UN chief asks for $3.12 billion for 2022 budget

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Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations. /VCG Photo
Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations. /VCG Photo

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday asked for nearly 3.12 billion U.S. dollars as the world body’s regular budget for 2022.

“To fully implement the mandates entrusted to us, we will require a total of 3.12 billion U.S. dollars before re-costing, which represents a net reduction of 2.8 percent compared to 2021, despite additional activities and mandates,” he told the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly, which handles budgetary affairs.

The proposed budget covers a total of 10,005 posts or a net increase of 46 posts over 2021. Most of the added posts (43) would be for the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees to support education, health care, and general assistance, he said.

After a rocky start at the beginning of 2021, the liquidity situation of the United Nations improved in the course, said Guterres.

2021 started poorly, with collections in the first quarter trailing estimates by nearly 199 million dollars, added to the 808-million-dollar arrears from the previous year, he said.

The world body saw a record collection in April of 1 billion dollars, bringing the total to 76 percent of the year’s total assessment. That was also a record for early collection. The improved liquidity has allowed the United Nations to lift most of the temporary cash-management measures, he said.

“However, this should not lull us into complacency. The overall total masks numerous fluctuations in collections each month, pointing to the challenges of planning budget implementation with such uncertainties. Our fair-weather regulatory framework leaves much to be desired, and it is my hope that member states will see the need for full and predictable funding so that we can focus on the delivery of our mandates guided by the budgets and not by cash on hand,” said Guterres.

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