembly’s decision to support the follow-up and review of our efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and carry out the financing for development agenda.

The Assembly has also decided to reduce resources under Public Information and Common Support Services even more than the efficiencies I identified.

This presents some challenges, especially at this critical juncture. We are carrying out the important initiatives the Assembly has approved, including Umoja, mobility and the development of the Global Service Delivery Model.

Nevertheless, we remain committed to exert our best efforts to deliver on these transformational initiatives and all other mandates you have given us.

Ladies and gentlemen,

After the budget has been set, the Organization’s financial health depends on contributions from all Member States.

We now have a revised scale of assessments for sharing the costs of the regular budget and peacekeeping operations.

I applaud the consensus decisions on these matters.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Today’s resolution on the common system reflects the wishes of the Member States. It also takes account of the views that we communicated through my Chief Executives Board.

The staff federations were also heard throughout the process.

I am pleased that the new system is more simple and streamlined.

It will allow organizations to further recognize the performance of staff.

I thank the Member States, the ICSC and all those involved in achieving a consensus.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As you know, this is the last regular budget adopted during my tenure as Secretary-General.

I am deeply grateful for our fruitful collaboration over these nine years.

From my first day in office, I pledged to bring greater transparency and accountability to the United Nations.

This is my personal work ethic – and it is also the most efficient way to do business. High standards of professionalism inspire our staff and assure our partners. Openness benefits everyone.

I also arrived here with a vision to modernize our Secretariat, and create a truly global Secretariat.

Member States saw the value in this approach. You approved a mobility framework that will make the best possible use of our greatest asset, namely the United Nations staff.

Thank you also for supporting Umoja, which is already improving our capacity to manage global operations.

Together, we are creating a stronger UN for a better world.

Mr. President,


Ladies and gentlemen,

Usually at this time in a budget year, delegates are still negotiating in conference rooms.

You worked through the night and reached agreement earlier than in past years.

I know many of you may be sleep-deprived right now. You definitely deserve a holiday.

In 2015, there were enormous challenges on the global agenda.

At the same time, we can be proud of major accomplishments, especially the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing for Development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

These and other advances proved that multilateralism works.

Today’s consensus action is a strong sign of our ability to work together.

We need this spirit of global solidarity more than ever.

In 2016, we will act on our plans for a more healthy and peaceful planet, where all people live in dignity.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Finally, I wish you and your families a happy and healthy New Year.

Thank you very much.