$3.2bn UN budget for 2021 okayed

Diplomatic Correspondent

2 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

United Nations member states have approved $3.231 billion to fund the global Organisation’s regular budget for 2021.

The general assembly body dealing with UN administrative and budgetary matters (fifth committee) discussed and approved the budget on Thursday.

Back in October, the UN chief had proposed a programme budget of $2.99 billion – a net reduction of 2.8 percent over 2020.

Secretary General of UN António Guterres had told the fifth committee that despite the pandemic and liquidity crunch, “our new processes and structures have proven instrumental in enabling us to remain open and function effectively— we are running this organisation from thousands of dining tables and home offices”.

“We worked together to build consensus, exercise prudence and flexibility, at a critical time in history”, general assembly president Volkan Bozkir told the final plenary of the year.

He reflected on some of the 75 plenary meetings that were convened in the assembly hall, including the general debate, biodiversity summit, 31st special session in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and high-level meetings on the 25th anniversary of the fourth world conference on women.

Bozkir observed that the assembly’s performance throughout this difficult year was a testament to the high caliber of diplomacy practiced in the Hall, which also encompassed efforts to ensure a more gender-inclusive chamber.  

New Year’s resolutions

Discussing resolutions for the New Year, the assembly president urged the member states to harness multilateralism to end the Covid-19 pandemic and “address the needs of those furthest behind first”.

He pushed for actions towards achieving SDGs, while ‘greening the blue’ and noted that despite the pandemic, “climate change continues to destabilise the world”.  

And finally, he encouraged the ambassadors to create a better future by joining him in re-committing to the UN Charter and strengthening multilateralism.