by Patrick Goodenough, CNSnews:
American taxpayers will once again be liable for more than one-fifth of the United Nations’ regular budget next year, as well as more than one-quarter of the much-larger peacekeeping budget – a total of approximately $2,957,000,000.
The U.N. General Assembly just before Christmas approved a regular operating budget of $5.4 billion for the 2016-17 period. (That budget is calculated biannually.) Of the $2.7 billion earmarked for 2016, the U.S. will account for 22 percent, or $594 million. Of the separate peacekeeping budget – $8.27 billion for the year ending June 30 – the U.S. is liable for 28.5783 percent, or $2.363 billion. Combined, the two U.S. contributions amount to just under $3 billion.
In actual fact the full extent of U.S. funding for the U.N. system will be considerably more than that: The $2.957 billion figure comprises the U.S. “assessed contributions” to the two main budgets, but the U.S. in addition provides much more in “voluntary contributions” to a range of U.N. agencies.
(The last time the administration was obliged by law to provide Congress with a full breakdown, the total for fiscal year 2010 was $7.69 billion. The reporting requirement fell away in 2011.)
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power tweeted her congratulations to the U.S. team involved in committee haggling over the budget – or what she described as “tough negotiations to secure more fair UN budget to slow growing costs & take steps to streamline UN ops.”
While the U.S. rate of 22 percent remains unchanged in the latest approved “scale of assessments” – the formula determining how much each member-state pays – one major shift this year affects China, which will now be liable for a substantially bigger proportion of the total budget, although still far behind that of the U.S.
China’s assessment for the regular budget has jumped from 5.148 percent to 7.921 percent, meaning China will now be the third biggest contributor to that budget ($213 million for next year) – after the U.S. at 22 percent ($594 million) and Japan at 9.68 percent ($261 million).
China was previously in sixth place, behind the U.S., Japan, Germany, France and Britain.
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