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General Assembly approves $3.59 billion UN budget for next year UN
The Secretariat building with flags of Member States in the foreground, at the UN Headquarters, in New York.Photo Courtesy: UN Photo/Manuel Elías

General Assembly approves $3.59 billion UN budget for next year

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 25 Dec 2023, 08:41 am

The General Assembly has approved a $3.59 billion budget for the United Nations for 2024, including the establishment of a special account to finance the Organization’s peacebuilding fund.

In actions taken late evening on Friday, the 193-member General Assembly also adopted nearly $50 million in additional funding for decisions taken by the Human Rights Council, UN’s primary forum on human rights matters.

It also decided to establish the Peacebuilding Account, a dedicated multi-year special account, as a modality to finance the Peacebuilding Fund. Additionally, it approved $50 million of assessed contributions per annum to fund the Account, starting 1 January 2025.

The Peacebuilding Fund is the UN’s leading instrument to invest in prevention and peacebuilding efforts and supports joint responses to address critical peacebuilding opportunities, connecting development, humanitarian, human rights and peacebuilding pillars.

Secretary-General’s proposal

Back in October, the Secretary-General had presented a $3.3 billion budget proposal to the General Assembly, stressing to delegates at the Assembly’s main budget committee that “the role of the United Nations has never been more vital.”

In his presentation, the UN chief also voiced concern over the deteriorating liquidity situation of the Organization, urging countries to ensure timely and full payments.

Strengthening communications

The Assembly further adopted a resolution that includes provisions to expand the coverage of UN official intergovernmental meetings in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish languages.

The 20 positions, classified as general temporary assistance (GTA), includes editors, press officers and assistants working in the four languages.

General Assembly condemns killing of UNRWA staff

Also on Friday, the General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the killing of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) staff and the destruction of buildings under the UN flag, amidst the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip.

As of Saturday, 142 UNRWA staff members have been killed and 123 installations damaged. Other UN agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have also lost their personnel.

On Friday, Issam Al Mughrabi, a UNDP staff member alongside his wife, children and members of his extended family, were killed in an Israeli air strike.

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