Press Releases

    24 December 1999

    Statement on United Nations Programme Budget for 2000-2001

    NEW YORK, 23 December (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management, Joseph E. Connor:

    There will be documentation before the Fifth Committee shortly which, if formally adopted later today and subsequently by the General Assembly tonight, will mean that the United Nations budget for the biennium 2000-2001 will amount to $2,535 million, virtually at the same level as 1998-1999, or $2,533 million.

    The budget for the biennium 2000-2001 once again shows remarkable financial discipline. When the Secretary-General’s preliminary budget estimates were presented to the Fifth Committee earlier this year, it appeared that requirements for anticipated inflation would raise the budget for the new biennium by $120 million. This increase did not happen. As a result of further budgetary reductions and favourable exchange rates, it was possible to absorb the inflation increase.

    It should be recalled that the budget for 1994-1995 was at the level of $2,632 million, roughly $100 million more than for the budget that we expect to be approved. For each period between 1994 and 1999, the budget level has been down.

    The adoption of the new budget means that the Secretariat will have been working with the same or a lower level of resources from 1994 to 2001, a period of eight years.

    There are two unusual features to the 2000-2001 budget.

    First, a contingency provision of $35 million has been included in the budget for new political missions ... just in case we need to use it.

    Second, in this virtually no-growth budget, administrative costs have been reduced and additional resources have been reallocated to the prime activities of the Organization, namely:

    • the maintenance of international peace and security;
    • the promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development;
    • the development of Africa;
    • the promotion of human rights;
    • the effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts;
    • the promotion of justice and international law;
    • disarmament;
    • drug control;
    • crime prevention and combating international terrorism.

    In summary, the new budget for 2000-2001 will allow the Organization to deliver more value to its Member States at about the same cost ... and that is a good way to pass from one century to the next.

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