United Nations member countries on Sunday agreed to a peacekeeping budget of just under US$ 6.7 billion, according to diplomatic sources. This is about US$ 122 million less than what had been recommended by a panel of experts.
It is also about US$ 600 million less than last year’s final figure of $7.3 billion. Last year’s budget was initially set at US$ 6.8 billion but was boosted in December by an additional US$ 500 million for missions in Haiti and Sudan’s Darfur.
The UN currently has about 100,000 peacekeepers operating around the world, on fourteen active missions. The budget is set to be formally endorsed by the General Assembly later.
The most important and therefore financially demanding missions are in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Mali, each running to more than US$ 1 billion a year.
The peacekeeping budget is separate from the UN’s operating budget which is announced in December.
Last year, the top contributors to peacekeeping funding were the United States with 28.5%, China with 10.3% and Japan with 9.7%.
But in March, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said other countries need to “step up” and pay a bigger share, adding Washington would cap its contribution to 25%.
The cap of 25% of the US contribution has been in US law since the 1990s, but Congress has in the past waived that requirement at the administration’s request.
President Donald Trump’s administration has taken a hard line on UN funding, cutting contributions and pushing for cost-saving reforms.