United Nations : India is likely to save about $1 million from its mandatory contribution to the world body next year as a result of the five per cent budget cut pushed by the US.
India’s assessed share of the regular UN budget in 2017 was $20.46 million and a five per cent cut would amount to $1.023 million. The UN General Assembly approved a two-year regular budget of $5.397 billion for 2018 and 2019 on Christmas Eve during an unusual Sunday sitting.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said it was five per cent or $286 million below the budget for the years 2016 and 2017. It is also $193 million less than the original budget for 2018 and 2019 proposed by Guterres, he added.
The General Assembly passes budgets for two years at a time but is going to switch to a system of annual budgets on a trial basis in 2020. There is a separate budget for peacekeeping operations with a different set of assessments and time periods. Using a complex formula that includes per capita income and gross domestic product, each country’s assessment for the regular budget is fixed periodically as a percentage of the total budget rather than an amount. India’s share is now 0.737 per cent but it may go up in future as the economy improves.
US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley took credit for the budget cuts calling it one of the successes for Washington. “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,” she asserted in a statement.
“The inefficiency and overspending of the UN are well known,” she said. The US share of the budget set at 22 per cent is the highest and it contributed $611 million in 2017.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)