The UN General Assembly trims the agency's core budget for the next two years, with the aim of cutting waste. But UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon laments the cuts.
Despite ever increasing demands on the United Nations, its core budget for the next two years has just been trimmed.
The 193-member General Assembly has agreed to a $5.4 billion budget for the years 2016/2017, which is $100 million less than for the past two years.
The US, which pays the maximum 22 percent, said the 2016/2017 budget was a "great step forward"for reforming management and budgetary practices
"For the first time in 26 years, the committee adopted a staff compensation package that slows previously-mounting staff costs, which had hindered service delivery," said a US official.
"The elimination of 150 redundant posts is a further step in the direction of the organization's efficiency, as are 5 percent reductions in supplies, travel, and furniture and other equipment costs," the official said.
But it remains to be seenwhether these cuts will improve efficiency
, or lead to diminished services.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the assembly that the cuts were effectively penny-wise but pound-foolish.
"The budget you have approved reflects the difficult global financial reality we have faced for a number of years," Ban Ki-moon said. "Funding continues to shrink while demands on the United Nations grow."The budgets cuts, however, do not include peacekeeping
- which has a separately negotiated budget of $8.27 billion for the year to June 30, 2016 - or the costs of several major UN agencies funded by voluntary contributions from member states.
Other top contributors for 2016/2017 will be Japan with 9.68 percent, China 7.92 percent,Germany 6.38 percent
, France 4.85 percent, Britain 4.46 percent, Brazil 3.82 percent, Italy 3.74 percent, Russia 3.08 percent and Canada 2.92 percent.
bik/jil (Reuters, AP)