Governments Approve USD 3 Billion Budget for UN Secretariat in 2020
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UNGA President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande said the approved programme budget “prepares us well for entry into the Decade of Action for SDG implementation".

The regular budget for 2020 will be USD 3.074 billion, and marks a return to one-year fiscal cycles after the biennial cycles used since the 1970s.

The UN General Assembly approved a proposed budget for the UN Secretariat’s 2020 operations, following deliberations in the UNGA’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) that concluded on 27 December 2019. UNGA President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande said the approved programme budget “prepares us well for entry into the Decade of Action for SDG implementation.”

The regular budget for 2020 will be USD 3.074 billion. The budget was adopted without a vote as part of the Fifth Committee’s report to the plenary (document A/74/614), on 27 December. The adoption of an annual budget – instead of a two-year budget – is the first since 1973.

On 11 December 2019, Fifth Committee delegates were informed that the decision on the 2020 budgets needed to take place as soon as possible in order to avoid shutting down more of the UN’s global operations and exacerbating its severe liquidity crisis and lack of available cash, which has resulted in limiting staff hiring and travel, the hours of operation at UN headquarters in New York, and other measures.

According to the UN’s summary of the Fifth Committee meeting on 27 December, the agreed texts call on the UN Secretary-General to ensure the completion of the flexible workspace strategy for UN Headquarters by the third quarter of 2020, and to implement the UN Joint Inspection Unit’s suggestions on making UN premises more accessible for persons with disabilities, among other provisions.

Palestine for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) said the 2020 programme budget ensures an adequate level of resources for all mandated programmes and activities. The speaker expressed support for Organization’s development pillar, including the budget of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UN’s five economic and regional commissions. Bostwana for the African Group noted challenges of shifting to an annual programme plan and budget, but said the adopted budget ensures adequate resources to fully deliver on the UN’s mandated programmes and activities.

The Fifth Committee is expected to resume its work for the 74th session in March 2020 to consider decisions on several issues that have been deferred, including human resources management. [Fifth Committee website]

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