United Nations: India, Brazil, China and other emerging nations will pay more to the United Nations after the General Assembly approved a five percent increase to the world body's budget for 2012-13 to USD 5.4 billion.
Capping days of intense negotiations, the Assembly adopted a range of Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) resolutions, covering the scale of assessing Member States' dues, the United Nations pension system and the proposed 2013 budget for 33 political missions.
In a consensus vote, the 193-member world body increased the budget for UN's regular operations by about USD 243.3 million from the USD 5.15 billion agreed last December.
The income was revised upwards by USD 3.99 million to USD 511.74 million for the current biennium.
The Assembly approved USD 566.48 million to keep the 33 special political missions running in 2013. These missions include those for Syria, Yemen, Libya and Sudan-South Sudan and large operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Emerging nations such as India, China, Russia, Brazil would have to pay an increased share, while contributions of European nations, such as Britain, Germany and France and Japan have been cut in the revised UN budget.
The US' share for the regular budget will remain unchanged at 22 percent. Each UN member state contributes to the budget based on its share of global gross national income.
India's payments would increase 24 percent, taking its budget share from 0.5 to 0.66 percent.
China's UN fees would increase by 61 percent, taking its share of the budget from 3.2 to 5.1 percent. This makes China the sixth biggest UN contributor, overtaking Canada and Italy.
Brazil has agreed to an 82 percent hike in payments, paying 2.9 percent of the budget instead of 1.6 percent. Russia's payments would increase by 52 percent.
Contributions by other major nations would see a drop in the 2012-13 budget.
Japan would see a 13.5 percent drop to 10.8 percent of the budget, while Germany's share would fall from eight per cent to 7.1 percent, France from 6.1 to 5.6 percent and Britain from 6.6 to 5.18 percent.
Under the budget deal, a pay freeze would also be in effect for the estimated 10,000 UN staff in New York.
US deputy ambassador Joseph Torsella said he "is pleased by the significant progress we were able to achieve toward advancing fiscal discipline during a period of significant global financial difficulty and setting the United Nations on the path of increased efficiency."
"The United States is very pleased to have maintained the critical 22 percent ceiling for US contributions to the UN regular budget, protecting US taxpayers from the additional bills -- estimated to be at least 300 million dollars annually in both the regular and peacekeeping budgets -- that would have resulted from an increase in the US ceiling level."
He said that the US is also satisfied to have negotiated a budget outline for 2014-2015 "that instills real financial discipline by keeping the UN budget level constant over several years."
Torsella said the US would try to extend the pay freeze for the UN staff because "it is important that member states finally recognize that 'business as usual' cannot continue in the current financial climate."
He expressed disappointment that a small number of states were able to defer again a decision on the full public disclosure of all UN audits.
"Taxpayers everywhere have a right to know that their money is being spent wisely and not wasted, and public disclosure of UN audits represents the minimum of what the United Nations should be doing to demonstrate transparency and accountability for the decisions they make with our citizens' money," he added.
First Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 13:41